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Parliamentary questions
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22 March 2018
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-007223/2017

The Commission has not been informed by Member States' national authorities of analyses of samples of Canadian wheat revealing levels of pesticides (and glyphosate in particular) exceeding the maximum residue levels permitted in the EU.

However, should these be observed during import controls then national competent authorities would be obliged to take the necessary measures to prohibit the placing on the internal market of the concerned products and inform the Commission, the Member States and the European Food Safety Authority through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, as appropriate.

The Regulatory Cooperation Chapter(1) in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) does not contain an obligation for the Parties to adopt similar regulatory measures or legislation, for instance in the case of the establishment of maximum residue limits for pesticides. In addition, the regulatory cooperation under CETA is always voluntary.

Furthermore, the Commission would like to reiterate that access for Canadian goods under CETA does not imply the freedom to disregard EC laws and regulations, but only the right for Canadian goods and services to be accepted on the EU market under the same conditions as EU goods and services.

Neither CETA, nor any other trade agreement, changes the fact that all products imported into the EU have to comply with EU legislation and requirements in place at the time of import.

(1)Chapter 21 of CETA defines a broad scope of activities under the Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF), such as for instance regulatory measures related to technical barriers to trade, sanitary phytosanitary aspects, trade in services, trade and sustainable development, trade and labour, trade and environment, with the objectives to contribute to the protection of human life, health or safety, animal or plant life or health and the environment; avoid and reduce unnecessary regulatory differences; or reduce administrative burden and unnecessary duplication.

Last updated: 7 June 2018Legal notice