16/01/19: EU tightens import rules for some fruits, vegetables, nuts

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. The latest full list can be found here.

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 per cent, while the figure is 5 per cent 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 per cent while the figure is 20 per cent 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.

All peppers from Egypt, non-sweet peppers from India and Pakistan, all peppers from Sri Lanka, and hazelnuts from Georgia have had the frequency of identity and physical checks increased. The existing entry on hazelnuts from Georgia has been changed to include flour, meal and powder of hazelnuts and hazelnuts, otherwise prepared or preserved.

Peppers from Egypt and non-sweet peppers from India and Pakistan will be subject to a checking frequency for pesticide residues of 20 per cent, which is up from 10 per cent. Peppers from Sri Lanka have had the checking frequency for aflatoxin increased from 20 per cent to 50 per cent.

The products from Georgia will be subject to an increased checking frequency for aflatoxin of 50 per cent, up from 20 per cent.

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 the shell, shelled or roasted from the United States are checked at a frequency of 10 per cent for aflatoxin and frozen raspberries from Serbia are checked for norovirus at the same frequency.

Coriander leaves, basil, mint, parsley, okra and non-sweet peppers from Vietnam are checked at a frequency of 50 per cent for pesticide residues. Sweet peppers, pomegranates and lemons from Turkey are checked for pesticide residues, dried grapes for ochratoxin A and dried apricots for sulfites.

Palm oil from Ghana is checked for Sudan dyes at a frequency of 50 per cent and turnips from Lebanon for Rhodamine B at the same frequency.

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