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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
EU eases Chinese food import ban
Beijing shrimp merchant
Chinese shrimps can once again be shipped to Europe.
The European Union has agreed to relax a ban on imports of honey, rabbit meat, farmed fish and shrimp from China.

The EU banned all imports of animal products from China two years ago due to health concerns.

The ban was relaxed due to "significant improvements" in China's veterinary standards, the European Commission said.

But the restrictions were not removed entirely: Bird flu concerns mean poultry products remain banned.

Imports of pork, beef and dairy products will also remain banned due to the presence of foot and mouth disease, as well as other animal diseases, in China, the Commission said.

Tests

The initial blanket ban on imports of Chinese food was imposed in January 2002.

Ducks hanging in China
Importing Chinese poultry remains illegal.

The ban came into being after residues of veterinary medicines were found in food imported from the country.

Since then, "China has put in place a range of corrective measures... verified by [EU] inspectors", the Commission said.

China has committed to test all food shipments out of the country.

Earlier this month, the US Commerce Department said shrimp exports from Vietnam and China would be hit with anti-dumping duties of up to 112%.


SEE ALSO:
US slaps duties on Asian shrimps
06 Jul 04  |  Business
China attacks Europe over honey ban
12 Jul 02  |  Business


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