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Internal Market

PR(08)23: The Authority approves relevant Decisions in the field of food safety

21.5.2008

Today the EFTA Surveillance Authority decided to approve the up-dated list of Border Inspection Posts agreed for veterinary checks[1], the Norwegian contingency plan for Avian Influenza[2], the Norwegian control and eradication programme for and additional guarantees for two fish diseases affecting salmons (Bacterial Kidney Disease[3]and Gyrodactylus Salaris[4]) and an up-date to the Norwegian free-disease status concerning a systemic disease for freshwater and marine fish (Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia[5]).

The new list of Border Inspection Posts (BIP) approved today includes a new inspection post in Reykjavík Samskip as well as it opens up for the possibility to import fish oil consignments from third countries through the Icelandic BIPs of Akureyri, Hafnarfjörður, Reykjavík Eimskip and Þorlákshöfn.

The Norwegian contingency plan for Avian Influenza, a highly contagious viral infection which can affect all species of birds, is aimed at preventing the spread of this disease in case of positive findings in Norway. The Norwegian measures approved today are in line with the coordinated emergency procedures laid down by EEA legislation and harmonised through the whole EEA area.

The Norwegian control measures concerning fish diseases affecting salmonids are also addressed by the decisions approved today. In particular, the approval of the national control measures and programme aimed at eradicating Bacteria Kidney Disease, caused by a bacterium which is present in wild fish and hence difficult to combat in farmed fish, paves the way to a future Norwegian approval of its free-disease zone status for this disease. At the same time, the Authority acknowledges the absence, in the past years, of positive findings of the Gyrodactylus Salaris fish disease and hence, grants Norway with additional guarantees for live aquaculture fish, eggs and gametes of salmonids that are introduced in that State.

Finally, the Authority has assessed the control measures imposed in the Norwegian fish farms following an outbreak of the serious Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia fish disease that occurred last November in Norway. Accordingly, the regions affected by this outbreak have been excluded from the consideration of recognised approved free-disease zones regarding such disease.

The decisions enter into force today and will be published in the EEA Section of the Official Journal of the European Union and the EEA Supplement thereto. Moreover, for information purposes the decisions will also be published on the Authority’s website .

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Hallgímur Ásgeirsson,
Director
Internal Market Affairs Directorate,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30, or

Mrs. Patricia González Gálvez,
Senior Officer
Internal Market Affairs Directorate,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30

 
21 May 2008


[1]EFTA Surveilance Authority Decision No xxx/08/COL of 21 May 2008 amending the list contained in point 39 of Part 1.2 of Chapter I of Annex I to the Agreement on the European Economic Area listing border inspection posts in Iceland and Norway agreed for veterinary checks on live animals and animal products from third countries and repealing EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision  378/07/COL of 12 September 2007.

[2]EFTA Surveilance Authority Decision No xxx /08/COL of 21 May 2008 approving the contingency plan on Avian Influenza submitted by Norway.

[3]EFTA Surveilance Authority Decision No xxx/08/COL of 21 May 2008 approving the control and eradication programme for Bacterial Kidney Disease submitted by Norway.

[4]EFTA Surveilance Authority Decision No xxx/08/COL of 21 May 2008 Decision regarding disease-free zones and additional guarantees for Gyrodactylus salaris for Norway.

[5]EFTA Surveilance Authority Decision No xxx/08/COL of 21 May 2008Decision  concerning the status of Norway with regard to infectious haematopoietic necrosis and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia and repealing the EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision No 71/94/COL of 27 June 1994 as last amended by the EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision No 244/02/COL of 11 December 2002.




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