22 July 2011
Commission Regulation (EC) 606/2003 extended approval to operations carried out in Israel to check conformity with the marketing standards applicable to fresh fruit and vegetables. Commission Regulations (EC) 1580/2007 and 543/2011 renewed that approval. The approval recognises that Israel implements marketing standards that are equivalent to Community marketing standards and obliges Member State inspection bodies to assign less risk of non-conformity to Specific Marketing Standards products exported by Israel, provided such products are accompanied by a conformity certificate issued by Israel’s approved inspection body as defined by these Regulations. The approval also enables Member State inspection bodies to limit the number of conformity checks they carry out on such products to a small percentage of randomly selected consignments, thereby conserving their own resources and providing practical benefits to their importers and exporters.
Certificates of conformity issued by approved third country inspection bodies must contain all information included in Community certificates about the products they cover, including their origin. In cases where the products do not originate in the third country issuing the certificate, their true origin, and the fact that they have been re-exported, must be indicated on the certificate.
1. Prior to granting approval to Israel’s checking operations and procedures for issuing certificates of conformity and before renewing that approval, did the Commission receive reasonable assurances that Israel’s inspection bodies would not issue certificates for products grown in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories and exported to the EU that state the origin of such products as ‘Israel’?
2. Is the Commission aware that since the approval of Israel’s checking operations, Israel’s approved inspection bodies have routinely issued certificates of conformity for export to the EU that covered products grown in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, stating ‘Israel’ as the origin of the products? Does the Commission consider that the products from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories covered by such certificates correspond to the information in the certificates?
3. For the purposes of implementing Regulation No 543/2011, does the Commission consider it acceptable for Member State inspection bodies to classify and process consignments of products grown in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories as products originating in Israel when the conformity certificates issued by Israel so indicate?
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck (ALDE) , Alexandra Thein (ALDE) and Pino Arlacchi (S&D)