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EU tightens import rules for some fruits, vegetables and nuts

Staff Writer |
The European Commission has updated the list of imported products subject to official controls, including the frequency of checks.

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Black pepper from Brazil and crushed or ground Capsicum from China are among the items added to the legislation, which is updated every six months and already applicable. Reasons for increased official controls on certain imports of feed and food of non-animal origin include Salmonella and pesticide residues.

Occurrence and relevance of incidents noted through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), information on official controls by member states on feed and food of non-animal origin as well as biannual reports on consignments of such products submitted by EU countries to the Commission indicated the list should be amended, according to the European Commission.

For consignments of aubergines from the Dominican Republic, beans from Kenya, and non-sweet peppers from Uganda, information indicates the emergence of new risks to human health due to possible pesticide residue contamination, requiring an increased level of official control.

Aubergines from the Dominican Republic and peppers from Uganda are subject to a checking frequency of 20 percent, while the figure is 5 percent for beans from Kenya.

For black pepper from Brazil, sweet peppers from China, and sesamum seeds from Ethiopia, data indicates new risks to health due to possible Salmonella contamination requiring introduction of more stringent controls. Sesamum seeds from Ethiopia are subject to a checking frequency of 50 percent while the figure is 20 percent for black pepper from Brazil and sweet peppers from China.

Pineapples from Benin had been subject to increased controls due to pesticides but have been removed from the latest list due to a satisfactory degree of compliance with the relevant safety requirements.

A common entry document (CED) will need to be submitted on the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) for all consignments and sampling will be done in accordance with published frequencies.

Of commodities already on the list, pistachios in shell, shelled or roasted from the United States are checked at a frequency of 10 percent for aflatoxin and frozen raspberries from Serbia are checked for norovirus at the same frequency.