STC Number - 461

Turkey's FMD-related import restrictions on live cattle

Maintained by: Turkey
Raised by: Argentina
Supported by:
First date raised: July 2019 G/SPS/R/95 paras. 4.23-4.24
Dates subsequently raised: November 2019 (G/SPS/R/97/Rev.1 paras. 3.59-3.60)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/TUR/58
Products covered: 0102 Live bovine animals.

Beef, live cattle.
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 July 2019, Argentina expressed its concern regarding Turkey's import restrictions of beef for fattening and slaughter from Argentina. Turkey's import ban was more stringent than the relevant OIE standard and did not have a scientific basis. Argentina regretted that the restrictions continued despite negotiations between their health services in 2011 and inspection visits in 2018, technical exchanges, conferences and visits. Argentina had a free zone without vaccination and a free zone with vaccination, as recognized by the OIE. Argentina pointed out that Turkey had an area recognized by the OIE in 2009 as FMD-free and an area without an official health status for FMD, and that it allowed entry of beef for fattening and slaughter from other countries, with similar sanitary conditions to Argentina. Therefore it requested that Turkey eliminate the restrictions on bovine meat from FMD-free with vaccination for live cattle areas, and to establish equitable and non-discriminatory conditions between Members with identical or similar conditions.

Turkey stated that, since 2010, it had been importing a considerable amount of live cattle from various countries which had completed the relevant approval procedures. Turkey had unfortunately faced incompliances that resulted in disease occurrences. Based on this and its legislative alignment as an EU candidate country, Turkey had adopted the relevant EU regulation, as notified in 2015 under G/SPS/N/TUR/58. The regulation entered into force with a five-year transition period for exporting countries to avoid trade disruptions. Turkey had an FMD-free zone with vaccination status since 2010, and had spent significant resources combatting FMD through vaccination, biosecurity measures, livestock movement restrictions and sampling, vaccine research and studies. Turkey clarified it was still experiencing FMD occurrences from imports, and noted that Argentinian imports had failed to meet its FMD standards. Turkey looked forward to bilateral discussions to resolve the issue.

In November 2019, Argentina reiterated its concern regarding the FMD-related restrictions maintained despite the technical information sent to Turkey. Argentina reported that the private sectors of both countries had had some exchanges with the competent authorities, but that there had been no positive result so far. Argentina urged Turkey to abide by the provisions in the SPS Agreement.

Turkey mentioned that its legislation on the matter was still in force. Turkey referred to its EU membership negotiation process and the alignment to EU regulations and restated that the details of the new legislation had been given in the previous Committee meeting.