Port Health Update - EC Law - Rice and Rice Products from China

27th-Feb

Port Health Update - EC Law - Rice and Rice Products from China

Updated Information since January:

Change to analytical fee
Unfortunately the analysis required under the legislation is more extensive than our laboratory first anticipated and as a result the analytical charge that is actually being incurred is significantly higher than first indicated. 

Under cost recovery provisions of this legislation this charge has to be passed on. As the new analytical charge is now £1200 per lot contact will be made with the importer/ agent before the sample is taken to confirm that they wish to continue. If you are willing to accept the charge then you may wish to include a note to this effect with your documentation when it is submitted.

Concerns over this increase has been raised as a point of concern with the central competent authority (the FSA) to advise the European Commission of the significant trade implications.

New format documents
We are aware that there are issues obtaining the new health certificate and analytical report in the required format. However, there is no indication from the European Commission that the transitional period is to be extended.

You are reminded that consignments which leave China from the 1st February must be accompanied by these new documents. Consignments without these documents cannot be imported.

Background

In 2008 Commission Decision 2008/289/EC was put in place to control the importation of rice and rice products from China. This was as a result of concerns about contamination with the unauthorised genetically modified organism (GMO) Bt63.

Since 2008 consignments have continued to be identified that contain Bt63 and other unauthorised GMOs. As a result, the European Commission has put in place increased controls. The new EU law Commission Implementing Decision 2011/884/EU comes into force on the 12 January 2012 and protects consumers by controlling the importation of rice and rice products manufactured from material contaminated with genetically modified organisms. As well as extending the range of GMOs that are controlled, the new law the range of products that are covered has also been extended to include biscuits and some other snacks. A full list of all the products by CN code that are covered can be found below.

Controls
The Decision sets out import conditions for all imports of rice and products containing rice from China.  The draft conditions are that:-
  • consignments must be pre-notified to, and imported through, a Designated Point of Entry (DPE).  Felixstowe is a DPE and a pre-notification form is available
  • the pre-notification must include confirmation of the intended use i.e. food or fee
  • each lot must be accompanied by an analytical report and a health certificate. There are specified formats for the documents in the Decision and the analytical report must be issued by an AQSIQ designated laboratory
  • consignments not accompanied by the required documents must be destroyed or re-dispatched
  • every consignment accompanied by the correct documents will then be sampled and tested at import
  • every consignment must have a code (lot number) on the packaging which is referred to on the health certificate
  • all costs for the port health checks will be recoverable
  • Products shipped from Hong Kong but containing rice of Chinese origin will be covered

Transitional Controls
For consignments arriving after the 12 January 2012, the Decision allows for the import of products not accompanied by the required health certificate and/or analytical reports provided that the following conditions are met:-
  • the consignment must have left China prior to 1 February 2012
  • Port Health must undertake sampling and analysis at import, and all results must be satisfactory
  • all costs for the port health checks are recoverable

Products Not Containing Rice

Consignments that Port Health suspect may contain rice or rice products will be detained based on the description shown on the Destin8 manifest i.e. there is not a detailed description of the goods or Country of Origin available. In order to prove the nature and origin of the consignment a copy of the commercial documents will need to be submitted.

Where there are composite products from China, that we suspect contains rice, details of the ingredients will also be requested. (If you think that this information will be requested it is quicker to provide it with the commercial documents).

Where a product is being imported that is not a rice product, to speed up the release process, the importer can make a statement detailing the consignment and confirming that it does not contain, consist of or is not produced from rice. A declaration form is available through our website. Information from manufacturers in support of this statement may still be requested. Port Health may also randomly select consignments for examination to confirm the accuracy of such statements.

Release

All sampled consignments will remain on Port Health hold until satisfactory results are received.  Product found contaminated with GM material will be rejected from import into the EU and must either be re-dispatched or destroyed.

CN codes

 Product CN Code
 Rice in the husk (‘paddy’ or rough) 1006 10
 Husked (brown) rice 1006 20
 Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed 1006 30
 Broken rice 1006 40 00
 Rice flour 1102 90 50
 Rice groats and meal 1103 19 50
 Rice pellets 1103 20 50
 Flaked rice grains 1104 19 91
 Rolled or flaked cereal grains (excluding grains of oats, wheat, rye, maize and barley, and flaked rice) 1104 19 99
 Rice starch 1108 19 10
 Preparations for infant use, put up for retail sale 1901 10 00
 Uncooked pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared, containing eggs 1902 11 00
 Uncooked pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared, not containing eggs 1902 19
 Stuffed pasta, whether or not cooked or otherwise prepared 1902 20
 Other pasta (other than uncooked pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared, and other than stuffed pasta, whether or not cooked or otherwise prepared) 1902 30
 Prepared foods obtained by swelling or roasting cereals or cereal products, obtained from rice 1904 10 30
 Preparations of the muesli-type based on unroasted cereal flakes 1904 20 10
 Prepared foods obtained from unroasted cereal flakes or from mixtures of unroasted cereal flakes and roasted cereal flakes or swelled cereals, obtained from rice excluding preparations of the muesli-type on the basis of unroasted cereal flakes) 1904 20 95
 Rice, pre-cooked or otherwise prepared, not elsewhere specified or included (excluding flour, groats and meal, food preparations obtained by swelling or roasting or from unroasted cereal flakes or from mixtures of unroasted cereal flakes and roasted cereal flakes or swelled cereals) 1904 90 10
 Ricepaper ex 1905 90 20
 Biscuits 1905 90 45
 Extruded or expanded products, savoury or salted 1905 90 55
 Bran, sharps and other residues, whether or not in the form of pellets, derived from the sifting, milling or other working of rice with a starch content not exceeding 35 % by weight 2302 40 02
 Bran, sharps and other residues, whether or not in the form of pellets, derived from the sifting, milling or other working of rice other than with a starch content not exceeding 35 % by weight 2302 40 08
 Peptones and their derivatives; other protein substances and their derivatives, not elsewhere specified or included; hide powder, whether or not chromed 3504 00 00

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Hong Kong covered? Goods shipped from Hong Kong where the rice originates in China is covered, however, goods from Hong Kong where the rice is from other origins are not.

2. Will the requirements for security features that relate to the Bt63 certificates apply? (The security features were introduced to prevent counterfeit documents being produced. Examples of these features are text and fibres that fluoresce under UV light and shading that prevents photocopying). It is not clear whether the security features will be required on the new health certificates - clarification is awaited from the Food Standards Agency.

3. My product has only a tiny amount of rice in it, will the new law apply? There is no minimum percentage of rice in a product below which the law does not apply. The CN code should be used to determine whether the product is covered by the law.

4. How do I pre-notify of the arrival of my consignment? For the interim there is a pre-notification form available through our website, which can be submitted by fax or email. Longer term arrangements are that this will be online through www.philis.co.uk

5. What law applies to consignments arriving before the 12 January? The existing Bt63 law continues to apply.
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