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16 November 2020

The Philippines Lift Ban on Importing European Pork from Belgium

Brussels, 9 November 2020 – On 26 October, the Philippine Government published a memorandum order to lift the temporary ban on the importation of domestic pigs and their products from Belgium. The order took immediate effect. Just over two years after the ASF outbreak in wild boar in Belgium, the Philippines are the first major Asian market to re-open for European Pork from Belgium—a reward for Belgium’s successful ASF approach.

The Philippine Government has determined two important export conditions for Belgium, which Belgium will scrupulously respect:

  1. The meat has to come from animals that were born in an AVP-free zone or that have stayed in such a zone for at least 3 months.
  2. The animals must be slaughtered in an officially recognized slaughterhouse, where they must undergo a favourable inspection, ante- and post-mortem.

All domestic swine in the initial infected zone have been eradicated under the supervision of the Belgian Government, and the re-population of farms in this zone remains forbidden.

Full text of the Philippine Memorandum Order (official document).

Never Outbreaks in Domestic Pigs

The Philippines are the 1st major Asian country to lift the ban on importing pork from Belgium. Michael Goffin, Belgian Ambassador to the Philippines: “This is a reward for our comprehensive and successful ASF approach, in which rapid detection and rapid response have been crucial.

The Philippine ban lift is a reward for our comprehensive and successful ASF approach
– Michael Goffin

Belgium succeeded in keeping its 6.2 million domestic pigs virus-free, thanks to strict bio-security measures, thorough collaboration—on both national and European levels—and an ingenious zoning system, secured by a wild-boar-proof 300 km fencing network.

Wild boar were systematically eradicated preventively. Since October 2019, all wild boar carcasses have been virus-free, as shown by continuous testing. “Thanks to our targeted efforts, Belgium is the 1st country with a substantial pork industry to become ASF-free,” states Michael Goffin.

Continuous testing shows that all wild boar carcasses have been virus-free since October 2019 – Michael Goffin

Even with such favourable results, strict measures will remain in place in the future.

Detailed information on Belgium’s ASF approach by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain

Importance of the Philippines as Belgian Trade Partner

Before the ASF outbreak, the Philippines were Belgium’s 2nd largest pork trade partner outside the European Union, with an export volume of 12,577 tons and a value of 750 million PHP.


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