STC Number - 405

China's import restrictions due to Schmallenberg virus

Maintained by: China
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2016 G/SPS/R/82 paras. 3.7-3.8
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; International Standards / Harmonization; Risk assessment
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2016, the European Union stated that since 2012 China had suspended imports of bovine semen and other genetic material from ruminants from EU member States affected by Schmallenberg virus. The ban was initially temporary but remained presently in effect. The European Union considered the ban overly restrictive and claimed China was not respecting its obligations under the SPS Agreement. The disease was not listed by the OIE and therefore should not fall under any trade regulatory frameworks. The European Union had informed China of the disease situation, including conducting risk assessment missions in several EU member States, answering questionnaires and organizing technical committees with Chinese experts. The European Union welcomed China's commitment to conduct a fourth expert mission. The European Union remained open to working with China to resolve this issue without further delay.

China stated its concerns over this disease. Its measures were based on the field risk assessments conducted in several EU member States and the technical seminars held with experts. China had determined that the virus could be spread through insects and transferred by sperm; thus the disease could not be regionalized. China affirmed that its measures were based on science and complied with the SPS Agreement. China looked forward to further technical exchange with the European Union to reach consensus on Schmallenberg virus control and resume trade as soon as possible.