STC Number - 150

Certification of meat and dairy products

Maintained by: Philippines
Raised by: Canada
Supported by: Australia; European Union; Korea, Republic of; New Zealand; United States of America
First date raised: November 2002 G/SPS/R/28 paras. 98-100
Dates subsequently raised: April 2003 (G/SPS/R/29 paras. 70-71)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/PHL/44
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal; 0401 Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.; 0402 Milk and cream, concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.; 0403 Buttermilk, curdled milk and cream, yogurt, kephir and other fermented or acidified milk and cream, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa.; 0405 Butter and other fats and oils derived from milk; dairy spreads.; 0406 Cheese and curd.
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures; Food safety; Human health
Status: Resolved
Solution: Implementation of MO7 deferred indefinitely
Date reported as resolved: 01/04/2003

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Canada expressed concerns about the effects of the memorandum order MO7 from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, noting that it would have serious effects upon its exports of meat and dairy products. While Canada did not quarrel with the requirement that imports be produced in plants applying HACCP procedures and that there be a certification to this effect, it was not clear whether Philippine producers were subject to similar requirements. The requirement of a third party independent certification was unwarranted and not the least trade restrictive option. Canada's governmental authority, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, was prepared to certify that exports to the Philippines had been produced in HACCP compliant plants and there was no need for additional certification by a third party. The European Communities, Australia, Korea, New Zealand and the United States shared this concern. The EC certification requirements already put a lot of emphasis on HACCP compliance. Australia felt that the Philippine's proposed measures were not in accordance with SPS obligations.
The Philippines clarified that certification of HACCP compliance by third party auditors was required in the light of several documented cases of contaminated products entering the country. The Philippines was concerned that not all shipments came from well established HACCP compliant plants. The measures were not meant to replace or duplicate the exporting country's inspection system but to complement it. The Philippines believed that appropriate and sufficient time had been provided to trading partners and foresaw no problem that trade restrictions might occur especially for countries claiming to be HACCP compliant. The Philippines indicated that HACCP was a universal guideline approved and propagated by FAO and WHO.
In April 2003, Canada reported that on 24 February 2003, the Minister of Agriculture of the Philippines had announced that implementation of Memorandum Order 7 requiring third party certification for HACCP plants had been postponed. The European Communities, New Zealand and the United States shared Canada's appreciation of this decision. The Philippines confirmed that MO7 had been deferred indefinitely.