September 23, 2003



E.U. Likely To Remove Ban On Filipino Aquaculture


A month after being imposed, a temporary ban by the 15-nation European Union is likely to be lifted on the import of aquaculture products like prawns, milkfish and tilapia from the Philippines.


Citing the reason, Ambassador Jan de Kok, head of the delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, said that the Comission was satisfied with Filipino reports on efforts to monitor and prevent infection of aquaculture products.


"Contrary to earlier reports, the Commission now considers information from the Philippine government on monitoring residues in aquaculture products adequate enough to enable it to propose relisting the Philippines as a country eligible for aquaculture exports," de Kok stressed.


A proposal was submitted to reengage Philippines' aquaculture produce, in a meeting of the E.U. Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health on September 16 and 17. He added that the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines should be able to submit its proposal before the Standing Committee convenes next month for the approved monitoring report on Philippine aquaculture exports to be looked into in October.


"Only after the Standing Committee has given its agreement to the proposal by the Commission can the Philippine be considered compliant on this matter," he clarified.


Insufficient information from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Philippines and uncertainty surrounding aquaculture imports caused a temporary EU ban on the produce. The Philippines has also subsequently not adhered to deadlines set for the submission, after failing to submit the monitoring report March of last year.
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