Customs or health authorities refusing to import food of animal origin? There are numerous food and animal health rules that must be followed in order for the authorities to authorise the import of food.
Each consignment of meat and other products of animal origin from third countries must be accompanied by a so-called veterinary certificate. The veterinary certificate must be issued before loading by an official veterinarian designated by the competent authority of the third country of dispatch. The aim is to ensure that the export of live animals or animal products does not spread animal diseases or pose a health risk to the consumer.
Food of animal origin
All food of animal origin must meet various requirements. This applies to food law requirements as well as to animal health requirements. A so-called Common Health Entry Document (GGED-P) must therefore be presented to customs upon import. This applies in particular to
- the import of beef,
- the import of hare meat,
- the import of poultrymeat,
- the import of game meat,
- the import of eggs,
- the import of milk,
- the import of bivalve molluscs
- the import of fish
- as well as the import of the products made from them,
- the import of honey,
- the import of frogs’ legs
Customs, in cooperation with the health authorities, carry out official controls on all consignments of animal origin. These controls include
- documentary checks,
- identity checks and
- product testing
The customs authorities will check all certificates, official attestations and commercial documents to ensure that they have been issued by the competent authorities.
If the authority finds any errors, the goods are officially seized. Within 60 day, the importer must then
- destroy the consignment,
- return the consignment to another destination outside the EU (e.g. the country of origin or a third country), provided that the authority there is informed of the reason why the EU has banned the import
- give special treatment to the consignment
Special: Import of honey
Consignments of honey intended for human consumption can only be imported into the EU if they come from countries listed in Decision 2011/163/EU. This is because, under the Residues Control Directive 96/23/EC, residue control had to be ensured in the exporting countries. Decision 2011/163/EU clarifies which control systems are recognised by which countries for which products. If the relevant importing country is not mentioned there, the import of honey is not allowed. Honey covers all products listed in Annex II, Part IX, point 1 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013.