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Food and Feed Safety (10-12-2012)

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

Controls performed at European Union borders on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 continue to deliver results and, as a consequence, the EU is adjusting the intensity of controls for some products, while adding others to the list of feed and food of non-animal origin that are subject to an increased level of official controls by national competent authorities at the border. As a result of the improved level of compliance with the applicable EU requirements, the control frequency is to be reduced for aubergines and bitter melon from Dominican Republic (from 20% to 10%), spices from India (from 20% to 10%) and Yardlong beans, aubergines and Brassica vegetables from Thailand (from 50% to 20%). Furthermore, because of the satisfactory results reported by Member States, peaches from Egypt, feed additives and premixtures from India and Capsicum annuum from Peru will be de-listed from the Regulation's Annex I.

Concerning new listings, the following are to be added to the list of food which are subject to reinforced border checks: dried vine fruit from Afghanistan (at a control frequency of 50% for the possible presence of Ochratoxin A), watermelons from Brazil (at a control frequency of 10% for the possible presence of Salmonella), strawberries from China (at a control frequency of 5% for the possible presence of Norovirus and Hepatitis A), peas and beans with pods (unshelled) from Kenya (at a control frequency of 10% for the possible presence of pesticide residues), mint from Morocco (at a control frequency of 10% for the possible presence of pesticide residues), watermelon seeds and derived products from Sierra Leone (at a control frequency of 50% for the possible presence of Aflatoxins) and certain herbs, spices and vegetables from Vietnam (at a control frequency of 20% for the possible presence of pesticide residues).

At the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) on 4 December 2012, Member States endorsed the Commission's proposal to amend the annex which reflects the abovementioned changes.

The amendments to Annex I shall apply as of 1 January 2013.

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