Midday Express, 15 July 2010
Controls performed at European Union borders on the basis of a recently applied regulation have yielded already their first results and, as a consequence, the EU is removing some products from, while adding others to, the list of imports of plant origin that are subject to an increased level of official controls at national level.
In particular, because of the satisfactory results reported by Member States during the first quarter of the application of Regulation (EC) No. 669/2009, bananas from the Dominican Republic and basmati rice from India will be de-listed from the regulation's Annex I. Furthermore, after careful evaluation of the latest scientific information available to the Commission's services, herbs and spices from Thailand, paprika and chilli from Peru, curry leaves from India, noodles from China and some fruit and vegetables from Egypt are now to be included in Annex I.
The Commission presented a proposal to amend the annex at yesterday's meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), which endorsed the recommendations.
Regulation (EC) No. 669/2009 entered into force on January 25 2010. It provides for a set of common rules for official controls on imports of products of plant origin. Checks on documents accompanying the consignments are carried out systematically at EU borders, while physical checks are performed at a lower frequency. Increased checks are applied to find out the possible presence of a number of substances that may pose a risk to human and animal health, such as aflatoxins in nuts and pesticides in fruit and vegetables.
The amendments to Annex I are now subject to the scrutiny of the European Parliament. They are expected to enter into force on October 1. For more information, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/controls/increased_checks/index_en.htm