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Monday, 18 June 2012

EU eases restrictions on Dominican imports

Under EU Regulation EC 669/2009, the intensity of border checks applied to fresh produce imported into the EU is determined by the degree of risk associated with the product. This is established on the basis of information from a variety of sources including RASFF notifications, reports from the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), Member States, and third countries.
In 2008 and 2010, pesticides residues were detected which exceeded permitted levels on listed vegetables imported from the Dominican Republic, namely Asian vegetables destined for niche markets in Europe. This resulted in RASFF notification alerts and prompted a series of actions. FVO visited the Dominican Republic in 2008 and 2010, providing a series of recommendations for the national authorities. At the same time border checks on fresh produce imported from the Dominican Republic were increased to a frequency of 50%. Initially this covered a range of fruit and vegetables, but later was reduced to target only listed Asian vegetables.
Such an intensity of border checks has significant implications for the export sector. It soon triggered a response by both public and private sector players in the Dominican Republic to address the FVO recommendations and to put in place measures to reduce the risk of future residue exceedences. As a result of their robust response, and in recognition of the improved level of compliance with EU pesticide maximum residue limits during 2010-2011, the control frequency for listed vegetables will now be reduced from 50% to 20% (DG SANCO news).