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Commission Decision of 9 November 2007 amending Annex II to Council Decision 79/542/EEC as regards the list of third countries and parts thereof from which imports into the Community of certain fresh meat is authorised (notified under document number C(2007) 5365) (Text with EEA relevance) (2007/736/EC)

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U.K.

Commission Decision

of 9 November 2007

amending Annex II to Council Decision 79/542/EEC as regards the list of third countries and parts thereof from which imports into the Community of certain fresh meat is authorised

(notified under document number C(2007) 5365)

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2007/736/EC)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to Council Directive 91/496/EEC of 15 July 1991 laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on animals entering the Community from third countries and amending Directives 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC and 90/675/EEC(1), and in particular Article 18(7) thereof,

Having regard to Council Directive 97/78/EC of 18 December 1997 laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries(2), and in particular Article 22(6) thereof,

Having regard to Council Directive 2002/99/EC of 16 December 2002 laying down the animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption(3), and in particular the introductory phrase of Article 8, the first subparagraph of Article 8(1) and Article 8(4) thereof,

Whereas:

(1) Part 1 of Annex II to Council Decision 79/542/EEC of 21 December 1976 drawing up a list of third countries or parts of third countries, and laying down animal and public health and veterinary certification conditions, for importation into the Community of certain live animals and their fresh meat(4) sets out a list of third countries and parts thereof from which Member States are authorised to import fresh meat of certain animals.

(2) That Annex indicates the time periods for which importation into the Community is authorised or not authorised, in relation to dates of slaughter or killing of the animals from which the meat was obtained. Those periods are indicated in order to allow the importation of fresh meat produced before the animal health restrictions were applied to certain third countries or parts thereof.

(3) However, to guarantee a high level of health protection in the Community, it is appropriate to provide that imports of fresh meat obtained in a third country from animals slaughtered on or before the date of application of restrictive measures are only allowed for a limited period of time, namely 90 days. In case of consignments certified on or before the date of application of an import ban and transported on high seas at the moment in which the ban enters into force, that period should be 40 days.

(4) The date from which imports into the Community of fresh meat from a certain third country or parts thereof are authorised, or banned, should be inserted in Annex II to Decision 79/542/EEC in order to avoid imports of fresh meat produced in a period in which an animal health risk was present in such country or part thereof.

(5) The existing indications of time periods in that Annex have also created practical problems, both as regards the Community border inspection posts when checking the health certificates for imports of such meat and for the competent services in the exporting third countries when preparing those certificates.

(6) As a consequence, in order to achieve a high level of protection of health and in order to ensure clarity, coherence and transparency as regards the list of third countries from which imports of fresh meat into the Community are authorised, it is appropriate to amend Annex II to Decision 79/542/EEC and to delete the references to those periods. In addition, entries concerning certain countries, in particular Paraguay and Brazil, should be updated.

(7) In order to allow the imports of stocks of fresh meat currently authorised to be imported into the Community from certain third countries or parts thereof under Decision 79/542/EEC, but which no longer will be authorised after the date of application of the present Decision, it is appropriate to provide for a transitional period of 90 days.

(8) Due to two outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Argentina in February 2006, Commission Decision 2006/259/EC of 27 March 2006 amending Annex II to Council Decision 79/542/EEC as regards regionalisation for Argentina and the model certificates relating to the importation of bovine fresh meat from Argentina(5) prohibited imports of de-boned and matured bovine meat from eight departments in the province of Corrientes. A recent Community inspection in Argentina showed that the current animal health restrictions in the eight departments concerned, in particular as regards foot and mouth disease, are no longer necessary. Those restrictions should therefore no longer apply to those areas of Argentina, as requested by that country.

(9) The inspection also showed that the production of de-boned and matured deer meat in Argentina fulfils the animal health requirements provided for in Decision 79/542/EEC. It is therefore appropriate to authorise imports into the Community of de-boned and matured deer meat from Argentina.

(10) Due to two outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Botswana in April 2006, Council Decision 79/542/EEC, as amended by Commission Decision 2006/463/EC(6), prohibited imports of de-boned and matured bovine meat from a part of Botswana. The documentation received from Botswana and the favourable outcome of a Community inspection carried out in that country in March 2007 show that the measures taken by Botswana have been effective in controlling and eliminating the disease. Accordingly, the current animal health restrictions in the concerned part of Botswana should no longer apply.

(11) In addition, the Community inspection considered favourably two other regions of Botswana that have been recognised by the OIE as free of FMD without vaccination. It is therefore opportune to allow these areas to export to the EU de-boned and matured bovine, ovine and farmed and wild game meat.

(12) Parts of Colombia are listed in Part 1 of Annex II to Decision 79/542/EEC as parts of a third country from which imports of fresh bovine meat into the Community are authorised. However, Colombia has not submitted any residue monitoring plan for fresh bovine meat in accordance with Commission Decision 2004/432/EC of 29 April 2004 on the approval of residue monitoring plans submitted by third countries in accordance with Council Directive 96/23/EC(7). In addition, no establishments are authorised for export of fresh meat to the Community. Therefore imports of fresh bovine meat from Colombia should no longer be authorised and the necessary amendment made to Part 1 of Annex II to Decision 79/542/EEC.

(13) In order to give the possibility to the relevant stakeholders to adapt to the new import regime it is appropriate to provide that the present Decision applies from 1 December 2007.

(14) Decision 79/542/EEC should therefore be amended accordingly.

(15) Commission Decision 96/367/EC of 13 June 1996 concerning protection measures in relation to foot-and-mouth disease in Albania(8) and Commission Decision 96/414/EC of 4 July 1996 concerning protective measures with regard to imports of animals and animal products from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia due to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease(9) are obsolete as the provisions provided for therein are now laid down in other Community acts. In the interests of clarity and legal certainty, those Decisions should be expressly repealed.

(16) The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

(1)

OJ L 268, 24.9.1991, p. 56. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/104/EC (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 352).

(2)

OJ L 24, 30.1.1998, p. 9. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/104/EC.

(4)

OJ L 146, 14.6.1979, p. 15. Decision as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 1).

(7)

OJ L 154, 30.4.2004, p. 44. Corrected version (OJ L 189, 27.5.2004, p. 33). Decision as last amended by Decision 2007/362/EC (OJ L 138, 30.5.2007, p. 18).

(8)

OJ L 145, 19.6.1996, p. 17. Decision as amended by Decision 98/373/EC (OJ L 170, 16.6.1998, p. 62).

(9)

OJ L 167, 6.7.1996, p. 58. Decision as amended by Decision 98/373/EC.

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