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 14/2015

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:

– Allergens: traces of milk in varieties of milk free milk chocolate from the United Kingdom, following a consumer complaint. Notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Denmark;

– Pesticide residues: methiocarb (2.3 mg/kg – ppm) in curly endive from Belgium, following an official control on the market. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to Germany and Luxembourg;

– Biocontaminants: atropine (4.1 <–> 384; µg/kg – ppb) and scopolamine (2.0 <–> 388 µg/kg – ppb) in millet balls from Hungary, following company’s own check. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

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

– FCM. Industrial contaminants: migration of melamine (3.7 mg/kg – ppm) from melamine chopping boards from Turkey, following an official control on the market. Notified by Greece, distributed also to Albania;

-Dried black fungus from Vietnam, via Germany, infested with insectsfollowing a consumer complaint. Notified by Denmark.

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Allergens: undeclared almond (<50 mg/kg – ppm) in paella spice mix from Spain, following company’s own check. Notified by France, distributed also to Belgium;

– Allergens: undeclared egg in cheese from Belgium, following company’s own check. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg;

– Allergens: undeclared soya (12.1 mg/kg – ppm) in Prague ham from the Czech Republic, following an official control on the market. Notified by Slovakia, distributed also to Russia;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 6; Tot. = 6.9 µg/kg – ppb) in halva from Turkey, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Netherlands;

– Biocontaminants: atropine (26 µg/kg – ppb) and scopolamine (11 µg/kg – ppb) in millet honey poppies from Germany, following an official control on the market. Notified by Austria;

– Biocontaminants: atropine (30 µg/kg – ppb) and scopolamine (24 µg/kg – ppb) in gluten free organic millet from Austria, following an official control on the market. Notified by Austria, distributed also to Slovakia;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Clostridium perfringens (5600 CFU/g) in vegan paté from Italy, following company’s own check. Notified by Italy, distributed also to Germany, Greece, Malta, San Marino, Sweden and Switzerland;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by frozen yellowfin tuna loins from Spain, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. (presence/25g) in roquefort blue cheese from raw sheep’s milk from France, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Belgium, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg and Netherlands;

– Composition: unauthorised substance gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in food supplement from the Netherlands, following a consumer complaint. Notified by Sweden.

4. Seizures:

In Switzerland we had a seizure of frozen marlin steak from Vietnam, due to the presence of heavy metals (mercury – 2.5 mg/kg – ppm)

5. Border rejections:

  • aflatoxins (B1 = 10.1; Tot. = 11.2 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts in shell, in blanched groundnuts kernels (B1 = 11.1; Tot. = 57 µg/kg – ppb), in groundnut kernels (B1 = 157.9; Tot. = 172 / B1 = 7.8; Tot. = 21.1 µg/kg – ppb), in shelled groundnuts (B1 = 4.6; Tot. = 15.6 µg/kg – ppb) and in groundnuts (B1 = 59.52; Tot. = 64.11 µg/kg – ppb) from China
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 19; Tot. = 23) in nutmeg from Indonesia
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 26.7; Tot. = 28.1 µg/kg – ppb) in chili powder, red chilli (B1 = 91.4; Tot. = 94.5 µg/kg – ppb) and in peanut butter(B1 = 7.3; Tot. = 8.4 / B1 = 3.9; Tot. = 4.6 µg/kg – ppb) from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 350; Tot. = 390 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from Iran
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 9.3; Tot. = 21.3 µg/kg – ppb) in fig paste from Turkey
  • biphenyl (4.76 mg/kg – ppm) in lemons from Turkey
  • chlorpyrifos-methyl (0.136 mg/kg – ppm) in pomegranates from Turkey
  • dead insects (21.4 %) in organic dried figs from Turkey
  • fenpropathrin (0.29 mg/kg – ppm) in dried raisins from Iran
  • fipronil (0.029 mg/kg – ppm) in peppers from the Dominican Republic
  • malathion (0.20 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance phorate (0.052 mg/kg – ppm) in pumpkin seeds from China
  • poor state of preservation of and incorrect labelling on pasteurized cherries from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in frozen poultry meat preparation from Brazil and Thailand
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in paan/betel leaves from India
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in sesame seeds from India
  • too high content (2407 mg/kg – ppm) and undeclared (2363 mg/kg – ppm) sulphites in dried apricots from Turkey
  • FCM: too high level of overall migration (13.6 mg/kg – ppm) from glassware from China
  • FCM: migration of chromium (0.3 mg/kg – ppm) from knives from China
  • FCM: migration of chromium (0.6 mg/kg – ppm), of nickel (5.3 mg/kg – ppm) and of manganese (6 mg/kg – ppm) from barbecue grills gaseous fuel from China
  • FCM: migration of manganese (1.9 mg/kg – ppm) from barbecue grids and from gas barbecue (2.4 mg/kg – ppm) from China
  • FCM: corrosion of and too high level of overall migration (1266 mg/kg – ppm) from stainless steel kitchen utensils from China unfit for use as food contact material (stainless steel AISI 201)
  • FCM: absence of certified analytical report for melamine kitchenware from China
  • unauthorised substance anthraquinone (0.049 mg/kg – ppm) in green tea from Hong Kong
  • unauthorised substance carbendazim (1.2 mg/kg – ppm) in peas from Kenya
  • unauthorised substance hexaconazole (0.021 mg/kg – ppm) in green beans from Kenya
  • unauthorised substance profenofos (0.11 mg/kg – ppm) in okra from India