Aflatoxins are genotoxic carcinogens. Levels of this natural occurring contaminant are controlled in imported food and feed.
Commission Implementing Retained Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 sets out a control regime for food and feed from certain third countries. Some of these relate to the risk of contamination by mycotoxins, including aflatoxins.
The law requires that all controlled imports in Annex II of retained CIR 2019/1793 are accompanied by:
Consignments not accompanied by the specified documents must be returned to the country of origin or destroyed.
Samples will be taken in accordance with the requirements of legislation to ensure that food and feed comply with the limits of contamination specified in the relevant regulations.
There are several problems that have been identified as causing issues with controlled imports. These requirements are specified in the law and will result in the refusal of the consignment.
The law specifies that health certificates are only valid for 4 months from the date of issue, and that the consignment code must be shown on the packaging and must match that shown on the health certificate and results of sampling and analysis.
If a specified product (non-animal origin) requires an official certificate and the results of sampling and analysis, each lot number must have a separate certificate and test report which are specific to each lot. If more than one lot number is declared on the documents then the product will remain on Port Health hold at the Port until replacement original documents are received.
Advice from the Food Standards Agency is that controls apply on the products imported, regardless of the CN code used for tariff purposes. The risk to public health is dependent on the level of any contaminants present in the product, and this does not change with different CN code.
The consignment must not be removed from the port until the checks have been completed; consignments leaving the port are considered to be an illegal import and must be re-exported or destroyed.