Written QeA to EU Commission – CETA provisional application?

Question for written answer to the Commission
Dietmar Köster (S&D) – 16th February 2015

Subject:  ‘Provisional application’ of the CETA

Many ordinary Europeans are concerned about the implications of the CETA and TTIP free trade agreements.

It recently emerged that as a result of a ‘provisional application’ decision by the European Council sections of the CETA will become binding under international law even though they have not been approved by the parliaments of the EU Member States.

1. Which sections of the agreement are involved?

2. Do these include the provisions on ISDS?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission – 27th April 2015

Article 218(5) of the TFEU attributes to the Council the possibility to decide on the provisional application of international agreements to be concluded by the Union.

For the time being, none of the provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada are being provisionally applied as the text of the agreement is being legally revised.

The Council will take a decision on the signature of CETA on the basis of a proposal from the Commission and, if warranted, will also decide on its provisional application.

It is important to note in this context that Commissioner Malmström has declared in writing to the INTA Committee that, ‘(e)ven if the power to decide on provisional application lies with the Council, (…) I am ready, when proposing decisions to sign politically important trade agreements which fall under my responsibility, to ask the Council to delay provisional application until the European Parliament has given its consent’. It is also to be noted that, in recent years, several important trade agreements were provisionally applied only after the European Parliament had given its consent.

(Source: EU Parliament)

Food recalls in EU – Week 12/2015

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:

– Additives and flavorings/Allergens: undeclared sulphite (1260 mg/kg – ppm) in candy preserved tamarind from Thailand, following an official control on the market. Notified by Denmark, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland;

– Biotoxins: Diarrhoeic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins (200 µg/kg – ppb) in mussels (Mytilus edulis) from Ireland, following an official control on the market. Notified by Ireland, distributed also to France.

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

None

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Additives and flavorings/Allergens: undeclared sulphite (34 mg/kg – ppm) in blueberry jam from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Italy;

– Biocontaminants: atropine (0.304 mg/kg – ppm) and scopolamine (0.358 mg/kg – ppm) in millet dumplings from Hungary, following an official control on the market. Notified by Austria;

– Biocontaminants: atropine (0.481 mg/kg – ppm) and scopolamine (0.533 mg/kg – ppm) in millet dumplings from Hungary, following an official control on the market. Notified by Austria;

– Heavy metals: mercury (2.5 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen swordfish from Spain, following an official control on the market. Notified by Belgium;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (B1 = 12; Tot. = 18 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted chopped hazelnuts from Turkey, following an official control on the market. Notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Estonia, Iceland and Switzerland;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins (Tot. = 9.4 µg/kg – ppb) in dried white beans from Turkey, following an official control on the market. Notified by Germany, distributed also to Netherlands;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in turmeric powder (Curcuma longa) from India, following an official control on the market. Notified from Netherlands, distributed also to Germany;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in raw milk camembert from Belgium, with raw material from France, following company’s own check. Notified by Belgium, distributed also to Netherlands.

4. Seizures:

None

5. Border rejections:

  • absence of health certificate(s) for melon seeds from Nigeria
  • acetamiprid (0.12 mg/kg – ppm) and imidacloprid (0.16 mg/kg – ppm) in tea from Morocco
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 74 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from Brazil
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 135.39; Tot. = 187.54 / B1 = 125.13; Tot. = 188.18 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from Iran, via Turkey
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 95.7; Tot. = 113 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from Iran
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 19.4; Tot. = 21.7 / B1 = 16.2; Tot. = 22.1 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachio nuts from Turkey
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 4.5 µg/kg – ppb) in blanched peanut kernels from China
  • ethion (0.047 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance carbaryl (0.056 mg/kg – ppm) in chili peppers from Thailand
  • fipronil (0.011 mg/kg – ppm) in yardlong beans from the Dominican Republic
  • formetanate (1.074 mg/kg – ppm) in sweet peppers from Turkey
  • groundnuts in shell from Egypt infested with insects
  • imidacloprid (0.19 mg/kg – ppm) in tea from Morocco
  • iprodione (0.12 mg/kg – ppm) and unauthorised substance carbendazim (0.22 mg/kg – ppm) in dragon fruit from Vietnam
  • irradiation in an unauthorised facility of ground nutmeg kosher from India, via Israel
  • poor temperature control (-8.0; -7.8; -8.8 °C) of frozen octopus (Octopus spp) from India
  • prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) nitrofurazone (SEM) (1.54 µg/kg – ppb) in casings from Turkey
  • Salmonella spp. (presence /25g) in frozen chicken meat preparations (Gallus domesticus) from Brazil and in frozen salted chicken breast fillets and boneless skinless legs from Brazil
  • unauthorised substance 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in food supplement from China
  • unauthorised substance anthraquinone (0.18 mg/kg – ppm) in green tea from China
  • unauthorised substance carbendazim (0.490 mg/kg – ppm) in oranges from Turkey
  • unsuitable organoleptic characteristics and poor hygienic state of chilled white grouper (Epinephelus aeneus) from Senegal