STC Number - 258

Import restrictions on beef and beef products due to Blue Tongue disease

Maintained by: Unspecified
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: October 2007 G/SPS/R/46 para. 13
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally; RD/SPS/114
Products covered: 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; International Standards / Harmonization; Sufficiency of scientific evidence; Bluetongue
Status: Partially resolved
Solution: Information was received from the European Union on the partial resolution of this STC (RD/SPS/114, 29 October 2020).
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 2007, the European Communities stated that certain WTO Members were imposing unjustified import restrictions that went beyond the recommendations of the international standard-setting organizations on the basis of the presence of Blue Tongue disease. The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code contained clear recommendations regarding blue tongue disease. While WTO Members might review the import conditions for live ruminants or genetic material in light of the recent outbreaks in a limited number of EC member States, there was no scientific basis for imposing additional import restrictions on beef and beef products. According to the OIE, these products did not pose a risk from a blue tongue perspective. The European Communities was not aware of any scientific justification and urged Members not to impose import restrictions.

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 partial 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.