FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
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The EU's Common Market Organization for Fishery and Aquaculture Products is an integral part of the Common Fisheries Policy with the following objectives:
Establish marketing standards (quality, packaging and labeling)
EU Import Policy
In April 2004, the EU adopted the so-called “hygiene package” laying down new general rules for the production of all food and specific rules for products of animal origin, including fishery products and bivalve mollusks. Imported products must comply with the new rules that entered into force on January 1, 2006.
Third countries from which the EU authorizes imports of fishery products and bivalve mollusks are classified into two categories. The first category consists of the so-called “fully-harmonized” countries that have been audited by an EU inspection team and for which a specific decision has been taken under Council Directives 91/492/EEC (directive on production standards for mollusks) and 91/493/EEC (directive on production standards for fishery products). The second category consists of “pre-listed” countries whose control systems have not yet been inspected by the EU.
The U.S. is included in the list of "fully-harmonized" countries for imports into the EU of fishery products (Commission Decision 2006/200/EC). For imports of bivalve mollusks, the U.S. is included in the "pre-listed" category because it has not yet been audited by an EU inspection team.
Although Directives 91/492/EEC and 91/493/EEC on the health conditions and placing on the market of live bivalve mollusks and fishery products have been repealed by the EU’s new hygiene rules, certain implementing rules adopted on the basis of these directives still apply. Article 4, point 3 of Directive 2004/41/EC allows the continuation of certain provisions pending the adoption of the necessary provisions established by the new hygiene rules.
Exporting countries must have a competent authority that is responsible for official controls throughout the production chain. Imports of seafood into the EU are subject to official certification based on the EU’s recognition of the third country’s competent authority. In the U.S., both the Food and Drug Administration (until June 17, 2009) and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (National Marine Fisheries Service) have the authority to issue health certificates. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (National Marine Fisheries Service) and the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service have the authority to issue animal health certificates. Each shipment must be accompanied by a certificate using the model provided by:
1) For fishery products of aquaculture origin either intended for retail, providing they comply with the rules applying to packaging and labeling laid down in Regulation 853/2004: Consignments shall be accompanied by the public health attestation defined in Commission Decision 2006/199/EC laying down specific conditions for imports of fishery products from the United States of America.
2) For fishery products of
aquaculture origin when originating from fish and crustaceans, other than
those mentioned in paragraph 1 above: Consignments shall be accompanied:
3) For fishery products other than those mentioned in paragraph 1 and 2 above: Consignments shall be accompanied by the public health attestation defined in Commission Decision 2006/199/EC laying down specific conditions for imports of fishery products from the United States of America.
4) For processed bivalve molluscs
belonging to the species Acanthocardia Tuberculatum: Consignments
shall be accompanied:
5) For live bivalve molluscs,
echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods intended for retail, providing
they comply with the rules applying to packaging and labeling laid down in
6) For live bivalve molluscs,
echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods intended for human consumption,
other than those mentioned in paragraph 5 above:
7) For molluscs, their eggs and
gametes for further growth, fattening, relaying :
8) For live fish, their eggs and
gametes intended for farming, and live fish of aquaculture origin:
The European Commission has published a working document "Guidelines for the interpretation of Decisions 2003/804/EC (mollusks) and 2003/858/EC (fish) on harmonized certificates for the import of aquaculture animals from third countries" (January 11, 2005).
Imports of fishery products from
third countries must enter the EU via an approved
Border Inspection Post.
as amended, lays down principles for veterinary checks on products of animal
origin imported from third countries. Inspections of consignments include:
documentary check (health certificates), identity check (visual inspection
to ensure consistency between certificates and product) and physical check
(inspection of the product itself).
Commission Regulation 136/2004 lays down procedures for veterinary
checks at Community border inspection posts on products imported from third
countries. Non-complying products will either be destroyed or,
under certain conditions, re-dispatched within 60 days. The EU’s new
regulation on food and feed controls,
Regulation 882/2004, supplements Directive 97/78/EC and requires
additional official controls to verify compliance with aspects of food law
that are not covered by Directive 97/78/EC. For more information see
E34023 “Food and Feed Controls”.
Detailed information on the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, import requirements, labeling, certification, tariffs and trade is provided in the USEU Annual Fishery Products Report and in the Exporter Guide "How to export seafood to the EU" (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
Other FAS reports:
Eco-Labeling Schemes for Fisheries Products
(GAIN Report E35221-November
European Commission -
Maritime Affairs & Fisheries DG
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