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Food Safety

Health - Regulatory Committees - Standing Veterinary Committee 

Short report of the meeting (2000/16) held in Brussels on 23 May 2000

President: Mr. Eric Poudelet

All the Member States were represented.

1. Information on a veterinary mission to Germany concerning the implementation of Article 3 and annex i of Commission Decision 98/653/EC as amended - presentation of the mission report (doc. Sanco/1164/2000)

The point was withdrawn from the agenda.

2. Information on a veterinary mission to The Netherlands concerning certain protective measures against BSE and scrapie and in particular the implementation of Commission Decision 98/272/EC - presentation of the mission report (doc. Sanco/1232/99)

The Commission presented the mission report and reported on the main findings. The objectives of the mission were to verify compliance with

- Commission Decision 98/272/EC (on epidemio-surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies);

- Commission Decision 98/703/EC (scrapie eradication programme);

- with respect to tracebility of animals in the context of TSE measures, implementation of Council Regulation 820/97/EC (establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products) and compliance with Council Directive 92/102/EEC (on the identification and registration of animals);

- Commission Directive 97/47/EC (labelling of feeding stuffs comprising protein derived from mammalian tissue);

- Commission Decision 94/381/EC (feed-ban);

- Commission Directive 98/88/EC (establishing guidelines for the microscopic identification and estimation of constituents of animal origin for the official control of feeding stuffs) where appropriate.

The Commission presented the conclusions and formulated a number of recommendations.

3. Information on a veterinary mission to Belgium concerning certain protective measures against BSE and scrapie and in particular the implementation of Commission Decision 98/272/EC - presentation of the mission report (doc. Sanco/1229/99)

The Commission presented the mission report and reported on the main findings. The objectives of the mission were to verify compliance with

- Commission Decision 98/272/EC (on epidemio-surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies);

- Commission Decision 98/703/EC (scrapie eradication programme);

- Council Regulation 820/97/EC (on the identification and registration of animals);

- Commission Directive 97/47/EC (labelling of feeding stuffs comprising protein derived from mammalian tissue);

- Commission Decision 94/381/EC (feed-ban);

- Commission Directive 98/88/EC (establishing guidelines for the microscopic identification and estimation of constituents of animal origin for the official control of feeding stuffs) where appropriate;

- Commission Decision 97/735/EC (trade on certain types of mammalian animal waste.

The Commission presented the conclusions and formulated a number of recommendations.

4. Situation and follow-up of the Member States' and Third Countries residue plans 2000 and results of residue plans 1999

The Commission informed the Member States about the situation and follow-up as regards the submission of the residue monitoring plans 2000 and the results of the 1999 residue plans. All the Member States had presented their plans for 2000. Three Member States had not yet submitted the results of their 1999-plans.

As regards third countries, the residue monitoring plans and information received was being assessed and the list of third countries authorised to export to the EU would be established accordingly.

5. Report of 1998 residue monitoring results in food from animal origin in the Member States according to Council Directive 96/23/ EC 1 (doc. Sanco/1123/2000)

The Commission presented the report of 1998 residue monitoring results in food from animal origin in the Member States. The aim of the report was to highlight some general conclusions on the main positive results found following the enforcement of the residue monitoring plans in Member States during 1998. The Member States agreed to start the procedure for publication of these results as from 01.06.2000, time until each Member State would be given the opportunity to check the exactness of the data.

Several Member States expressed the need for harmonisation of the presentation of the residue monitoring results. The Commission acknowledged the Member States' concern and said that an ad hoc working group had been set up.

6. Information about a mission to Bulgaria from 21/02/00 to 25/02/00 for the purpose of assessing the residue monitoring system for food of animal origin (doc. DG(sanco)/1037/2000)

The Commission presented the mission report and reported on the main findings. The objective of the mission was to carry out an assessment of the residue monitoring system in food of animal origin, in the light of the current Community legislation on the issue.

The Commission presented the conclusions and formulated a number of recommendations.

7. U.S.A. - information on developments

The Commission gave un update on the current situation and distributed copies of the exchange of correspondence with the US authourities.

The US are proceeding with the validation of methods of the Maxxam laboratory. This corroboration has to be completed by 30.09.2000 as the contract with the Dutch laboratory (RIKILT) expires on that date.

The Commission also indicated that, although the US had not taken on board all the remarks regarding the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programme, considerable improvements could be noted.

8. From Australia: information in response to Commission correspondence and/or two-monthly progress report in relation to implementation follow-up (fresh meat)

Postponed.

9. Conclusions of the 3 rd meeting of the CRL-NRLS held on 15-17 March 2000 (doc. Sanco/932/2000)

The Commission distributed the document and requested the Member States to forward their comments.

10. Information about the hepatitis a situation in Spain following the comsumption of donax clams

Spain informed the Member States about the notification of a further case of contamination with hepatitis A after eating clams from Peru. The shellfish seemed to have originated in the same establishment as the ones causing the previous outbreaks of hepatitis in Valencia. Analyses were carried out but the results were not available yet.

The Commission announced that it would carry out enquiries via the Peruvian embassy, asking to introduce measures. The Commission also proposed to await confirmation of the results of analyses carried out in Spain before taking Community measures.

11. Information - list of Icelandic establishments and vessels (doc. Sanco/1470/2000)

The Commission distributed the above list of establishments.

12. Information from the Commission on the list of Third Countries' establishments authorised to export gelatine intended for human consumption to the European Community

The Commission informed the Member States about the progress concerning the list of third country establishments authorised to export gelatine intended for human consumption to the EC. A letter was sent to all the third countries on the list for export of fresh meat. This letter included a request to provide a list of establishments producing gelatine for human consumption and guarantees from the competent authorities that these establishments comply with the Community requirements.

13. Radioactivity - information on the implementation of the "post-chernobyl" regulation and the monitoring of radioactivity carried out by the Member States on food of animal origin

The Commission provided information regarding implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 616/2000 2 and in particular concerning interpretation of the implementation rules in Member States for radioactivity monitoring on food of animal origin.

14. Information on a mission carried out in Turkey from 3 to 7 April 2000 in order to evaluate the conditions of production and placing on the market of milk and milk-based products exported to the European Union - presentation of the mission report (doc. DG (Sanco)/1069/2000)

The Commission presented the mission report and reported on the main findings. The objective of the mission was to carry out an evaluation of the performance of the official services in Turkey to guarantee that the health rules for the production and placing on the market of milk and milk-based products intended for export to the EU are at least equivalent to those laid down in Council Directive 92/46/EEC 3 .

The Commission presented the conclusions and formulated a number of recommendations.

15. Information on a mission carried out in Poland from 31 January to 4 February, 2000 concerning the production and export to the European Union of game and rabbit meat - presentation of the mission report (doc. DG(Sanco)/1018/2000)

Postponed.

16. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision drawing up a list of establishments in India from which the Member States authorise imports of egg products for human consumption (doc. Sanco/918/2000-rev.1)

The draft Decision proposed a list of establishments in India approved for the export of egg products intended for human consumption to the Community. The list forwarded by the Indian authorities was accompanied with guarantees that fully meet the Community health requirements.

The Member States questioned the effectiveness of the applied heat treatment: heating under 70°C is insufficient as regards salmonella and the animal health risk for contamination with Newcastle disease persists.

The vote was postponed.

17. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Directive amending Directive 89/362/EC on general conditions of hygiene in milk production holdings.(doc. Sanco/3154/2000-rev.2)

Fully automated milking systems have been developed. These systems allow the animals to be milked without a physical intervention of the farmer. Current hygiene measures are based upon the traditional systems of milking with a lot of manual input and impose a check of the appearance of the milk by the milker. The purpose of the present draft Commission Directive is to ensure that the milk obtained with these automatic systems is of an appropriate hygienic quality.

The discussion revealed that certain differences in interpretations needed clarification and that some linguistic problems had to be resolved. The deadline for the Member States' interventions was set at 01.06.2000.

The vote was postponed.

18. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 97/365/EC on drawing up provisional lists of Third Country establishments from which the Member States authorise imports of products prepared from meat of bovine animals, swine, equidae and sheep and goats (doc Sanco/1100/2000)

The Commission proposed to lay down a provisional list of establishments in Slovakia authorised to export meat products prepared from meat of bovine animals, swine, equidae and sheep and goats.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

19. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 97/467/EC on drawing up provisional lists of Third Country establishments from which the Member States authorise imports of rabbit meat and farmed game meat (doc. Sanco/1282/2000)

The Commission proposed to lay down a provisional list of establishments in Slovenia authorised to export rabbit meat and farmed game meat to the Community.

The vote was postponed.

20. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Decision 1999/710/EC on drawing up provisional lists of Third Country establishments from which the Member States authorise imports of minced meat and meat preparations (doc. Sanco/1127/2000)

The Commission proposed to lay down a provisional list of establishments in Romania authorised to export minced meat and meat preparations to the Community.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

21. Exchange of views on a draft Commission Decision laying down the methods of veterinary checks for products from Third Countries destined for introduction into free zones, free warehouses, customs warehouses, or operators supplying cross border means of sea transport (doc Sanco/5490/99-rev5)

The Commission distributed and presented the above proposal for study and observation. It had also already been discussed in a working group.

Directive 97/78/EC 4 allows the introduction of non-EC conforming products onto the territory of the Community provided that these are retained within certain specified warehouses and are for either eventual export to third countries or for the supply of cross border means of sea transport. The presence of these products represents an increased risk to both the animal health and public health status of the Community. These products must therefore be strictly controlled whilst they are within the Community. The Directive provides for the basic principles of the controls and for detailed rules of application to be adopted by the Commission.

The draft Decision sets down these rules of application covering documentation to be used, records that must be kept, and the checks and controls that must be carried out. The German delegation requested that the proposal be examined in a working group again as they had difficulty with the measures proposed.

The Commission indicated that a new working group was scheduled for 16/06/2000.

22. Exchange of view on draft Commission Decision amending annex ii to Council Directive 92/118/EEC laying down animal health and public health requirements governing trade and imports into the Community of products not subject to the said requirements laid down in specific community rules referred to in annex a (i) to Directive 89/662/EEC and, as regards pathogens, to Directive 90/425/EEC and amending Commission Decision 94/278/EEC drawing up a list of Third Countries from which Member States authorise imports of certain products subject to Council Directive 92/118/EEC (rules on honey) (Sanco/489/2000 - rev.1)

The Commission distributed and presented the above proposal for study and observation.

The scope of the draft Decision is to lay down the health conditions applicable to trade and import of honey intended for human consumption. These health conditions may be extended to other bee products such as royal jelly, pollen and propolis.

The proposal contained the conclusions formulated during the working group, which was held on 21.03.2000. The Commission requested the Member States to forward further comments.

23. Exchange of view on draft Commission Decision amending chapter 9 of annex i to Council Directive 92/118/EEC laying down animal health and public health requirements governing trade and imports into the Community of products not subject to the said requirements laid down in specific community rules referred to in annex a (i) to Directive 89/662/EEC and, as regards pathogens, to Directive 90/425/EEC (importation rules for rendered fats and fish oil) (Sanco/1434/2000 - former doc.vi/4889/98)

The Commission distributed and presented the above proposal for study and observation.

Chapter 9 of Annex I to Directive 92/118/EEC lays down importation requirements for lard and rendered fats. Council Decision 1999/534/EC 5 l ays down requirements for the production of rendered fat from ruminant animals. The same requirements should apply for the importation of this product into the Community. It was therefore proposed to amend the above mentioned Chapter 9.

Furthermore, it is necessary to lay down specific rules for the importation of rendered fat derived from ruminant animals which will be finally processed by a method which at least meets the standards laid down in Annex II to Council Decision 1999/534/EC. Article 8(4) of Council Directive 97/78/EC 6 establishes conditions for forwarding certain products, which are to be monitored from the border inspection post of arrival to the establishment at the place of destination.

The proposal also lays down specific animal health rules governing the importation of fish oils.

24. Exchange of view on draft Commission Decision laying down the certification or declaration for the import of rendered fats and fish oil (Sanco/1433/2000)

The Commission distributed and presented the above proposal for study and observation.

The draft Decision establishes the health certificates and declaration from the importer, which are to accompany consignments of rendered fat and fish oil intended for importation from third countries into the Community.

The Commission announced that the proposal would be presented for a technical agreement at a next SVC, before being forwarded to the WTO for comments.

25. Miscellaneous

1. Belgium distributed and presented a preliminary report on the contamination with PCBs at an animal feed manufacturing plant. The delegate concluded that the CONSUM system, the surveillance programme installed following the contamination in 1999, had made it possible to detect the contamination at an early stage. The results of the enquiry lead to conclude that the contamination was limited to one company.

2. The Netherlands inquired about the list of establishments for poultry from China. The Commission replied that it had received the list but that there were outstanding questions and that the guarantees were being assessed.

3. The Netherlands also wanted to be informed about the FVO mission programme for the 2 nd semester 2000. The Commission answered that the programme was being finalised.

4. Germany reminded the Commission about a written request to address the problem of TBT in fish and to clarify questions concerning the frequency of checks of consignments of casings at the BIPs. As regards TBT, the Commission explained that it is an anti-shellfish agent used on ship hulls. The effects on humans are not well known. Germany proposed that the Scientific Committee be consulted on the issue.

5. Germany also highlighted an error in the title of the certificate in Decision 2000/331/EC 7 (fishery products from Vietnam). The Commission said that the error would be rectified.

6. Germany insisted on updating the list of border inspection posts. The purpose was to amend the list in order to include a BIP in relation to the Expo 2000 in Hannover. The UK also wanted an update of the list. (See (11))

7. Denmark informed the Committee that Argentina had banned imports of dairy products from DK because of BSE and wanted to know if other Member States had similar problems.

8. Italy informed the Member States that it had banned, based on Article 5 of Directive 91/493/EEC 8 , the placing on the market of certain species of fish containing natural toxins (oil fish from South Africa). The Commission said that it would approach the the South African authorities for further clarification and requested Italy to provide detailed information. France asked if the list of poisonous fish should not be extended.

9. France wanted clarification about the Commission's intentions concerning illegal imports from the Ukraine in relation to the radioactivity in the region.

10. The Commission announced that the Record of Understanding on SPS measures between China and the EC had been signed (Doc. Sanco/3658/99-Rev. 5)

11. The Commission distributed a draft Decision amending Commission Decision 97/778/EEC 9 and updating the list of border inspection posts approved for veterinary checks (Doc. Sanco/1545/2000). The proposal would be presented for an opinion at the next SVC.

N.B. The proposals on which the Committee expressed an opinion are subject to a defined procedure in relation to the formal adoption by the Commission.

Mission reports are available on the Internet at the following address:

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1 Council Directive 96/23/EC of 29 April 1996 on measures to monitor certain substances and residues thereof in live animals and animal products

2 Council Regulation (EC) No 616/2000 of 20 March 2000 amending Regulation (EEC) No 737/90 on the conditions governing imports of agricultural products originating in third countries following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station

3 Council Directive 92/46/EEC of 16 June 1992 laying down the health rules for the production and placing on the market of raw milk, heat-treated milk and milk-based products

4 Council Directive 97/78/EC of 18 December 1997 laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries

5 99/534/EC: Council Decision of 19 July 1999 on measures applying to the processing of certain animal waste to protect against transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and amending Commission Decision 97/735/EC

6 Council Directive 97/78/EC of 18 December 1997 laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries

7 2000/331/EC: Commission Decision of 25 April 2000 amending Decision 1999/813/EC laying down special conditions governing imports of fishery products originating in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

8 Council Directive 91/493/EEC of 22 July 1991 laying down the health conditions for the production and the placing on the market of fishery products

9 97/778/EC: Commission Decision of 22 July 1997 drawing up a list of border inspection posts (BIPs) agreed for veterinary checks on products and animals from third countries, laying down detailed rules concerning the checks to be carried out by the experts of the Commission and repealing Decision 96/742/EC

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