STC Number - 24

Requirements for certification of consumer rice

Maintained by: Panama
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: March 1997 G/SPS/R/7 para. 15
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/265 G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.1
Products covered: 1006 Rice.
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Plant health
Status: Resolved
Solution: In July 2001, the United States informed that Panama had removed its import restrictions on rice in late 1997 (G/SPS/GEN/265).
Date reported as resolved: 01/07/2001

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 1997, on a similar issue, the US representative informed the Committee that Panama required imports of consumer rice to be certified free from the Fungustilletia barclayana (Kernel smut). Given scientific evidence that this fungus already existed in Panama, the United States questioned the basis for such a requirement. Furthermore, the United States maintained that scientists agreed the fungus in question could not be transmitted through milled rice, which was the product affected by the restriction. Moreover, Panamanian officials had allegedly suggested that current domestic supply conditions had influenced their decisions. The representative of Panama replied that she was awaiting a report from her capital and would forward it to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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.