Commission Press Release (IP/02/1351), 20 September 2002
The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) voted today in favour of European Commission proposals to stop the re-enforced testing regime for antibiotic residues for certain fish products from China and the systematic testing of shrimp imported from Vietnam and Pakistan. The Committee also agreed to Commission proposals opening up the EU market for several development countries for certain food products. This demonstrates clearly that it is feasible for DCs to achieve EU sanitary standards and enter into trade with the EU: In addition, the SCFCAH voted in favour of a proposal to introduce testing for antibiotic residues in milk powder and artificial milk replacer used for animal feed imported from Ukraine and for poultry meat imported from Brazil. All proposals will now be formally adopted by the Commission and will enter into force shortly.
Following the detection of the antibiotic chloramphenicol in certain aquaculture and fishery products imported from China, and shortcomings identified during a Commission inspection visit to China, imports of products of animal origin from China were suspended in March this year (IP/02/143). At that time, the decision said that this would be reviewed in the light of further information provided by the Chinese authorities and the results from increased testing carried out by Member States on consignments arriving before 14 March. In May, (IP/02/693), in the light of information provided by the Chinese authorities, and the favourable results of the tests carried out, the imports of certain fish products, gelatine, and sausage casings were resumed, subject to increased monitoring and testing to ensure their safety.
In view of the favourable results of the test carried out on fish products during recent months, it was decided today that re-enforced testing is no longer required for whole fish, gutted and de-headed fish and fish fillets of the following species: Alaska pollack, cod and redfish, Blue Whiting, Halibut, Haddock, Herring, Yellowfin sole, Cephalopods, Plaice, Pacific salmon and fillets of salmon. Reinforced testing is maintained for sausage casings.
In March this year, following the detection of residues of the veterinary drug Nitrofuran on shrimps imported from Vietnam, systematic tests of all consignments of shrimps from Vietnam were introduced. (IP/02/436).
The decision has been reviewed in the light of guarantees provided by the Vietnamese competent authorities and on the basis of the test results. As a result, the requirement for systematic testing is discontinued.
As a result of findings of chloramphenicol residues on shrimp imported from Pakistan, systematic tests of all consignments of shrimps from Pakistan were introduced in January. The decision has been reviewed in the light of guarantees provided by the competent authorities of Pakistan and on the basis of the test results. As a result, the requirement for systematic testing is terminated.
The results of recent control checks carried out by Member States on imports from Ukraine of skimmed milk powder and artificial milk replacer made from skimmed milk powder, intended for animal feed, have revealed the presence of chloramphenicol. As a result systematic testing of consignments of these products is introduced.
The presence of nitrofurans has been detected on poultry meat imported from Brazil. As a result, systematic testing of all consignments of poultry meat and poultry products and preparations from Brazil is introduced.
Other Third Countries
The Committee decided on the result of inspection missions on the spot performed
by the Food and Veterinary Office to put Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia,
Suriname, Mozambique, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Greenland on the list of countries
authorised to export fishery products to the EC without restriction. The Committee
also agreed to authorise the imports of casings from Oman, gelatine from Canada,
wild game meat from Greenland and fishery products from Switzerland.