What is included
Milk and milk products for human consumption include:
- raw milk
- dairy products
- colostrum-based products
General health rules for trade or introduction into the European Union (EU) of milk and milk products for human consumption
- Council Directive 2002/99/EC forms the legal basis for all animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption
- Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 and Regulation (EC) 882/2004 form the legal base for the public health rules for trade and introduction into the EU
Introduction of milk and milk products for human consumption into the EU
Harmonisation ensures that the same requirements for introduction of milk and milk products are applied in all the Member States, and prevents milk and milk products that may carry infectious diseases that are dangerous for livestock or humans from entering the EU territory.
These principles apply also to consignments which are in transit and/or temporarily stored in the EU. According to the risk they may represent such consignments are exempted from the public health requirements but must fulfill the animal health requirements.
- The non-EU country of origin must be authorised for introduction of milk and milk products into the EU
- The establishment of origin must be approved and authorised as an establishment, from which milk and milk products may be introduced into the EU
- The third country of origin must have an approved residue plan
The non-EU country must fulfill certain requirements to be authorised for the introduction of milk and milk products. The most important aspects to be evaluated before authorisation are:
- the organisation, structure, competence and empowerment of the veterinary services
- the legislation of the third country
- the non-EU country's rules on the prevention and control of animal diseases
- the health status of livestock, other domestic animals and of wildlife
- the regularity and rapidity of information on infectious animal diseases provided by the third country to the European Commission and to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
- the health requirements for the production, manufacture, handling, storage and dispatch of products of animal origin
Before a non-EU country is authorised to introduce milk and milk products into the EU, the Commission may carry out an audit to verify that all the criteria provided for under EU legislation are properly fulfilled.
Authorised third countries
Based on the principles contained in EU legislation and the results of the Commission audit, the non-EU country may be added to the list of third countries authorised for the introduction of milk and milk products into the EU, contained in Commission Regulation (EU) No 605/2010 laying down animal and public health and veterinary certification conditions for the introduction into the European Union of raw milk, dairy products, colostrum and colostrum-based products intended for humanconsumption. A non-EU country must be listed in that Regulation before exporting milk and milk products to the EU.
This Regulation contains details of animal health requirements and the appropriate veterinary certificate models required for introduction of milk and milk products into the EU.
All imports of milk and milk products into the EU must come from an approved establishment that has been authorised and listed for that purpose. The third countries are responsible to keep the lists of establishments up to date and to inform the Commission of any changes. Lists of establishments in non-EU countries that are authorised to produce fresh meat are published on the Commissions webpage.
The veterinary certificate is required to ensure that milk and milk products can be introduced safely and must accompany all consignments of milk and milk products entering the EU. The veterinary certificates for milk and milk products are laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 605/2010.
Certain public health requirements must be met. For example, a non-EU country is required to have an approved "residue" monitoring plan.
Border inspection and traceability
Milk and milk products entering the EU are inspected at an EU Border Inspection Post (BIP) - listed in Annex I to Commission Decision 2009/821/EC - where Member States' official veterinarians ensure the milk and milk products fulfills all the requirements provided for in the EU legislation. Council Directive 97/78/EC lays down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products of animal origin entering the EU from non-EU countries.
TRACES (TRAde Control and Expert System) is an informatics system managing import controls at BIPs and ensuring traceability and uniform controls within the EU.
The importers must follow the procedures laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 136/2004 before, during and after the entry of the goods of animal origin into the EU via a BIP.
For more information and guidance, please refer to International Affairs - Import Conditions.