The Central Statistics Office is responsible for the collection of statistics in relation to imports of meat and meat products. Information on imports for 2009 is available on a provisional basis for the period up to the end of October 2009 during which a total of 1,274 tonnes was imported from Brazil.
Brazilian beef must be sourced from holdings in regions of the country approved for export to the EU that can provide for animal traceability. It must come from approved establishments meeting the requirements of EU food hygiene Regulations. Import is required to be pre-notified and accompanied by EU model health certification that is signed off by the competent authority of the country of export. On entry on to the territory of the EU all consignments are required to undergo documentary, identity and physical checks at an EU approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) before they can be approved for placing on to the market. Where a consignment fails these checks it is rejected and returned to the country or is destroyed. Where the rejection indicates a possible breach of food hygiene, or any other matter indicating a standard below that required for EU entry, notification of the rejection is immediately made to EU Commission and to the Member States through the Rapid Alert System for Food & Feed (RASFF).
The matter of use of fraudulent or improper health certification is under ongoing investigation by the EU Commission with the help of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). In co-operation with the Brazilian Authorities 11 exported consignments have been identified and notified to the Member States as possibly accompanied by fraudulent certification. None of these entered the EU through Ireland. Following on from these investigations two Brazilian export establishments have been removed from the approval list. My Department carries out checks on all consignments of products of animal origin directly imported into this country from third countries.