September 28, 2016
Russia appeals WTO ruling against EU pork imports ban
Russia has formally appealed the World Trade Organisation's ruling that its import ban on EU live pigs, fresh pork and other pig products imposed in early 2014 is against international trade rules.
The WTO-declared illegal ban was imposed as a result of what the EU claimed was a limited number of cases of African swine fever (ASF) in areas in the EU close to the border with Belarus.
Sergey Dankvert, the head of the Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service (Rosselkhoznadzor), slammed the WTO's decision as "purely political", according to a report by globalmeatnews.com.
The WTO is expected to decide on Russia's appeal, which was filed last Friday, September 23, within the next three months, as provided for by the body's rules.
If the appeal is rejected, the trade bans will be invalidated and Russia may negotiate a timeframe for compliance.
Most of the products dealt with in this case, however, continues to be restricted in connection with a politically motivated ban imposed on EU agri-food products by Russia in August 2014. However, the EC had noted that the WTO's ruling was of systemic importance, since it reminds Russia about its "international obligations and the fact that these cannot be arbitrarily ignored".