As the import ban on Brazilian chicken still in effect even after the Philippines received a request from Brazil to end it, the issue has escalated to the World Trade Organization.
The Philippines’ agriculture department said it maintains open communication with Brazil and welcomes the effort to elevate the case to WTO.
“The Philippines has always been facilitative of trade and open to discussion on trade issues which may not be acceptable to a trading partner,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
An embargo on chicken started after an alleged covid-19 positive test result from one of the chicken wings shipments to China.
“We have not yet lifted the ban on poultry, especially whole chicken, as the Brazilian government has yet to furnish the Philippines a report on the rates of SARS-COV-2 infection in their respective Foreign Meat Establishments (FME), where our imports are sourced,” said Dar.
The report forms part of the protocols of good manufacturing practices and the requirements of the DA for more in-depth risk analysis of the situation.
Import ban stays until Brazil satisfied the Philippines with evidence of compliance.
Recently, the Philippines allowed the entry of mechanically deboned meat after it received the requested documents from Brazil.
The WTO provides an avenue that allows member governments to negotiate and resolve trade issues with other members.
“We welcome continued bilateral consultations with the Brazilian government, as we have always been to discuss this matter further towards mutual resolution,” Dar concluded.
Brazil exported 63,400 tons of chicken meat to the Philippines in 2019, equivalent to 1.5% of the total exports. 43,800 tons are shipped to the Philippines in the first half of 2020, 70% higher than the same period last year.