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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • INTRODUCTION INTO THE COMMUNITY OF PERSONAL CONSIGNMENTS OF PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN

  • Personal goods containing meat, milk or their products brought into the EU continue to present a real threat to animal health throughout the Union. It is known, for example, that dangerous pathogens that cause animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease and classical swine fever can reside in meat, milk or their products. Therefore, pathogens could be introduced into the EU if personal goods containing meat, milk or their products are sent by post or carried in the baggage of travelers arriving from countries outside the EU, where such pathogens may be circulating.

    In order to avoid the introduction of such diseases, the Community has  had  a complete set of rules in place for many years rules regulating the imports of live animals and products of animal origin for commercial purposes. Current rules have been laid down by Commission Regulation (EC) No 206/2009. This Regulation clearly explains to the general public the rules concerning the introduction of animal products into the EU.

    The first rules for the importation of personal consignments of products of animal origin were introduced together with the publication of Commission Decision 2002/995/EC laying down provisional security measures in respect of imports of products of animal origin for individual consumption. An information campaign was also launched to raise public awareness of the new requirements.

    In view of the continuing risk of serious animal diseases being introduced into the EU via the introduction of personal consignments of meat, milk or their products, Commission Decision 2002/995/EC was, since then, updated by Commission Regulation (EC) No 745/2004.

    This regulation entered into force on 1 May 2004 and:

    -          introduced the principle that travelers are not allowed to bring in meat, milk or their products into the Community unless their goods comply with EU import rules for commercial purposes and are accompanied by appropriate certification and must enter the EU through a Border Inspection Post where checks are carried out to ensure that import conditions have been met, with the necessary official veterinary certification;

    -          continued its existing awareness campaign to warn travelers about the rules at a Border Inspection Post and assumed increased responsibility of transport operators to the passenger about personal imports before arriving in the EU;

    -          encouraged Member States to introduce effective search mechanisms of large amounts of luggage;

    -          established specific rules that allow EU Member States to impose effective and dissuasive penalties for travelers who fail to comply with existing regulations on the importation of products of animal origin for personal consumption

    -          It provided travelers with the possibility to bring in:

    -          limited quantities (up to 1 kg) of foodstuffs of animal origin, other than meat and meat products, milk and dairy products - without veterinary inspection;

    -          powdered infant milk, infant food and special foods required for medical reasons, if items do not require refrigeration prior to opening and must be in commercially branded packaging, unopened unless in current use

    -          5 kilograms max. combined total weight of meat and meat products, milk and dairy products obtained in Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Faroe Islands, and free from disease;

    -          meat and meat products, milk and dairy products obtained in Andorra, Norway and San Marino.

     

    The requirements and in particular the weight limits for the introduction of consignments of products of animal origin for personal consumption are therefore laid down in several legislative texts (Commission Regulation (EC) No 745/2004, Commission Regulation (EC) No 136/2004, Commission Decision 2007 / 275 / EC).

    To ensure that information about the requirements concerning the introduction into the Community of products of animal origin is effectively conveyed to travelers and to the general public, it is therefore appropriate to simplify and to bring together in one Regulation, the types and quantities of products of animal origin for which an exemption from the veterinary checks laid down for commercial imports may be granted.

     

    The process was finalized by the implementation of the provisions of Commission Regulation (EC) No 206/2009 of 1 May 2009, which are currently in force.

     

    This Regulation, which repeals Commission Regulation (EC) No 745/2004, intends to clearly explain to the general public the rules concerning the introduction of personal consignments of products of animal origin of a non-commercial character into the European Union, when they form part of travelers’ luggage, are dispatched as small consignments to private persons or are ordered during distance selling (mail order sales, phone or tele-sales, orders over the internet).

    In fact, animal products entering the EU with travelers or by mail still represent a real threat to animal health in the EU by introducing economically unsafe infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

    Consequently, public opinion plays a very fundamental role in securing biosecurity and protecting the Union’s  territory from the introduction of dangerous infectious diseases in the territory.

    Enforcing the rules governing the introduction of personal consignments of meat, milk or their products is vital. Provisions include:

    • The organization of controls at EU entry points to detect the presence of illegal consignments of meat, milk or their products
    • Where necessary, the deployment of appropriate detection aids such as scanning equipment and detector dogs to screen large quantities of baggage
    • The seizure and destruction of personal consignments that are found to be in breach of the rules
    • Mechanisms to ensure that those responsible for illegal consignments may be liable for costs or penalties

    In order to raise public awareness of animal health conditions regarding the introduction of personal consignments of animal products entering the EU, Member States shall ensure that at all designated points of entry into the Community the animal health conditions for imports of products of animal origin are brought to the attention of travelers arriving from third countries. The information shall include at least the information provided for in Annex III and IV, (Commission Regulation (EC) No 206/2009) displayed on prominent notices placed in easily visible locations as well as educational films, online advertising and other methods to achieve the required purpose.

     

     

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