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Food and Feed Safety (17-01-2011)

EU updates list of imports of plant origin subject to reinforced border checks

Controls performed at European Union borders on the basis of a recently applied regulation continue to deliver results and, as a consequence, the EU is removing some products from, while adding others to, the list of imports of plant origin that are subject to an increased level of official controls at national level.

In particular, because of the satisfactory results reported by Member States following the three first quarters of the application of Regulation (EC) No. 669/2009, mangoes from the Dominican Republic, trace elements from China and groundnuts and derived products from Vietnamwill be de-listed from the regulation's Annex I.

Furthermore, after careful evaluation of the latest scientific information available to the Commission's services, groundnuts and derived products from South Africa for the possible presence of aflatoxins and okra from India for pesticide residues will be listed.

Finally, the testing frequency currently applicable to chilli products and red palm oil for Sudan dyes will be lowered from 20% to 10% in light of their improved level of compliance with EU requirements.

The Commission presented a proposal to amend the annex at the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) on 12 January, which endorsed the recommendations.

The amendments to Annex I are now subject to the scrutiny of the European Parliament. Following that, the increased checks should apply to the newly listed imports as of April 1, while de-listings and lowering of frequency should be effective at an earlier stage.

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