USA.- In September 2016, the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program (SIP) was requested by a U.S. exporter to issue European Union (EU) Health Certificates for Chinese bay scallops (Argopecten irradians). Based on the fact that both the Chinese processor and the U.S. exporter were on the EU approved establishment list, SIP issued the export health certificate.

Later that year SIP was informed by the EU that per their regulations, the U.S. was not authorized to issue EU certification for Chinese aquaculture (farm raised) scallops, as neither the U.S. nor China were authorized to export farmed scallop, including the species Argopecten irradians, to the EU. SIP continued to issue certifications for farmed Chinese bay scallops pending clarification by DG Sante of the EU regulation.

SIP recently received the following decision from DG Sante: Based on the Commission Decision 2006/766/EC “establishing the list of countries and territories from which imports of bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and fishery products are permitted” does not include China and has excluded the U.S. since July 2010. This information can be found at:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02006D0766-20170620&rid=1 

The decision from DG Sante confirms that neither the U.S. nor China are authorized to export farmed scallops or the species Argopecten irradians to the EU. To be clear, the United States is not officially authorized to certify transshipped molluscan shellfish from a third country, nor is the U.S. authorized to certify molluscan shellfish shipped to the EU. The sole exception is an allowance to certify adductor muscles of wild-caught (not farmed) scallops from a third country.

Therefore SIP will no longer issue export health certification to the EU for farm-raised Chinese scallops. If conditions change, we will alert all concerned.

Source: NOAA Fisheries