STC Number - 156

Notifications G/SPS/N/BRA/74 and G/SPS/N/BRA/75 on BSE-related measures

Maintained by: Brazil
Raised by: Canada
Supported by: United States of America
First date raised: April 2003 G/SPS/R/29 paras. 91-93
Dates subsequently raised: June 2003 (G/SPS/R/30 para. 163)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/BRA/74 G/SPS/N/BRA/75
Products covered: 0102 Live bovine animals.; 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Human health; International Standards / Harmonization; Risk assessment; Zoonoses; Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Status: Resolved
Solution: In September 2004, Canada informed the Secretariat that the issue had been resolved with Brazil.
Date reported as resolved: 01/09/2004

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In April 2003, the representative of Canada expressed concerns over the way in which Brazil applied the European Communities' geographical BSE risk (GBR) system as the basis for classifying countries according to their BSE risk. He had previously described Canada's concerns with respect to the GBR rating system. Canada requested that Brazil conducts its own BSE risk analysis and classification of Canada. To that end, Canada had sent a copy of its BSE risk assessment to the Brazilian authorities for their consideration.

The representative of the United States noted that it shared the concerns of Canada. He drew the attention of Brazil to Chapter 2.3.13 of the OIE International Health Code which established criteria for the determination of BSE risk of a country or region. The United States met the OIE criteria for a country free of BSE and had completed a risk assessment on all the factors for BSE occurrence. Active surveillance for BSE continued at levels far exceeding those of the international standard and a strong BSE awareness programme had been developed for veterinarians, farmers and others working with ruminants. The OIE Code recognized that certain tissues could be traded if they originated in countries, such as the United States, which were free of BSE. The United States also questioned Brazil's use of the EC risk assessment classifications and noted that the European Communities had stated that its risk assessment classification system was not meant to serve as an international standard. On this basis, the United States believed that any measures against its exports of cattle, beef or any other products because of BSE were unjustified and not consistent with WTO obligations.

The representative of Brazil noted that human health concerns were at the root of the measures which referred to international standards from OIE and the EC classification system. Thus far, Brazil had not been able to conduct a risk assessment for all countries and the provision of Canada's risk assessment would assist the Brazilian authorities in this regard. Brazil would take into consideration decisions reached at the OIE International Committee meeting in May 2003 when reviewing its measures.

In June 2003, the representative of Brazil reported that it had now notified six regulations relating to BSE. Canada expressed appreciation for Brazil's notifications of its measures.