The legal basis for the listing of Third Country establishments in regards to importing fish, seafood and other products of animal origin is provided by Regulation 854/2004. The relevant extract from Article 12 follows:
List of establishments from which imports of specified products of animal origin are permitted
1. Products of animal origin may be imported into the Community only if they have been dispatched from, and obtained or prepared in, establishments that appear on lists drawn up and updated in accordance with this Article, except:
(a) when, on a case-by-case basis, it is decided, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 19(2), that the guarantees that a specified third country provides in respect of imports of specified products of animal origin are such that the procedure provided for in this Article is unnecessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of paragraph 2;
(b) in the cases specified in Annex V.
In addition, fresh meat, minced meat, meat preparations, meat products and mechanically separated meat (MSM) may be imported into the Community only if they have been manufactured from meat obtained in slaughterhouses and cutting plants appearing on lists drawn up and updated in accordance with this Article or in approved Community establishments.
2. An establishment may be placed on such a list only if the competent authority of the third country of origin guarantees that:
(a) that establishment, together with any establishments handling raw material of animal origin used in the manufacture of the products of animal origin concerned, complies with relevant Community requirements, in particular those of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, or with requirements that were determined to be equivalent to such requirements when deciding to add that third country to the relevant list in accordance with Article 11;
(b) an official inspection service in that third country supervises the establishments and makes available to the Commission, where necessary, all relevant information on establishments furnishing raw materials;
(c) it has real powers to stop the establishments from exporting to the Community in the event that the establishments fail to meet the requirements referred to under (a).
3. The competent authorities of third countries appearing on lists drawn up and updated in accordance with Article 11 shall guarantee that lists of the establishments referred to in paragraph 1 are drawn up, kept up-to-date and communicated to the Commission.
4. (a) The Commission shall provide the contact points that Member States have designated for this purpose with regular notifications concerning new or updated lists that it has received from the competent authorities of third countries concerned in accordance with paragraph 3.
(b) If no Member State objects to the new or updated list within 20 working days of the Commission’s notification, imports shall be authorised from establishments appearing on the list 10 working days after the day on which the Commission makes it available to the public.
(c) The Commission shall, whenever at least one Member State makes written comments, or whenever it considers that the modification of a list is necessary in the light of relevant information such as Community inspection reports or a notification under the rapid alert system, inform all Member States and include the point on agenda of the next meeting of the relevant section of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health for decision, where appropriate, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 19(2).
Annex III to the Regulation 853/2004 provides a categorization of food of animal origin in 15 sections. This categorisation is followed for the lists of establishments.
Section I: Meat of domestic ungulates
Section II: Meat from poultry and lagomorphs
Section III: Meat of farmed game
Section IV: Wild game meat
Section V: Minced meat, meat preparations and mechanically separated meat (MSM)
Section VI: Meat products
Section VII: Live bivalve molluscs
Section VIII: Fishery products
Section IX: Raw milk, colostrum, dairy products and colostrum-based products
Section X: Eggs
Sections XI: Frogs’ legs and snails
Section XII: Rendered animal fats and greaves
Section XIII: Treated stomachs, bladders and intestines
Section XIV: Gelatine
Section XV: Collagen
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