Veterinary Agreement to boost EU-New Zealand trade in animal products

Technical amendments to the EU-New Zealand Agreement on sanitary measures in live animals and animal products have recently been made to boost existing trade relations. This updated agreement, which has been in place since 1996, is the most advanced international bilateral agreement in the area of animal health, animal welfare and food safety systems.

Key innovative features that will lead to further trade opportunities whilst reducing costs for exporters are:

  • Enhanced equivalence provisions including EU standards for raw milk products;
  • Mutual recognition of microbiological controls and chemical testing standards for seafood;
  • Trade conditions to permit trade in certain products with agreed treatments during disease outbreaks;
  • Reduced physical inspection rates on products;
  • Resumption of fresh pig meat exports to New Zealand; and
  • Simplified certification and a move to electronic certification in 2016.

Worth €427 million in 2014, EU agricultural exports to New Zealand have increased significantly with a 20% annual average growth over the last five years. Several key commodities have also experienced high growth over recent years including pork products and cheese. New Zealand has authorised imports of high value raw milk products, such as Roquefort, Camembert and Emmental and fresh pig meat, from the EU. Both these products have significant potential for growth.  New Zealand was also the very first country in the world to re-authorise exports of EU beef following the BSE crisis.

Other important benefits of cooperation between the EU and New Zealand are:

  • The EU and New Zealand are complementary suppliers of high-quality products.  Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, their production and exports peak in a way that is counter-cyclical to EU pastoral producers.  This means products from New Zealand complement those from the EU, maintaining year round availability of certain products.
  • The EU is New Zealand’s largest source of imported goods and services.
  • Through the mutual recognition of regionalisation under the Agreement, trade in animal products such as pork to continue, despite recent EU outbreaks of African Swine Fever, from regions that remain unaffected by the disease.

These benefits bring substantial economic incentives and maintain sustainable trade flows between both parties.

For more details:

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/1084 of 18 February 2015 approving on behalf of the European Union certain amendments to Annexes II, V, VII and VIII to the Agreement between the European Community and New Zealand on sanitary measures applicable to trade in live animals and animal products (notified under document C(2015) 797), OJ L 175, 4.7.2015, p. 45–123.

(Source: DG Sante website)

Food recalls in EU – Week 18/2015

This week on the EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can find the following notifications:

1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (positive) in camembert cheese from France, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (6700 CFU/g) in raw sheep’s milk cheese from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium and United Kingdom;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Rissen (presence/25g) in organic chlorella powder from China, via the United Kingdom, following an official control on the market. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to Slovenia.

2. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:

– Residues of veterinary medicinal products: residue level above MRL for dexamethasone (>3 µg/kg – ppb) in slaughter calves from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy.

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Biotoxins: Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins (7166 µg/kg – ppb) in cockles, following an official control on the market. Notified by United Kingdom;

FCM – Composition: migration of aluminium (2.1 mg/l) from green ceramic bowls from China, via Belgium, following an official control on the market. Notified by France;

Food poisoning suspected to be caused by mussels from Spain. Notified by France;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: too high count of Escherichia coli (1300 MPN/100g) in rope mussels (Mytilus Edulis) from Ireland, following company’s own check. Notified by France;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (50 CFU/g) in raw milk cheese from France, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Italy and Netherlands.

4. Seizures:


5. Border rejections:

  • aflatoxins (B1 = 21.8; Tot. = 26.1 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachio from Iran
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 23.1; Tot. = 24.3 µg/kg – ppb) in chilly powder and in red pepper ground (Capsicum spp) (B1 = 6.181 µg/kg – ppb) from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 3.1; Tot. = 4 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnut kernels from China
  • arsenic (11.7 mg/kg – ppm) and lead (8.3 mg/kg – ppm) in, attempt to illegally import calabash chalk from Ghana
  • attempt to illegally import live oysters and mussels from Senegal
  • chlorpyrifos (0.71 mg/kg – ppm) and buprofezin (0.19 mg/kg – ppm) in Sichuan green tea from China
  • formetanate (0.274 mg/kg – ppm) in sweet peppers from Turkey
  • improper import declaration (product not heat-treated) for frozen cooked clams from Vietnam
  • FCM: migration of formaldehyde (19.7 mg/kg – ppm) from melamine kitchen and melamine plates (46.9 mg/kg – ppm) from China
  • FCM: migration of primary aromatic amines (2.02 mg/kg – ppm) from polyamide kitchenware from China
  • poor temperature control of mackerel and other fish products from India
  • prohibited substance chloramphenicol (210 µg/kg – ppb) in enzyme powder from India
  • Salmonella Kentucky (in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in hulled sesame seeds from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence), Salmonella Mbandaka (presence /25g) and Salmonella Orion (presence /25g) in sesame seeds from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in frozen meat preparations and in frozen turkey meat preparations from Brazil
  • Salmonella spp. in frozen salted chicken breast meat from Thailand
  • thiophanate-methyl (0.53 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance carbendazim (0.15 mg/kg – ppm) in fresh chilli peppers (Capsicum) from the Dominican Republic
  • unauthorised irradiation of red yeast rice extract from China
  • unauthorised substance dichlorvos (10.8 mg/kg – ppm) in dried beans from Nigeria
  • unauthorised substance tolfenpyrad (0.079 mg/kg – ppm) in green tea from China
  • unauthorised use of colour E 110 – Sunset Yellow FCF (98 mg/l) in mirinda soft drink