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12:34 PM   August 20, 2014
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Transitional Period Runs Out For Old EU Health Certificates

By John Dawes

On July 31, 2010, the transition period allowing the use of the old certificates for ornamental aquatic animal imports into the EU ended. Exporters and importers using the old versions will no longer be able to get their shipments through customs with the old documents.

The transition period regarding the use of old certificates for imports of ornamental aquatic animals into the EU has now expired. Photo by John  Dawes
Originally, the new certificates were supposed to go into effect last year, but a series of delays have repeatedly pushed the date of implementation back. The fact that the new certificates are intended to be the only versions accepted across the EU does not mean all the outstanding problems have been ironed out, though. Of particular note is the matter of the inclusion of species susceptible to epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS). When EU authorities circulated the first drafts of the certificates, a list of supposedly EUS-susceptible genera was included, causing great concern within the industry and prompting intense consultations between trade organization representatives, who felt such a draconian step was unwarranted, and EU officials.

After several trade interventions, a moratorium was introduced to allow the issue to be investigated more thoroughly, especially since all the barbs (Puntius species), gouramis (Trichogaster and Colisa species), spiny eels (Mastacembelus species), some “sharks” (Labeo species) and all snakeheads (Channa species) were included in the list. This moratorium is due to expire on December 31, 2010, and, while progress is undoubtedly being made, we can expect things not to go fully the way of the ornamental sector. There is likely to be a significant reduction in the number of species (not genera) that will make up the final list, but there are also likely to be some unwelcome inclusions on the list.

Once the matter has been decided and implemented, changes will once more have to be made to the certificates and to the fish health directive (known as Council Directive 2006/88/EC). Textual modifications will be relatively minor, though their consequences may not be. In the meantime, all the above-mentioned genera, as well as Catla and Mugil species, will continue to enjoy the period of grace afforded by the moratorium. <HOME>


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Transitional Period Runs Out For Old EU Health Certificates

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