SPS: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues
|Title||UNITED STATES - Sanitary measures applied by USA for imports of live bivalve molluscs|
|Creation Date||20 Feb 2008|
|Last update/check||27 Nov 2015|
|Sector||Agriculture and Fisheries|
|SPS measure||Other SPS import restrictions|
|Country||United States of America|
|Description of the measure||
The USA requires the testing of the water in which bivalve molluscs (e.g. oysters) are reared for coliforms, whereas the European Union requires testing of the flesh of the bivalve molluscs for Escherichia coli. The European Community Reference Laboratory for monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs has studied the two approaches and has confirmed that the same level of protection is achieved.The EU claims that the two different approaches achieve the same level of protection, and therefore should be regarded as equivalent, within the framework of Article 4 of the WTO/SPS Agreement (Sanitary and Phytosanitary).
An equivalence exercise is ongoing with FDA since 2011 with the pilot Member States IRL, NL and ES and two Federal States of the US. After a paper evaluation, on-site audits were done in 2014. It is envisaged to formally agree on 'equivalence' in December 2015. Thereafter, additional Member States and Federal States may be evaluated on a faster track.