Kenya in talks with EU over export restrictions

The Kenyan government is negotiating with the EU over restrictions on the export of horticultural products from the East African country to European markets.

Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Romano Kiome on Thursday said the EU put Kenya on the list of countries with 10 percent increased MRLs (Maximum Residual Levels) checks on exported beans and peas in pods.

“The government supports the European Union on other measures taken. These are vetting of all exporters, registration of marketing agents and brokers, putting in place a tracking system of export produce, training of staff on sampling of export products for testing of the minimum residual levels and training of farmers on good agricultural practices,” Kiome said in a statement.

He said Kenya was lobbying to be excluded from the list, adding that the country has maintained a strict food safety policy for all its exports.

On Dec. 4, 2012, the EU Directorate of Health and Consumers took the decision to review Annex 1 of regulation 669/2009 to increase levels of checks for a variety of commodities from various countries, including Kenya’s beans and peas in pods.

Under the tough compliance procedures, exporters to the EU will be required to fill a Common Entry Document (CED) which would be counter-checked by authorities to confirm compliance with all safety controls on harmful elements such as Aflatoxins, pesticide residues and metals such as lead.

The rules are part of new compulsory compliance procedures that were meant to take effect in Jan. 1 and will be implemented at 10 percent level for all Kenyan exports of French beans, snow peas, mangetout, runner beans, sugar snaps and valore beans to the EU market.


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