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EU proposes rules for fishery imports from Greenland

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The European Commission proposes rules for imports of fishery products from Greenland into the EU. These rules will affect fish, fishery products as well as by-products derived from these sources.

Greenland and the European Union intend to enter into a sanitary arrangement on fish, fishery products, bivalve molluscs, tunicates and echinoderms (live and not alive) for human consumption as well as by-products derived from these sources, f.x. fish meal or fish oil.

The objective of such an arrangement would be that Greenland can trade these commodities with the Union on the basis of internal market rules, provided that Greenland transposes EU sanitary and, where appropriate, animal health rules on fishery products, live bivalve molluscs and by-products derived from these sources.

As Greenland is one of the overseas countries and territories (OCT), these rules will mainly provide support to Greenland in order to promote its economic and social development and to establish close economic relations between it and the EU as a whole. They also contain provisions on trade, in particular duty free access to the EU of products originating in the OCTs. Otherwise, OCTs must - as they are not part of the single market - comply with the obligations imposed on third countries, inter alia in respect of health standards.

The appropriate legal form for the planned sanitary and animal health arrangement between the Union and Greenland relating to the import of these products is a Council Decision, which creates obligations between the Union and its Member States. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), through its Regional Veterinary and Food Control Authority in Greenland, the ‘Fodevareregion Nord’, is acting as the competent authority in Greenland in this field, and is responsible for the effective implementation of the relevant EU sanitary and animal health legislation for the products concerned.

The DVFA has provided official assurances that Greenland does comply with the rules of the relevant EU provisions, including import controls. The Council Decision is accompanied by a political statement expressed through a joint declaration by the European Union on the one hand, and the Government of Greenland and the Government of Denmark on the other, to further strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the EU and Greenland, based on broadly shared interests, to the mutual benefit of trade and to endow their mutual relations with a long term perspective.

According to the Commission's proposal Member States shall authorise imports into the European Union of the products coming from Greenland, in accordance with Union legislation on trade within the Union, unless the products do not satisfy the Union legislation concerning aminal health and food safety.

Proposal for a Council Decision laying down rules for imports into the European Union from Greenland of fishery products, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and by-products thereof

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