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SPS: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are often necessary to protect human, animal and plant life or health, including to protect them from risks arising from imported goods. Such measures should be based on the WTO SPS Agreement, international standards, recommendations or guidelines or be based on scientific principles. However, third countries often impose unjustified SPS measures in a way that the SPS measure negatively affects the EU exports of agriculture and fishery products.

New or resolved barriers


  • Japan Lifts ban on imports of italian beef
    After 15 years, Japan lifted an embargo on Italian beef, following an earlier opening of its market to beef products from other EU Member States (France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Sweden).
    24 May 2016
  • EU obtains removal of import restrictions for spirits in Taiwan
    As of 1st May 2016, Taiwan lifted measures restricting imports of European spirits that hindered trade in the last five years. A certificate requiring a proof that Cognac does not contain plasticisers is no more required.
    24 May 2016
  • China lifts its temporary restrictions on imports of spirits
    Early 2016, after more than three years, China lifted its temporary measure on imports of spirits requiring very low maximum levels of phthalates (plasticizers). These Chinese maximum permitted levels were not based on science and were even lower than the safety maximum levels for phthalates set by China's own risk assessment and thus were an unjustified barrier to trade for EU's exports of spirits to China.
    20 May 2016