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EU: Brazil seek WTO against export restriction on poultry meat

Minister Blairo Maggi


Brazil should appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the European Union confirms the accreditation of meat exporters of poultry to countries in the European bloc, agriculture minister Blairo Maggi said on Tuesday. the association of the meat industry.

Earlier, Maggi told reporters that the EU is planning to block exports of nine chicken meat exporting units from BRF, the world’s largest chicken exporter. He also said that the commercial block could also revoke the credentials of other Brazilian plants.

Maggi cited commercial motives for the possible European movement.

The Ministry’s statement on a recourse to the WTO was made even before a formal EU decision.

If the country were to bring the EU into the trade organization, this would not be the first time it had entered into a dispute with the Europeans in the WTO. At the beginning of the last decade, Brazil opened a panel and won a dispute over tariff ratings on salted chicken, according to ABPA, an association representing the industry.

In the morning, Maggi said he expected the European bloc to publish a final list of banned Brazilian plants on Wednesday, including BRF units, and potentially those belonging to other companies, following a planned European Commission vote on the matter.

The EU is using health concerns that have no technical basis to justify export ban on salted chicken from Brazil, Maggi said, noting that the EU would thus not comply with WTO rules by imposing such barriers on Brazilian products.

“They are taking advantage of taking us out of the market in the name of sanity, which is not true,” Maggi said.

The controversy over chicken exports from Brazil, the largest global exporter of the product, with foreign exchange generated to the country of more than 7 billion dollars in 2017, came after the Federal Police imply BRF in a new phase of the operation Carne Fraca, claiming that the company sought to circumvent food safety standards.

Brazil sold $ 317 million in fresh salted chicken to the EU last year and $ 118 million in raw chicken without salt, for which the allowable quota is 21,600 tonnes without tariffs, according to a presentation by the minister.

The Brazilian Association of Animal Proteins (ABPA) also said that certain sanitary restrictions imposed by Europeans actually constitute commercial barriers to Brazilian salted meat.

ABPA also said that it hired lawyer Ana Teresa Caetano from Veirano Advogados, based in São Paulo, to carry out preparatory studies for the panel that Brazil could move against the European Union, regarding restrictions on shipments of meat of chicken.

Ana Teresa Caetano was the lawyer who acted in the WTO case involving Brazil and the EU.

Maggi said the concern about the presence of salmonella in the block is not justified because it is possible to export cuts of chicken in natura to the countries of the European community, with a ban on only two types of the bacterium, provided that an additional fee is paid of 1,014 euros per ton.

Agricultural Defense Secretary Luis Rangel said that although the European Union has increased its poultry meat inspection to 100 percent since March last year, the alert rate on the presence of salmonella is at the same level of a year ago, when only 20 percent of the cargo was assessed.

Rangel also said that since chicken meat is not eaten raw, the presence of salmonella does not result in a risk to human health.