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SPS: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues

Title Taiwan - SPS - African Swine Fever - non recognition of EU zoning measures
Creation Date 26 Aug 2014
Last update/check 10 Feb 2016
Barrier id 145487
Sector Agriculture and Fisheries
SPS measure African Swine Fever (ASF)
Country Taiwan
Description of the measure

In February 2014 African swine fever (ASF) has been detected in wild boars in Poland and later also in some pig farms. The EU took immediate measures to restrict movements out of the well-defined infect areas and informed, in detail, trading partners on the stringent measures put in place which guarantee that safe trade can continue to take place. The EU measures have proven to be effective. However, despite that Taiwan has received all necessary, detailed information that safe trade can continue, the Competent Authority of Taiwan continues to maintain its more-than-necessary trade-restrictive measures on the whole country of Poland with a total block of imports of pigs and pig products into Taiwan.

The EU considers such country-wide bans unjustified and disproportionate as stringent measures have been put in place with well-defined infected areas (regionalisation/zoning measures) which are fully in line with the relevant international standards as laid down by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Therefore, Taiwan's overly trade restrictive measures, which do not recognise EU's regionalisation measures, are considered not in line with the WTO SPS Agreement nor with the international standards of the OIE which advocate for the least trade disruptive measures, which means in this case to only put trade restrictive measures in place on the well-defined and controlled affected zones and not on a whole country. Regionalisation/zoning measures is a concept well-laid down in international standards and also in the WTO SPS Agreement. Taiwan is not following its international obligations by not recognising the disease free areas in the EU.
 

Background

On 24 January 2014, African swine fever (ASF) has been detected in two wild boars in Lithuania close to the Belarussian border and later also in Poland and Latvia. The EU took immediate measures to restrict movements out of the well-defined infect areas. The EU is aware that outbreaks of ASF in the pig population had taken place in recent years in countries such as Georgia, (2007-2014) Russia (2007-2014) and Ukraine (2012-2014). Despite the stringent control measures put in place in a well-defined affected zone, Taiwan has put in place unjustified country-wide trade restrictions in place on pigs and pig products coming from Poland, not recognising the EU zoning measures and which are considered more trade restrictive than necessary. Indeed, the EU considers such country-wide bans unjustified and disproportionate as these are not in line with the WTO SPS Agreement nor with the international standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) which advocate for the least trade disruptive measure where WTO Members are bound to recognise the zoning measures put in place and thus not to impose country-wide bans.

Barrier Status Ongoing
Actions Taken

The European Commission continues to raise this concern with Taiwan with a view to find a rapid solution on this important matter.
 

Hs codes
  • 0103 - Live swine
  • 0203 - Meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen
  • 0206 - Edible offal of bovine animals, swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen
  • 0209 - Pig fat, free of lean meat, and poultry fat, not rendered or otherwise extracted, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine, dried or smoked
  • Documents
  • 2014 EU letter to Taiwan - African Swine fever