STC Number - 383

China's measures on bovine meat

Maintained by: China
Raised by: India
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2015 G/SPS/R/78 paras. 3.2-3.3
Dates subsequently raised: July 2015 (G/SPS/R/79 paras. 3.35-3.36)
March 2016 (G/SPS/R/82 paras. 3.48-3.49)
Number of times subsequently raised: 2
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; International Standards / Harmonization; Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2015, India raised its concerns about China's import ban on bovine meat due to the prevalence of FMD in India. The ban had first been imposed by China in 1990 because of the incidence of rinderpest and FMD in India. Despite India being declared free from rinderpest in 1995 through an OIE resolution, China had not accepted India's rinderpest-free status until 2012. With regard to FMD, India had informed the Chinese authorities about the implementation of a strong FMD control programme through vaccinations that had created FMD-free areas, from where bovine meat was exported to various countries. China had signed a veterinary protocol for import of bovine meat from India in May 2013; nonetheless a visit for inspections of meat processing plants by the Chinese authorities from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) was still pending. India also noted that all the information requested by AQSIQ had been provided to the Chinese authorities. India therefore requested China to carry out the required inspections at the earliest so that trade in bovine meat could restart smoothly.

China noted that a questionnaire had been required to lift the ban and that the first expert panel meeting had been convened in December 2013. However, since the department of Agriculture of India had not sent any experts to the meeting, technical exchange on prevention and control of FMD could not be conducted. Furthermore, the technical data requested by China had not been provided until July 2014. And were currently being assessed. China would hold the second expert panel meeting in December 2015 in view of lifting the ban and hoped that the Indian Department of Agriculture would assign a contact person for technical issues to ensure smooth communication.

In July 2015, India recalled its concern about China's import ban on buffalo meat and the various exchanges of FMD-related information that had taken place since 2013. India had implemented the OIE recommendations, in particular on importation from FMD free countries or zones where vaccination is practised (Chapter 8.5, Article 8.5.23), and was exporting frozen buffalo meat to several WTO Members.

China confirmed that the import ban on Indian artiodactyla and artiodactyla products was due to FMD concerns and recalled that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed by both parties in May 2013. It had received supplementary materials on India's disease status in March 2015, which were being reviewed in preparation of a field visit to India.

In March 2016, India reiterated its concern regarding China's measures on bovine meat. In October 2015, a Chinese AQSIQ delegation had visited India and had concluded that India did not meet the OIE guidelines for FMD management. India reported that as per the OIE guidelines, India's FMD programme had been recognized as a controlled programme and that India had been advised to de-mark FMD-free regions and seek corresponding OIE certificates. On the basis of being recognized as having a controlled programme for FMD, India requested China to consider the same and allow market access of bovine meat to China.

China explained that it attached great importance to Indian buffalo meat exports to China. However, China's field investigation on Indian FMD prevention and control systems had concluded that FMD still existed in India and had pointed to inefficiencies present in the system. China further explained that according to Chinese experts, India did not meet the requirements of OIE recognized FMD free status. Therefore, China notified the result of the assessment to India on 12 January 2016 and suggested that India carry out regionalization management in accordance with OIE standards. China invited India to re-apply after obtaining OIE recognition.