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IP/02/693

Brussels, 8 May 2002

Green light for import of certain products of animal origin from China

The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) voted today in favour of a Commission proposal to allow the resumption of imports of key products of animal origin from China. The main products concerned are gelatine, certain fishery products caught and packaged at sea an landed directly in the EU; whole crustaceans caught in the Atlantic Ocean packaged at sea and landed directly in the EU; whole fish, gutted and de-headed fish and fish fillets of the following species: Alaska pollack, cod and redfish. The proposal will now be formally adopted by the Commission and will enter into force shortly.

Following the detection of chloramphenicol 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). At that time the Commission said that the decision would be reviewed in the light of further information provided by the Chinese authorities, the results from increased testing carried out by member States on consignments arriving before 14 March and the results of any further Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) inspections.

In the light of information provided by the Chinese authorities, and the favourable results of the tests carried out on certain crustaceans caught in the Atlantic Ocean, on fish filets of certain fish species, and on gelatine, the Commission proposes to allow imports of these products from China to resume subject to monitoring and testing to ensure their safety. Since chloramphenicol was detected in fish fillets, 20% of consignments of whole fish, gutted and de-headed fish and fish fillets of the species Alaska pollack, cod and redfish, will, for a transitional period until 30 September, be subject to testing at EU border inspection posts. The presence of chloramphenicol has also been detected in sausage casings imported from China, imports of this product will therefore be subject to the same monitoring and 20 % testing. Restrictions remain in place in relation to a range of other products, notably poultry meat, rabbit meat, honey and certain fishery products.

The situation in relation to both this decision and 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.


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