STC Number - 15

Zoosanitary import policies pertaining to BSE

Maintained by: Canada
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: March 1997 G/SPS/R/7 paras. 24-25
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/CAN/18 RD/SPS/114
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Human health; International Standards / Harmonization; Zoonoses; Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Status: Resolved
Solution: In October 2020, information was received from the European Union on the resolution of this STC (RD/SPS/114, 29 October 2020).
Date reported as resolved: 05/11/2020

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 1997, in the opinion to the European Communities, the policy set out in the Canadian notification on Proposed Zoosanitary Import Policies Pertaining to BSE, contained in G/SPS/N/CAN/18, went beyond what could be scientifically justified and was furthermore not in conformity with the OIE Code. The representative of the European Communities noted that: i) no distinction was made between high and low incidence countries; ii) there were provisions for whole-herd slaughter and slaughter of mother as well as of progeny despite BSE not being considered as a herd disease and unfinalized investigations on maternal transmission; and, iii) the Canadian policy required BSE to have been notifiable for six years under an active surveillance programme and that imports would be allowed only after six years of absence of the disease. Also, the proposed policy implied that Canada would not accept meat from any country which had imported meat and bone meal from a country which had a case of BSE. Under these conditions only one EC member State would qualify to export meat to Canada.

The representative of Canada regretted the confusion which the apparently conflicting dates set out in the notification might have caused. He explained that while the BSE policy was already in force, some changes were proposed and it was on these draft changes that comments were being sought. The representative of Canada stressed that during the comment period, no new border measures had been put into place. Furthermore, considering the continuing substantial discussion between the two countries, the closing date for comments (1 March 1997) would be delayed.

In November 2020, the Secretariat informed that in September 2020 it had contacted all Members who had raised specific trade concerns (STCs) that had not been discussed in the previous year, to request an update on their status. In furtherance of this request, information was received from the European Union on the resolution of this STC. The Secretariat indicated that the information received had been circulated in document RD/SPS/114 of 29 October 2020, and that the SPS IMS would be updated on this basis, using the date of the November 2020 SPS Committee meeting as the date of resolution of the relevant STCs.