STC Number - 291

Chinese Taipei's BSE-Related Import Restrictions on Non-Ruminant Products

Maintained by: Chinese Taipei
Raised by: Canada
Supported by: European Union; United States of America
First date raised: March 2010 G/SPS/R/58 paras. 19-20
Dates subsequently raised: June 2011 (G/SPS/R/63 para. 69-72)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: Raised orally; RD/SPS/28/Rev.1
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal; 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Food safety; Human health; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Solution: Information was received from Canada on the resolution of this STC.
Date reported as resolved: 02/11/2017

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2010, Canada expressed concerns over Chinese Taipei's BSE measures. In May 2007, the OIE recognized Canada as a "controlled BSE risk" country, and in July 2007 Chinese Taipei resumed partial trade with Canada by allowing access for boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age. However, despite numerous technical discussions, an inspection visit to Canada, the completion of a risk assessment, and a formal arrangement on conditions for bone-in beef from animals under 30 months, no further market access had been granted by Chinese Taipei. In January 2010, Chinese Taipei approved an amendment to its food sanitation act banning the import of offal and certain other bovine products from countries affected by BSE. Canada was concerned about the recent amendments to Chinese Taipei's legislation, and requested that all necessary steps be taken to ensure that the import conditions by Chinese Taipei were consistent with the recommendations and guidelines provided by the OIE.

Chinese Taipei explained that the recent 16th and 17th cases of BSE in Canada necessitated a new risk assessment of bone-in beef. Pending completion of the new risk assessment, the current regulations on imports of bone-in beef from Canada would remain in force. Chinese Taipei maintained that its BSE regulation was consistent with the SPS Agreement.

In June 2011, Canada continued to be concerned regarding Chinese Taipei's BSE-related restrictions and their negative effect on the Canadian beef industry. In May 2007, the OIE officially recognized Canada as a BSE controlled risk country; this status had been reconfirmed every year and most recently at the OIE meeting in May 2011. The OIE standard recognized that all beef products from countries within this risk category were safe without age restrictions, under conditions that Canada met. Canada had regularly raised this issue bilaterally with Chinese Taipei on the margins of the Committee meetings, and had repeatedly requested that Chinese Taipei expand Canadian beef access based on the OIE standards. At several high level meetings, including the 13 June Canada-Chinese Taipei Agriculture Working Group meeting in Ottawa, Chinese Taipei had not identified any remaining technical issues for Canada to address, nor any scientific reasons for not granting expanded access. Accordingly, Canada looked forward to working with Chinese Taipei to complete the remaining steps based on science, and hoped to report at the October 2011 Committee meeting that the issue was resolved.

The United States supported the concerns of Canada. In October 2009, Chinese Taipei had agreed to provide access for all US beef and beef products, consistent with its OIE controlled risk classification. However, in January 2010 Chinese Taipei's legislature banned import of all US ground beef, offal, and certain other beef products in violation of the October 2009 bilateral protocol. This measure was unjustified and inconsistent with the SPS Agreement. Chinese Taipei should review its current measures and replace these with measures based on science, reflecting the controlled risk status the OIE has granted to both the United States and Canada.

The European Union shared the concerns raised by Canada and the United States. The European Union noted that it could not export bovine products to Chinese Taipei even though EU member States were classified by OIE as having controlled or negligible BSE risk status, while other Members with similar risk status were able to export to Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei had been provided with the details of the EU BSE control measures. Chinese Taipei was urged to bring its import conditions into line with the international standard on BSE as required under the SPS Agreement, and to allow imports of EU bovine products.

Chinese Taipei stated that risk communication was as vital as risk assessment, emphasizing that there was a need to communicate effectively with the public - including consumers, experts, academics, legislators, and any other interest groups - to alleviate their concerns and minimize the possible negative impact on trade. Chinese Taipei acknowledged Canada's BSE-controlled risk status as recognized by the OIE, but noted that because an 18th BSE case had been confirmed in Canada, the risk assessment of Canadian beef (with the updated information provided by Canada) was still under review.

In November 2017, the Secretariat informed that in September 2017 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 Canada on the resolution of this STC. The Secretariat indicated that the information received had been circulated in document RD/SPS/28 of 31 October 2017 (RD/SPS/28/Rev.1 of 19/02/2018), and that the SPS IMS would be updated on this basis, using the date of the November 2017 SPS Committee meeting as the date of resolution of the relevant STCs.