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Panel Report regarding Dispute “Russian Federation – Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and other Pig Products from the European Union”

23.08.16

The WTO has circulated the panel report in DS475 “Russian Federation – Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and other Pig Products from the European Union”. The Russian Federation is a respondent to the complaint of the EU regarding the measures on the importation of said products from the EU Member-states due to African Swine Fever outbreaks in the EU.

The dispute concerned several issues, connected with risk assessment, regionalization and justification of import restrictions.

Brussels’s claims regarding Russia’s alleged failure to take into account economic factors, lack of transparency in implementing its measures as well as claims that the measures exceed the appropriate level of protection have been declined by the panel. The panel also acknowledged recognition by the Russian Federation of regionalization mechanisms.

The panel also acknowledged the credibility of Russia’s factual data on the significant threat  of the African Swine Fever in  the EU territory. Lack of preliminary risk assessment, however, impeded drawing a positive conclusion in favor of the respondent. The panel report contains a recommendation to carry out this procedure.

Russia welcomes the panel’s conclusion on the conformity with the WTO SPS Agreement of Russia’s prohibition of pork imports from Latvia.

At the same time there are several instances where the panel has found some inconsistencies of Russia’s measures with the international standards, particularly of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health). The problematic aspects were also identified in respect of the bilateral arrangement of the Russian Federation and the EU on the veterinary certificate that to the panel’s point of view results in the EU-wide ban.

The Russian Federation does not agree with the latter conclusions. They are neither just nor justified. There is a number of reasons to appeal such conclusions. The respective decision will be taken, according to the WTO procedural terms, in the coming weeks.

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