Containers of 180 to 200 pineapple, cassava and soybeans from Costa Rica and Colombia have been blocked in the southern Spanish port of Algiers due to adjustments in the use of EU rules on health and phytosanitary regulations. One of those rules is the European Parliament Regulation 1333/2008 on food additives.
Above all, the European Commission demanded that restrictions on these products be strengthened to see if they comply effectively with EU regulations. New procedures were developed for this purpose, but the strict interpretation of EU regulations on coatings by the Food Safety Service for imported goods from the port of Algiers led to the rejection of many containers. Currently the situation in the southern Spanish port is chaotic and there is difficulty in enforcing the cold chain.
“Overnight, we had to announce whether there was an inclusion in the product or not, and if so, whether the new product modules contained the associated technical sheets,” said Luis Ramos of Partida Logistics, a customs broker and logistics operator. “The first thing we did was to inform our export and import customers about the situation, but we were not instructed by the Department of Food Safety on what documents to submit or how to resolve the situation,” he adds.
It refers primarily to a type of paraffin used to protect cassava and a wax to protect pineapples, but they are not approved by the European Union. “We are confused because we have been talking about Central and South American companies exporting these products to the EU for many years.”
In order not to violate Regulation 1333/2008, a ban was imposed on notifying customers and figuring out what documents should be included first or what needs to be done to resolve the issue. “A few days later, the Deputy Director General of the Food Safety Service presented us with a two-month deadline, but the European Commission did not appear to approve it. It appears that the products are not registered in the EU, but that they have no explanation for products that are harmful to public health or any other reference. Not available. “
This uncertainty leads to the diversion of some of the affected containers to other European ports, especially the port of Rotterdam, while the goods from other containers are destroyed.
“The Food Safety Service’s letter clarifies which documents we should submit subject to the inspector’s requirements. But how can we apply a regulation if we do not know the inspector’s requirements? It is nothing more than a synchronization. Ramos continues.
“These will have an unprecedented impact on exporters and importers at the port of Algiers.