Written Q&A to EU Commission – Poultry imports from third countries

Question for written answer E-000386/13
to the Commission
Juozas Imbrasas (EFD)
(16 January 2013)

Subject: Poultry imports from third countries

Poultry imported into the territory of the European Union from third countries must comply with the requirements of Commission Regulation (EC) No 798/2008 of 8 August 2008, laying down a list of third countries, territories, zones or compartments from which poultry and poultry products may be imported into and transit through the Community and the veterinary certification requirements (OJ L 226, 23.8.2008 p. 1). According to Article 3 and the table in Annex I (Part I) of Regulation (EC) No 798/2008, it is prohibited to import poultry from third countries into the territory of the European Union, but it would be appropriate for poultry rearing businesses that are affected by natural conditions and geographical location to carry out initial production in third countries, such as Ukraine.

Facilities, equipment and the parent flock would be purchased there and the offspring would be brought into the EU to be further reared and sold on the local market.

Does the Commission not think that this ban on importing poultry from third countries into the territory of the European Union is disproportionate and has a negative impact on the European Union market, and that this possibly makes production more expensive and has a negative impact on the end consumer?

Does it not think that we need to change the established practice so that the producers could, having fulfilled relevant conditions, bring such poultry (offspring) into the European Union?

How can poultry farms located in third countries be included on the regulation’s list and how can we make it possible to import poultry or their offspring into the European Union?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
(27 February 2013)

EU animal health and food safety legislation on imports of animals and their products is based on the principles that those imports comply with standards equivalent to those in place within the EU and that they should be safe regardless of their origin.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 789/2008 (1) lays down the animal and public health conditions for imports of several poultry commodities including live poultry, hatching eggs, poultry meat, eggs and egg products.

The table in Part 1 of Annex I to that regulation lists all third countries from where Members States are authorised to import the commodities for which they may use the respective veterinary certificate. Imports from third countries not listed in this table are not authorised because the third country has either not requested the Commission to be listed or the EU health and food safety requirements cannot be met.

There is a well-defined procedure in place for listing third countries for imports of all or certain commodities covered by this regulation. Detailed information is available on the Commission’s website:


Most recently Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 88/2013 (2) added Ukraine in the lists of third countries from which certain meat, meat products, eggs and egg products may be introduced into the Union. Ukraine did not request to be authorised for the import into the EU of live poultry.

⋅1∙ OJ L 226, 23.8.2008.
⋅2∙ OJ L 32, 1.2.2013.


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