Brussels, 11 December 2006
Commission proposals for further post-Enlargement food safety and animal health measures for Romania and Bulgaria have been backed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. Member State veterinary experts voted in favour of transitional arrangements for Bulgarian meat and milk establishments, and an additional measure for third country products imported into Romania and Bulgaria before 1 January 2007.
Bulgarian meat and milk products
In the framework of a number of transitional measures in view of Bulgaria's accession to the EU, the Standing Committee today agreed to a proposal restricting the dispatch to other Member States of meat and milk products to those Bulgarian establishments which are currently authorised to export to the EU. A recent inspection visit to Bulgaria by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) found that certain meat and milk establishments still did not meet the necessary EU food safety standards. Therefore, as for other acceding states, a transitional period will be given to Bulgaria to upgrade its establishments to the proper standards. This transitional period will also give the authorities the opportunity to improve the traceability systems for products of animal origin. From 1 January 2007, and throughout the transitional period, any establishment fulfilling the appropriate standards will be visited by FVO inspectors and if the necessary guarantees are given, will also be allowed to dispatch its products to other Member States. During 2007, the measures and the list of establishments will be regularly reviewed.
Non-compliant imports of animal origin
Member States also agreed to an amendment to the transitional measures set out for products of animal origin from third countries introduced into Bulgaria and Romania before 1 January 2007. At the last Standing Committee meeting, it was agreed that non-compliant products introduced into Romania and Bulgaria before the date of Enlargement should only be allowed to be sold on their domestic markets (See IP/06/1641). Today, an added measure was agreed, whereby Bulgarian or Romanian establishments which are authorised to dispatch their products to other EU countries after Enlargement may not process the non-compliant imported products in question. This is to ensure that processed goods made from non-compliant animal products are not inadvertently put on the market elsewhere in the EU. As previously agreed, the transitional measures for these imports will apply until 31 December 2007, by which time the products in question should be used up or else removed from the market.