Brussels, 17 December 2002
Import of almost all fish products from China now authorised
The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) voted in favour of a European Commission proposal to allow the resumption of imports of all fishery products from China with the exception of aquaculture products, eels and shrimps (with the exception of shrimps caught in the Atlantic). The proposal will now be formally adopted by the Commission and will enter into force shortly.
Following the detection of residues of prohibited veterinary drugs in certain aquaculture and fishery products imported from China, and shortcomings identified during a Commission inspection visit to China, imports of products of animal origin from China were suspended in March this year (IP/02/143). The decision is regularly reviewed in the light of further information and guarantees provided by the Chinese authorities.
A range of measures aimed at correcting the identified weaknesses have in the meantime been adopted. These measures together with guarantees provided by the Chinese authorities as regards the control and the production conditions of wild caught fish, resulted in the gradual lifting of the import restrictions for certain fishery products (see IP/02/693, IP/02/1351 and IP/02/1711).
In view of the more recent information provided by Chinese authorities, fishery products obtained by other means than aquaculture should be authorised. However, for eels and shrimps, the distinction between aquaculture and wild catches is not possible for the time being, except for catches of shrimps made in the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, the import of those products should remain prohibited.
Restrictions also remain in place on a range of other products, notably poultry meat, rabbit meat and honey. 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 of China and on the basis of the results of the tests carried out by Member States.