Reprieve for bean exporters as EU lifts inspection order

The European Union (EU) has officially lifted a 10 per cent mandatory checks requirement on Kenya’s beans entering its market.

The economic association has given beans with pods exports from Kenya a clean of bill of health, after being satisfied with the progress the Government and farmers have made in complying with the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) requirement, according to its official journal released late last month.

During a European Union member states meeting held last month in Brussels, local French beans farmers benefited from the waiver after the regional bloc members expressed confidence with the progress Kenya has made in terms of ensuring all the fresh produce being exported is free from pesticide residues and other harmful substances.

Local farmers

“This is a milestone for local farmers and we expect sale of beans to the EU market to increase from the current Sh6 billion annually,” Kenya Planters Health Services Inspectorate (KEPHIS) acting Managing Director Esther Kimani said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker explained that the EU member states published new regulations after deleting a provision in the previous regulation that required Kenya’s fresh produce to be subjected to 10 per cent mandatory check requirements at all the EU points of entry.

Regulation 4 of the new guidelines published in the EU Journal states, “In particular, the list should be amended by deleting the entries for commodities for which the available information indicates an overall satisfactory degree of compliance with the relevant safety requirements provided for in Union legislation and for which an increased level of official controls is therefore no longer justified. The entry in the list concerning beans from Kenya should therefore be deleted.”

In 2009, Junker said the union published Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 (2) that laid down rules concerning the increased level of official controls to be carried out on imports of feed and food of non-animal origin listed in Annex I of the Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 that detailed management of products at the points of entry into all the EU territories.

Article 2 of Regulation (EC) had provided that the list of export products be reviewed on a regular basis, and at least quarterly, taking into account at least the sources of information referred to in that Article.

The EU member states have been reviewing the list after every two months.

On June 23, 2015, Juncker explained the member states amended the Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 (2) and published a new guideline that has a list of feeds and food of non-animal origin subject that earlier have been subjected to official controls at the designated point of entry.