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||11 Jan 2013|
|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).
|Barrier Status||Monitoring solution|
The EC would like the USA to reconsider its approach and to take the necessary steps for allowing imports of EU bivalve molluscs into the USA. The issue has been repeatedly brought to the attention of the USA-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the European Commission. Imports of bivalve molluscs from the USA will continue to be allowed, on a provisional basis, until 01 July 2010. This period would allow to conclude on equivalence of the public health legislation governing the sector.