STC Number - 55

TSE-related import restrictions of live cattle

Maintained by: Israel
Raised by: European Union
Supported by: Switzerland
First date raised: November 1998 G/SPS/R/13 paras. 35-36
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/ISR/2 G/SPS/GEN/1269
Products covered: 0102 Live bovine animals.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Food safety; Human health; International Standards / Harmonization; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Solution: In October 2013, information was received from the European Union on the resolution of this STC (G/SPS/GEN/1269) (G/SPS/R/73, par.3.59).
Date reported as resolved: 16/10/2013

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In November 1998, the representative of the European Communities, supported by Switzerland, noted that Israel categorized countries' BSE status on the basis of a number of parameters which were not further clarified, such as surveillance, import restrictions and records of BSE cases. Israel's notification did not provide sufficient information and listed a number of compulsory requirements which did not appear to be justified, but the European Communities assumed that the purpose of the measure was the protection of public and animal health from BSE. He noted that Israel was not following the OIE recommendations. The OIE Code Commission proposed that the assessment of the risk for human and animal health in countries, or regions within countries, be based on a combination of the spread of BSE and the application of measures to control risk. The OIE foresaw five different categories, listed from A to F, where the risk and incidence of BSE were considered separately and formed the basis for categorization. He questioned the basis of Israel's categorization scheme, which apparently failed to comply with Articles 2.2 and 3.1 of the SPS Agreement, and requested more information on the background of the measure and on the risk assessment. Invoking Article 5.8 of the SPS Agreement, the European Communities requested an explanation of the notified legislation, and in particular of the guidelines used by Israel for the risk assessment and the criteria used for the categorization of countries on the basis of their BSE status. The EC representative requested written responses to a number of other questions, including what information exporting countries were requested to provide and which countries, if any, had already been evaluated against this information; what was the scientific justification behind a ban on the import and use of all animal feed of mammalian meat and bone meal; what considerations had resulted in the definition of specific age limits of cattle for fattening and for slaughter; and whether these limits applied in the exporting country.

The representative of Israel requested the European Communities to provide its questions in writing for submission to his authorities.

In October 2013, the European Union reported that nine STCs had been resolved given that the measures in question were no longer considered by the European Union as barriers to trade. These were detailed in G/SPS/GEN/1269. The European Union encouraged all Members to regularly update the list of STCs previously raised in the Committee so that updated information would be reflected in the Annual Report.