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EU wins WTO dispute on Russian pork ban

Staff Writer |
A World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel declared illegal the Russian import ban on live pigs, fresh pork and other pig products from the EU in the light of international trade rules.

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The ruling concerns a ban imposed by Russia in early 2014 because of a limited number of cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in areas in the EU close to the border with Belarus.

The panel acknowledged that Russia's refusal to accept imports of certain EU products and to adapt EU-Russia import certificates accordingly amounts to an EU-wide import ban.

This measure is not based on the relevant international standards and violates the rules of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement).

Individual Russian bans on imports from Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia received the same criticism from the panel.

The panel underlined that WTO Members can exercise their right to determine their appropriate levels of sanitary protection and to restrict imports accordingly on the basis of sanitary concerns only when this is done in line with WTO rules.

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