New enforcement directive will enter into effect on 14 December 2019 and TRACES declarations will be obligatory
The new control directive involving food and feed safety/plant and animal health (Regulation (EU) 2017/625) will enter into force 14 December 2019. As for Finnish Customs, the directive will introduce the most significant changes to the procedures for importation and physical checks of products that are covered by plant health legislation or subject to the EU’s intensified controls.
After December 14, the importation of foodstuffs and food contact materials subject to intensified EU controls, as well as vegetables, fruits and berries subject to plant health legislation, same as live animals and foodstuffs of animal origin, as well as plants, cut flowers and timber is possible only through border control points (BCP) approved for the said product categories. At the moment, we know for certain that such approved border control points for products under intensified controls, as well as fruits, vegetables and berries are Helsinki Airport, Vuosaari Harbour and Vaalimaa. Animals could be imported via Vaalimaa and Helsinki Airport, and it would also be possible to import products of animal origin via Vuosaari. Approved border control points will be assigned also for plants intended for planting, cut flowers and timber.
We are currently assessing the need for border control stations for example in western Finland.
The physical checks of the products (identity checks, plant health inspections and sampling) can be performed either at approved border control posts (BCP) or at other approved control points (CP). For example, warehouses operated by importers or forwarders that meet the requirements set out in regulations can serve as other control points. CP status can be applied for from Customs via the electronic Webropol questionnaire tool. You should fill in the questionnaire by 15 September 2019 if you wish to ensure that the products mentioned in this questionnaire can be moved for control to the required warehouse in time as the new Official Control Regulation enters into force on 14 December 2019.
Organic products will be covered by the new control directive as of 1 January 2021.
Declarations to become mandatory in the TRACES system
It has been obligatory to declare animals and foodstuffs of animal origin in the TRACES system, and now the same requirement concerns also plants and plant products that require a plant health certificate, as well as foodstuffs and food contact materials of non-animal origin that are subject to intensified import controls. More information on the TRACES system is available on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.
The new list of goods that require a phytosanitary certificate can be found in its entirety, in Finnish, on the Finnish Food Authority’s webpage (PDF). You will still need to check for possible import bans in the Finnish Food Authority’s Guide to Import Bans. In the coming days, we will publish up-to-date instructions on the tulli.fi website, and we will inform customers about the changes taking place in December during the autumn.
More information: yritysneuvonta.lupa-asiakkaat(at)tulli.fi