A WTO panel today (19 August) ruled that the 2014 ban Russia enforced on all pork imports from the EU, following a small outbreak of African swine fever close to its border in Belarus, violated global trading laws.
The WTO has recommended that Russia brings its measures into conformity with its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Essentially, this means Russia will have to look at its Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) and consider lifting the ban on EU pork.
The trade ban had a far-reaching and significant impact on the EU pork industry, which lost a lucrative market worth €1.4bn ($1.55bn) before Russia shut the door on Europe.
The European Commission does not expect this measure to have a significant impact on its pork trade however. Agri-food exports are still restricted by a “politically-motivated ban” imposed by Russia, said a statement from the EC.
The report from the WTO can be appealed by Russia in the next 60 days, but if it does not appeal it, Russia will be compelled to adopt the recommendations set out by the WTO.
In April, GlobalMeatNews exclusively revealed that the WTO has secretly and internally announced its verdict on the Russia-EU trade dispute.
Read more about the EC's reaction here.