DS: Croatia — Measures Affecting Imports of Live Animals and Meat Products

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Complaint by Hungary.

On 9 July 2003, Hungary requested consultations with Croatia regarding certain measures taken by Croatia affecting imports of live animals and meat products.

According to Hungary, the import measure was introduced by Croatia on 5 June 2003 without notification to the SPS Committee. The measure is alleged to aim at the prevention of the spread of the BSE disease. Apart from ruminants, it applies to all other animals of any economic significance such as live pigs, poultry and fish and products thereof. The measure prohibits imports unless there is a prohibition in the exporting country on feeding animals with feed containing animal protein (fish meal is also not allowed to be used under all circumstances).

Hungary asserts that the measure introduced by Croatia is not based on any scientific principle linked to the prevention of the spread of BSE. Hungary considers that there is no scientific basis for applying such feeding requirements to animals other than ruminants. The Hungarian authorities are unaware of any case where BSE was proved to be spread through pigs, poultry or fish and meat thereof. Hungary notes that it is a BSE-free country. Hungary is also not aware of any international standard which would justify such feeding requirements. The Hungarian authorities were not informed of any risk assessment either conducted by the competent Croatian authorities.

In Hungary’s view, the measure at issue appears to be inconsistent with Croatia’s obligations under the following WTO provisions:

  • Articles XI and XX of the GATT 1994;
  • Articles 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 6.1, 6.2, 7 and Annex B of the SPS Agreement.



On 30 January 2009, Croatia and Hungary notified the DSB that they had reached a mutually agreed solution to this case in 2003.


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