The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it lifted the temporary ban on imported poultry products from Brazil after documents provided by the Brazilian government provided sufficient evidence needed to resume exports to the Philippines.
Based on a memorandum order issued Dec. 14, 2020, the Philippines nullified Memorandum Order No. 39 Series of 2020 that subjected all Brazilian poultry exports to the Philippines to temporary ban.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar ordered the resumption of poultry imports from Brazil, in accordance with existing rules and regulations of the DA and the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Dar said Brazil proved that safety protocols adopted by the different accredited Brazilian foreign meat establishments were equivalent to the guidelines established by the Philippines relative to the mitigating measures against COVID-19 in local meat establishments.
“Based on the relevant information submitted by Brazil, there is satisfactory evidence to show that food safety measures in compliance to good manufacturing practices are primarily considered in the daily operation of FMEs,” Dar said.
Brazil earlier warned that it would file a trade complaint before the World Trade Organization over the Philippines’ “unjustified” restriction on poultry imports from the said country.
The Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil questioned the two memorandum orders issued by the Department of Agriculture restricting poultry imports from Brazil.
“Since such an unjustified and undue barrier has not been lifted so far, Brazil is determined to resort to the appropriate multilateral fora, including the filing of ‘Specific Trade Concerns’ to the detriment of the Philippines at the WTO, anchored by the guidelines recommended by that organization,” the Brazilian Embassy said in the letter.
The embassy said the Philippines was the only country to impose barriers at Brazilian products, citing COVID-19 pandemic as a motivation.
“Furthermore, considering the absence of scientific basis for such a measure, it is the understanding of Brazil that the ban on the import of Brazilian chicken meat goes against the precepts contained in Article 2 and 5 of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures,” it said.
The DA imposed the trade restrictions in August as a precautionary measure over reports that SARS-COV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, was detected on chicken wings imported from Brazil, during a screening conducted in Shenzhen, China.