SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 018/16

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On January 8 2016, the European Commission published Regulation (EU) 2016/24 [1] to impose special conditions on the import of groundnuts from Brazil, and Capsicum annuum and nutmeg from India and Indonesia.

Regulation (EU) No. 884/2014 [2] of August 13 2014 imposed special conditions on the import of certain feeds and foods from specific third countries, due to the risk of contamination with aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are mycotoxins produced by two species of Aspergillus, a fungus which is particularly found in areas with hot and humid climates. Aflatoxins are known to be genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore exposure to them through food should be kept to a minimum. Aflatoxins can occur in foods such as groundnuts, treenuts, maize, rice, figs and other dried foods, as well as spices, crude vegetable oils and cocoa beans. They are a result of fungal contamination before and after harvest.

Official controls implemented at the EU’s borders in recent years show a high frequency of non-compliance with the maximum permitted levels of aflatoxins in groundnuts from Brazil, Capsicum annuum and nutmeg from India and from Indonesia. After several years of increased control, there has been no improvement of the situation. In order to protect human and animal health within the EU it is therefore necessary to request additional guarantees for these products, when they originate from Brazil, India and Indonesia.

Regulation (EU) No. 884/2104, amended by Regulation (EU) 2016/24, means that all consignments of groundnuts from Brazil, Capsicum annuum from India and nutmeg from India and Indonesia entering the EU must be accompanied by a health certificate which states that they have been sampled and analysed for aflatoxins, and are compliant with European Union legislation whereby the results should be attached to the health certificate. The only exception is for very small consignments of certain feed and food, not exceeding 20 kg, for personal consumption and use.

This Regulation shall enter into force 20 days after its publication. Consignments of feed and food that left their country of origin prior to this Regulation coming into force, may still be imported without being accompanied by a health certificate or the results of sampling and analysis.

What do the changes mean?

Any organization or individual importing groundnuts from Brazil, Capsicum annuum from India, or nutmeg from India or Indonesia, to the EU must meet the testing, analysis and certification requirements of Regulation (EU) No 884/2014. This means that products must undergo testing before arriving in the EU. For more information, or to discuss your testing, analysis and certification requirements contact a food safety expert, such as SGS.

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulation news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical tests, audits, certifications, inspections, and technical support. We continually invest in our testing, capability, and state-of-the art technology to help you reduce risk, and to improve food safety and quality. For more information, please visit our website:

For enquiries, please contact:

Naovarat Dachprasat
Food Technical Support Center
t: +66 2683 0541 ext 2168

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