Warning that WTO ban ruling could take two years to implement

A warning that it could be fully two years before EU pig producers gain any real benefit from last week’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling against Russia’s pigmeat ban, has been issued by Copa and Cogeca.

“The next step of the process is implementation of the ruling in a ‘reasonable period of time’, which can take up to 15 months,” said Copa and Cogeca, commenting alongside a general welcome for the WTO decision.

“Farmers could therefore not see any benefit from this decision until a couple of years, unless an agreement is reached before then.

“We have supported the European Commission’s efforts to find a technical agreement with the Russian authorities on the EU’s export certificates and veterinary restrictions in order to allow a resumption in trade of EU fats and lard to the Russian Federation.

“In that context, we urge the EU to keep up its efforts to re-open a market that used to take a quarter of our pork exports.”

Russia used to import 24% of EU’s exports with an average annual value of about €1.4 billion before the SPS restrictions.

Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General, Pekka Pesonen, also said that the new ruling “sends a strong signal to all WTO Members that they must respect international standards”.

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