Food Law News - EU - 2002

FSA News Item, 12 December 2002

CONTAMINANTS - EC relaxes restrictions on some Chinese fishery imports

The European Commission has relaxed some protective measures previously imposed on imports from China of crayfish and surimi (a highly refined fish mince).

These products can now be imported into the European Union from China subject to 20% of consignments being tested for illegal veterinary medicines and pesticides.
In March 2002 imports of products of animal origin from China were suspended. This followed 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.

The Chinese authorities have since adopted a range of measures aimed at correcting the weaknesses identified. Amendments were made to this decision in June, July and September allowing the resumption of imports of certain products.

The new Commission Decision 2002/933/EC, which came into force on 2 December 2002, amending Decision 2002/69/EC, means that crayfish of the species Procambrus clarkii caught in natural fresh waters and 'surimi' obtained from fish species previously authorised can now also be imported subject to intensified monitoring and testing.

Restrictions remain in place in relation to a range of other products, notably poultry meat, rabbit meat, honey and certain fishery products.

The situation in relation to these remaining restrictions will be kept under review in the light of information and guarantees provided by the competent authorities in China and on the basis of the results of tests carried out by Member States.

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