STC Number - 68

Notifications on veterinary measures and measures on animal products including gelatin

Maintained by: Poland
Raised by: Switzerland; United States of America
Supported by: Brazil; European Union
First date raised: June 1998 G/SPS/R/11, paras. 48-49
Dates subsequently raised: September 1998 (G/SPS/R/12, paras. 46-48)
July 2001 (G/SPS/R/22, para. 127)
June 2002 (G/SPS/R/27, paras. 40-42)
Number of times subsequently raised: 3
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/POL/3, G/SPS/N/POL/5, G/SPS/N/POL/13, G/SPS/N/POL/14 and Add.1, G/SPS/N/POL/25, G/SPS/GEN/265, G/SPS/GEN/322
Products covered: 0410 Edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures; Human health; International Standards / Harmonization; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Solution: Regulation amended and restrictions on gelatine from bovine hides removed
Date reported as resolved: 01/06/2002

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In June 1998, the United States sought clarification of the status of this temporary ban, its scientific basis, and whether future amendments were being considered. Brazil, the European Communities, Switzerland and the United States expressed hope that the disease status of the supplying country, scientific factors related to the infectivity of gelatin and gelatin-containing products, as identified by the OIE, and non-discrimination between suppliers with similar BSE conditions would all be taken into account in future amendments. Poland indicated that the measure in question would remain in force until the end of June 1998, and would be replaced by a measure reflecting the present state of scientific knowledge. Regarding different treatment of Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Ireland, the new regulations had not yet been adopted by the Polish Government. Poland committed to providing a response on the basis of written questions from Switzerland.
In September 1998, Switzerland reported on informal consultations with Poland regarding border measures in relation to BSE which differentiated only between countries with a higher incidence of BSE and those of low incidence. This constituted a departure from OIE recommendations, which also took into account surveillance and prevention systems. The European Communities indicated that imports from herds without BSE history should be accepted even for products in the highest risk category. Poland explained that the measure had been taken in relation to the BSE situation in the concerned countries. Bilateral consultations were ongoing with the United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland. The BSE situation was under permanent surveillance and all results would be taken into account during the year-end review of Poland's regulations.
In July 2001, the United States indicated that bilateral discussions on certification requirements for bovine gelatin continued (G/SPS/GEN/265).
In June 2002, Switzerland stated that Poland continued to restrict imports of bovine semen and gelatin from Switzerland although the OIE had concluded that bovine semen and gelatine did not present a risk regardless of the BSE status of the exporting country (G/SPS/GEN/322). The representative of the European Communities indicated that EC member States had similar concerns regarding Poland's measure. The representative of the OIE clarified that Chapter 4 of the International Animal Health Code recommended no restriction on bovine semen. No BSE risk had been identified from gelatin made exclusively from hides, however certain treatments were recommended with respect to gelatin made from bones if the exporting country were not free from BSE.
Poland clarified that bovine semen had never been covered by the Polish regulation in question. Its restrictions on imports of several animal products from Switzerland had been notified in G/SPS/N/POL/25. Furthermore, there had just been further amendments to the regulation, and restrictions on gelatine from bovine hides had been removed. Poland announced its intention to notify this new regulation.