The European Commission has warned China is planning to introduce what Brussels calls “unjustifiable food certification requirements” for imports into the country.

The alert comes in a new annual report released today (27 June) from the EU executive on international trade and investment barriers, looking at developments in 2016 and upcoming changes.

In the report, the Commission said China has plans to impose new certification standards on confectionery, chocolates, biscuits, jams, compotes and other fruit preparations, milled products and grains, breakfast cereals, noodles and pasta.

Meanwhile, closer to the bloc, the report noted Switzerland, which remains outside the EU, last year restricted meat exports from the member states by reclassifying tariffs for seasoned meat, significantly increasing the charges. The report added even though the Swiss government later reduced duties for seasoned meat “imported for the purpose of producing dry meat”, importers will still have to prove upon request the meat has been imported for that purpose. “As a result, part of EU exports will continue to be subject to the higher duties,” said the report. Officials from the Commission’s directorate general for trade have raised these problems with the Swiss government, it added.

Meanwhile, Russia – which still imposes a comprehensive import ban on EU food exports – also last year extended longstanding restrictions preventing foreign companies from bidding for government procurement contracts regarding food supplies, noted the Commission report.

On the plus side, the report noted South Korea had eased technical requirements for EU exporters of raw milk cheese wanting to secure access to Korean sales channels.

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By GlobalData

And Ukraine repealed a longstanding health-based ban on imports of EU-made beef and veal, although some import conditions still clash with some Brussels standards, said the report. It also welcomed Ukraine scrapping a quarantine permit for imports of vegetables from the EU, including cargoes transiting Ukraine territory.