Food Law News - EU - 2005

Commission Midday Express (EXME05/5.4), 5 April 2005

HYGIENE - EU-Canada veterinary agreement paves the way for more trade

The European Commission yesterday adopted a decision on new simplified import rules for pork products and bovine semen from Canada . The EU and Canada have recently made significant advances under the EU-Canada Veterinary Agreement (agreement on sanitary measures to protect public and animal health in respect of trade in live animals and animal products, signed in 1998). For the first time ever, the two trading partners have agreed to mutually recognise the production standards of the other by virtue of the establishment of equivalence agreements. Based on this, both sides have adopted simplified import certificates for these products, which will reduce production, inspection and certification costs and should increase trade. A new simplified listing procedure has created much shorter time frames for authorising EU establishments for export to Canada.

The EU and Canada are now working on equivalence arrangements for dairy products, fisheries and live bivalve molluscs like mussels and clams. On the basis of the EU-Canada Veterinary Agreement regionalisation measures are taken, which make it possible for both sides to limit import restrictions to the regions affected by a disease outbreak. The EU's Health and Consumer Protection Directorate (SANCO) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which are responsible for the implementation and administration of the EU-Canada Veterinary Agreement have also concluded an arrangement on sharing non public information in order to facilitate a rapid response in situations where there is a risk to human, animal or plant health.

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