As was widely anticipated, Russia has appealed against the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s judgement that its ban on imports of EU pig meat products was against WTO rules.
Appeals can take up to three months to complete. If the original judgement is upheld, Russia will have to remove the ban within a ‘reasonable period of time’ or face retaliatory measures.
The Russian import ban was imposed in early 2014, in response to outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Poland and the Baltic States. Although the disease has not spread beyond these countries, the Russian ban affected the whole EU.
A number of other importers have restricted shipments from the infected countries but Russia is the only major buyer to have extended the ban to the rest of the EU.
The ban covers not just fresh/frozen pork, which is further restricted by the wider political ban imposed later in 2014, but also other uncooked pig meat products, including offals and fats.
The latter, in particular, had a significant impact on the EU pig market, due to the lack of alternative buyers. The value of EU fat exports fell by €237 million between 2013 and 2015, a loss of nearly one euro for every pig slaughtered.
Read more on the WTO ruling, here.