Milk and Dairy
The directive on the importation of raw milk and dairy products governs the introduction of such products into the EU. Third countries wishing to export milk or dairy products to the EU must be included in a list of countries authorized to do so which are specified by regulation. Prior to being entered on the list the countries concerned must undergo an inspection by the Commission’s food and veterinary office to determine they comply with the fundamental animal and public health condition.
Animal health conditions are laid down by the directive. They embrace animal health rules governing production, processing, distribution, and the introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption. The health conditions for milk and dairy product are laid down by regulation. They cover the general rules on the hygiene of foodstuffs and more specific hygiene rule applying to certain foods of animal origin.
Third countries must in particular, comply with processing requirements. The required treatments are set out in the regulation. They must be established according to the health status of the exporting third country.
Imports of raw milk and raw milk-based dairy products are only authorized from countries with high health status. Countries with less favourable status, e.g. where vaccinated against foot and mouth disease, may only export pasteurized milk and dairy products made from pasteurized milk.
For each third country, specific processing requirements are defined in accordance with the health situation. They must be complied with when manufacturing milk or dairy products.
There is a requirement that all establishments be approved for the production of milk and dairy product. Batches of raw milk and dairy products to be imported into the EU must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the official veterinarian authority of the exporting country. Health certificates for imports of raw milk and dairy products must be provided in accordance with the annexes to the regulation.
Batches of raw milk and dairy products which are in transit or stored in EU must meet basic conditions and requirements applying to imports of raw milk and dairy products. They must be accompanied by a health certificate, in line with the model set out in the regulation. It must be certified as acceptable for transit or storage in the veterinary entry document signed by the veterinary at the border inspection post.
Milk and dairy products entering the EU are inspected at border inspection posts. Directives set out principles governing the organization of veterinary checks and products entering the EU.
There are special regulations on the import and transit of certain live ungulate animals which are susceptible to certain diseases, such as foot and mouth disease. Animals imported or transited through the EU must come from countries or regions which appear on the authorized list. It must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate. They must comply with specific animal health rules.
The Commission assisted by the standing committee on the food chain draws up a list of areas from which importations of animal are authorized. This, in particular, takes account of the
- legislation of the country concerned,
- the organization and powers of the authority and inspection services.
- the country’s health status and procedures for notifying the Commission and international organizations.
- compliance or equivalence with the EU standards
- community inspections carried out in the third country
Authorized non-EU states must guarantee that their animals have been checked by a veterinary official and comply with certain animal health conditions taking into account the species, age and use of the animal concerned.
Each consignment of animals must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate attesting that the animals concerned are hazard free and providing certain information in relation to the animals’ health and welfare.
Derogations may be permitted depending on the destination of the animals, e.g. zoos, pet animals.