STC Number - 14

Restrictions on imported wheat

Maintained by: Brazil
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: March 1997 G/SPS/R/7 paras. 16-17
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/265 G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.1
Products covered: 1101 Wheat or meslin flour.
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Plant health; Risk assessment; International Standards / Harmonization
Status: Resolved
Solution: In July 2001, the representative of the United States informed that, following extensive technical consultation with the United States, Brazil had issued new import instructions in early 2001 that allowed import of certain classes of US wheat (G/SPS/GEN/265).
Date reported as resolved: 01/07/2001

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 1997, according to the representative of the United States, Brazil had implemented restrictions on imports of wheat intended to prevent the establishment in Brazil of the fungustilletia controversa (TCK bunt or Dwarf bunt). However, a 1996 bilateral agreement between the two countries was based on the understanding that the fungus in question could not be established in Brazil, and the United States was not aware of scientific evidence that might alter this conclusion. The representative of the United States stressed that although his authorities could comply with the Brazilian requirements as such, they were concerned with the nature and substance of those requirements.

The representative of Brazil noted that as a result of harmonization efforts being carried out by Mercosur, Brazil had implemented new legislation on risk assessment and risk management for several products. As an integral part of the new legislation on pest control, a certificate of origin was currently required for wheat, in order to assert that the product originated in a pest-free zone. The representative of Brazil noted that extensive bilateral negotiations had been held with the United States since 1995, and that derogations from the Brazilian law had been granted on more than one occasion, but had recently not been extended. She stressed that the Brazilian plant health regulation was in full compliance with the relevant WTO Agreements. Furthermore, scientific consultations between Brazilian and US experts had yet to produce a final report on the risk posed by tilletia controversa and tilletia indica (Karnal bunt). Neither did the bilateral protocol preclude Brazil from applying its internal legislation and requiring the aforementioned certificate of origin.

In July 2001, the representative of the United States introduced an update to the Secretariat document on specific trade concerns (G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.1). The United States had examined the issues it had raised in the Committee to determine whether the issues had been resolved. This exercise had shown that the SPS Committee was a useful forum to address and resolve trade issues. The US document presented the US view on the status of the relevant issues, and the United States was prepared to discuss other Members' views on this status.