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Trade in seal products

This regulation bans the trade of seal products on the European Union (EU) market, harmonising national legislation in this area.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on trade in seal products.

SUMMARY

Following concerns expressed by citizens regarding seal hunting methods, this regulation harmonises existing national rules regarding the placing on the European Union (EU) market of seal products *.

The placing on the Union market of seal products is only allowed when they:

  • result from seal hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit * and other indigenous communities and contribute to their subsistence;
  • result from by-products of hunting that is regulated by national law, undertaken solely for the purpose of the sustainable management of marine resources. The placing on the market is only allowed on a non-profit basis.

The import of seal products for non-commercial reasons is allowed where it is of an occasional nature and consists exclusively of goods for the personal use of travellers or their families.

EU countries are responsible for laying down the rules on penalties for infringements of this regulation and must ensure an effective implementation of the applicable penalties.

Every four years EU countries must send a report to the Commission detailing the actions taken to implement this regulation.

Background

The regulation supplements existing EU legislation regarding the protection of seals, in particular Directive 83/129/EEC prohibiting the importation into EU countries of skins of certain seal pups.

Animal welfare protection is an objective pursued by the Commission and is the focus of a Protocol annexed to the EC Treaty (Protocol No 33), which is at the heart of the Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals for the period 2006-2010.

Key terms of the Act
  • Seal: specimens of all species of pinnipeds.
  • Seal product: all products, either processed or unprocessed, deriving or obtained from seals, including meat, oil, blubber, organs, raw fur skins and fur skins, tanned or dressed, including fur skins assembled in plates, crosses and similar forms as well as articles made from seal fur skins.
  • Inuit: indigenous members of the Inuit homeland, namely those arctic and subarctic areas where Inuit have aboriginal rights and interests, recognised by Inuit as being members of their people.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009

20.11.2009

-

OJ L 286 of 31.10.2009

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EU) No 737/2010 of 10 August 2010 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on trade in seal products [Official Journal L 216 of 17.8.2010].

Last updated: 22.02.2011

See also

  • European Commission Directorate-General Environment website dedicated to seal hunting
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