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NMPF Tackles EU Certification Issues

May 4, 2021

The European Commission announced proposed new certification requirements in July 2020 for a wide range of food products, including dairy, adding confusing and vague requirements that threaten to upend U.S.-EU dairy trade if left unremedied.

Since then, NMPF has been working closely with the U.S. Dairy Export Council on extensive efforts to partner with the U.S. government in seeking a successful resolution that rejects unreasonable EU documentation requests and preserves access to the EU market. On April 16, NMPF and USDEC sent a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack and USTR Tai asking for enhanced engagement to secure a workable solution, underscoring the critical importance of preserving access to the EU market for U.S. dairy products and processed products that contain dairy.

Two sets of new requirements have posed concerns: revised import certificates for dairy products, and new certification requirements and importer attestation mandates for “composite products,” which are processed food products that contain ingredients both of animal and plant origin.

One earlier result of these efforts was the European Commission’s decision to delay the implementation date for use of both dairy and composite product certificates from April 21 to Aug. 20. This extension provided more time for U.S. government negotiations with the EU to address the remaining issues. The EU on April 19 also issued an important clarification for the new importer attestations for composite products to now allow for the use of pasteurized dairy ingredients from the United States in the production of those products. NMPF believes this should allow U.S. exports of these products to continue. Work continues on the remaining product areas.

NMPF and USDEC continue to hold regular discussions with federal officials about these issues to ensure that dairy certificates remain a priority for resolution in the U.S.  government’s engagement with the EU.