To further limit possible risks to the safety of the EU food chain, due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the EU published in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/6. The regulation reinforces controls on imports of food and feed from certain regions of Japan where production of feed and food could be affected by the accident.
From 27 March 2011, imports of all feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan can only enter the UK through specific ports and airports where official controls will be carried out. Products of animal origin can only enter through Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) and products of non-animal origin can only enter through Designated Points of Entry (DPE).
Certain measures apply to some feed and food originating in or consigned from 13 prefectures of Japan, including the four most affected by the accident. The prefectures listed in the regulation are: Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Miyagi, Chiba, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Nagano, Yamanashi, Shizuoka and Niigata. The list of applicable feeds and foods from the prefectures can be found in Annex II to the legislation.
Applicable feed and food products from these prefectures intended to be imported to the EU must be tested before leaving Japan and are subject to random testing in the EU. The exceptions are for certain personal consignments of feed and food.
The main requirements of the regulation for imports of feed and food destined for the EU are that:
- Each consignment of food or feed listed in Annex II of the legislation, from the 13 prefectures must be accompanied by a declaration – signed by the Japanese authorities, attesting that the product complies with legislation in force in Japan, as regards the maximum levels for the sum of the radionuclides: caesium-134 and caesium-137. The declarations must be accompanied by the results of analysis.
- Importers are required to notify the BIP or DPE at the port of entry two working days before the arrival of each consignment of food and feed from Japan.
- Each consignment should be identified by a code on the declaration, analytical report, common entry documents, the sanitary certificate accompanying the consignment
Identity and physical checks, including laboratory analysis, should be carried out on at 5% of the consignments of food or feed where the product originates in or is consigned from Japan.
Products that are found to exceed the maximum levels shall not be placed on the market and will either be safely disposed of or returned to Japan.