Commission Midday Express (MEX/13/0418), 18 April 2013
A Commission measure to revise rules on imports of food and feed originating from Japan following the Fukushima nuclear accident was today endorsed by experts meeting in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH). At the last major review of the measures in October 2012, the second growing season after the nuclear accident was still underway and so for several crops, including rice, not all data was available. Therefore, it was foreseen to carry out an intermediate review in March 2013.
Under the measure, existing restrictions for food and feed imports coming from the prefecture Fukushima are maintained whereas control measures have been slightly modified for the other 9 prefectures located in the restricted zone (Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Miyagi, Saitama, Tokyo, Iwate, Chiba and Kanagawa). For these prefectures the main changes are the delisting of products for which pre-testing is required before export to the EU including pears, pome fruit and scallops as well as adding to the list buckwheat, lotus root and beef The pre-testing of mushrooms from Nagano, Aomori and Niigata is now also required. Based on the 2013 growing season monitoring results, it is foreseen to carry out the next review of these measures shortly before 31 March 2014. EU's imports of feed and food from Japan amount to a total of approximately €216 million, which represents around 0.4% in value and less than 0.1% in volume of all its food/feed imports. For the Japanese economy, food and feed export to the EU represents only 0.3% of all exports from Japan to the EU.
The measures will be published in the second half of May 2013 following the adoption of the proposal by the Commission and are foreseen to enter into force on 1 June 2013.