STC Number - 243

Lack of recognition of pest-free areas

Maintained by: Indonesia
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by: Australia
First date raised: October 2006 G/SPS/R/43, paras. 14-16
Dates subsequently raised: February 2007 (G/SPS/R/44, paras. 25-26)
June 2007 (G/SPS/R/45, paras. 31-32)
October 2007 (G/SPS/R/46, paras. 22-23 )
Number of times subsequently raised: 3
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/IDN/24
Products covered: 07 Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers; 08 Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons; 0808 Apples, pears and quinces, fresh.; 0809 Apricots, cherries, peaches (including nectarines), plums and sloes, fresh.
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: International Standards / Harmonization; Plant health; Risk assessment; Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization
Status: Partially resolved
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 2006, the United States expressed concerns regarding Indonesia's Decree 37 implemented in March 2006, which established new phytosanitary requirements on fruit imports that failed to recognize fruit fly free areas in the United States. For decades, US fruits originating from pest-free areas had been shipped to Indonesia without any quarantine incidence. The new measure had resulted in US fresh fruit being subjected to unwarranted pest treatment before being exported to Indonesia. The United States noted that the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) guidelines used by the United States were recognized by their trading partners worldwide, but Indonesia had failed to amend its assessment of the fruit fly status in the United States even after the United States had extensively communicated and provided Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture with the information requested. The measures imposed by Indonesia for quarantine fruit flies were overly restrictive and scientifically unjustified and had impacted exports of eleven types of US fruits, including apples and grapes. The United States requested Indonesia to allow the entry of US grapes accompanied by a Federal phytosanitary certificate and additional documentation attesting that the grapes were grown in a fruit fly-free area.
Australia shared the concerns of the United States and indicated that it was working directly with Indonesia and hoped to resolve the issue in the near future.
Indonesia reported that the issue had been discussed with the United States in a bilateral meeting. Based on their discussion, Indonesia was confident that the matter would be resolved amicably in the near future. Indonesia indicated that it was to send an expert team to do an on-site inspection of a Mediterranean fruit fly-free area for grapes in the State of California. Indonesia needed further information on the sites to be visited, including the production area of grapes in specific sites in California, substantial geographical information, a list of registered grape growers in the production area of California, information on surface processing, packaging and storage facilities, and the procedure of phytosanitary certification. Indonesia reiterated its commitment to resolving the matter as early as possible and in a mutually beneficial manner.
In February 2007, the United States reported that the concerns regarding Indonesia's Decree 37 had been only partially resolved, but a complete resolution was within grasp. The measure affected US exports of 11 horticultural products. The United States considered that Indonesia imposed excessive phytosanitary requirements in relation to pests that posed no phytosanitary risks to Indonesia because they could not become established.
Indonesia indicated that it would follow-up on this matter bilaterally with the United States.
In June 2007, the United States indicated that the measure continued to affect US exports of apples, pears and cherries from various states. In May, Indonesia had hosted a meeting of technical experts to consider whether the pests at issue could in fact become established in Indonesia. The United States considered that this disruption of trade should never have occurred, and looked for a rapid resolution of the problem.
Indonesia clarified that it prohibited the importation of fruit and vegetables only from countries which had fruit flies that did not exist in Indonesia and which could cause damage if introduced. The products must come from pest-free areas in accordance with ISPM 26, or else the fruits and vegetables must undergo suitable treatment. Indonesia had transmitted to the United States the list of fruit flies that were present in the United States but not present in Indonesia. Indonesian authorities had conducted on-site inspection in the United States to verify the Mediterranean fruit fly free areas, and although the situation was encouraging, Indonesia considered that grape imports posed too high a risk. Furthermore, apple maggots did not exist in Indonesia, and as the United States could not meet the requirements of a pest-free area according to ISPM 26, apples had to be treated by vapour heat treatment, cold treatment or fumigation. Trapping had shown that apple maggots were still present in pest-free areas of the United States. Contrary to US arguments, apple maggots could become established in Indonesia since apples were produced at high altitudes with cool climates. Indonesia was looking forward to receiving further technical information from the United States, and to continuing bilateral efforts to resolve this concern.
In October 2007, the United States reported that while exports of apples, pears and cherries had resumed, Indonesia required treatment for pests that did not exist in the exporting regions, or which could not become established in Indonesian territory. The United States was still waiting for Indonesia to provide a written response to the information that the United States had presented during and after a technical meeting in May 2007, and trusted that Indonesia would continue the technical discussions to resolve the issue.
Indonesia noted that it had provided clarifications regarding this issue in previous Committee meetings. The United States and Indonesia had held a bilateral meeting just previous to the meeting and had seriously discussed this issue. Indonesia had agreed to follow up with further communication with the United States.