The Commission welcomes the recent move by the US to recognise the EU regionalisation system put in place to contain the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), a disease affecting pigs and wild boar.
The Commission welcomes the recent decision by the US to recognise the EU regionalisation system to control animal diseases. This recognition will help to avoid trade disruptions in the event of an outbreak of a disease. Trade in pork products between the EU and the US was valued at approximately €335 million, in 2014 alone.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety said: "This significant move reflects the confidence of the United States, one of our major trading partners, in our robust system to control animal diseases. It comes at a time when pig farmers across the EU face particular difficulties. It is of crucial importance that unjustified restrictions on imports of European pork are lifted".
In the US Federal Register notice, the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recognises any EU region that the EU or any EU Member State has placed under restriction because of ASF. In so doing, the US APHIS recognises the EU as a single entity with a single animal health legislation, veterinary oversight and disease control programmes. The significance of this notice is that, rather than carrying out its own assessment, the US will accept EU decisions regarding regions affected by ASF.
Prior to this notice, the US restricted or prohibited imports of pork and pork products from regions where ASF existed. Such regions were listed on the APHIS website individually. The new rule means that from now on the list will simply refer to any restricted zone in the EU, as established by the EU.
Tuesday, 20 October 2015/ EC/ European Union.