News and Events

EU AI RE-OPENINGS

EU AI RE-OPENINGS. Spain and Poland were reopened last week after a very long wait. Hungary is likely to follow. There is no news on Germany,France,Belgium,the UK,or the Netherlands. DAFF supposedly had no funds to conduct inspection visits and also had no staff to allocate to such visits. It is possible that these markets will be re-opened on the basis of what the previous visit found. We will have to wait and see.   There are now strong rumours doing the rounds that the re-openings will trigger the implementation of the long awaited EU Safeguard later this month.We will again have to await Government on this,and then determine our response,  ... read more

WELCOME PAUL

A big welcome to Paul Matthew who has joined AMIE as CEO-Designate. Paul will take over the CEO post from me when I retire on 30 November 2018. Paul is highly talented,versatile and experienced and the AMIE management team looks forward to his building on the sound foundations laid.   Hearty welcoem!    ... read more

MARKET ACCESS AND EU AI UPDATE

Fyi-please see below updated EU AI reopening info,as well as the Ukraine situation,as received from DAFF. Very little interest or enthusiasm from DAFF. They would not be reluctant to open markets in defiance of WTO codes-would they?   David   David Wolpert   CEO AMIESA   From: AngelaG <AngelaG@daff.gov.za> Sent: Friday, 15 June 2018 10:42 AM To: David Wolpert <ceo@amiesa.co.za> Cc: CarolineG <CarolineG@daff.gov.za>; LuanaS <LuanaS@daff.gov.za> Subject: RE: Market access   Dear Mr Wolpert,   EU: Reports have been sent to Hungary, Spain and Poland, and Poland and Hungary have responded. Their responses are being evaluated. No dates have been set for inspection visits to other countries.   Ukraine: There has been no progress since your last inquiry.   Kind regards,   Angela... read more

DISEASE UPDATE

DISEASE UPDATE: ON 30TH MARCH THE OIE POSTED ON ITS WEBSITE NEW OUTBREAKS OF AFRICAN SWINE FEVER AND FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE AFRICAN SWINE FEVER OUTBREAK OCCURRED IN THE NORTHERN CAPE AREA AND WE ARE WAITING FOR MORE INFORMATION, WITH THE LOCAL AND EXPORT PIG INDUSTRY VERY CONCERNED AT ITS POSSIBLE EFFECTS. THE FOOT AND MOUTH OUTBREAK OCCURRED IN SOUTH AFRICA’S FMD PROTECTION ZONE AND DOES NOT AFFECT THE STATUS OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FMD FREE ZONE    ... read more

EU AI UPDATE

EU AI UPDATE DAFF HAS SUBMITTED ITS REPORT ON ITS INSPECTION VISIT TO SPAIN A FEW DAYS AGO. IT IS NOW UP TO THE SPANISH VETERINARY AUTHORITIES TO RESPOND TO DAFF’S FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. DAFF HAS NOW REPORTED ITS FINDINGS OF ITS FIRST VISIT TO HUNGARY AND SPAIN.POLAND IS STILL OUTSTANDING. DAFF IS UNABLE TO ADVISE WHEN ITS SECOND INSPECTION VISIT (AND THIRD,IF NECESSARY) WILL TAKE PLACE,DUE TO FINANCIAL AND PERSONNEL SHORTAGES. COUNTRIES THAT STILL HAVE TO BE VISITED ARE -UK,FRANCE,GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS.    ... read more

BREXIT-THE UK VIEW

It is foreseen that the existing agreement will continue to apply to the UK during the transition period – the EU will ask third countries to accept this and treat the UK effectively as a member state which is part of the agreements. Up until the transition period and during the transition period the UK and SA will work to replace the EU-SA agreement once the transition period ends in December 2020. The UK is limited in how far it can discuss things until the transition period starts in March 2019, and can only have informal discussions, rather than negotiations. The EU-UK have agreed that during transition the UK will be able to have its own negotiations but that any new or amended FTAs couldn’t come in to force until after the end of the transition. The atmosphere is said to be quite good and both sides are keen to have an agreement in place. Our concern is that if the UK falls out of the EU in March 2019 without a transition period (still a possibility as all options are still on the table) there may not be a deal ready to go between the UK and SA. Things are quite advanced with SADC compared to some other agreements. Discussions are not at product level yet so poultrymeat/ meat hasn’t been discussed. The discussions on potential additional duties on poultrymeat and the AI ban are being kept separate from the discussions on future partnership. The focus is on replicating the existing deal, not... read more

Avian Influenza EU

Avian Influenza EU Good Morning, Below is DAFF’s response to a request for an update on the EU Avian Flu market closures and inspections,   David     “With regards to the poultry imports from the EU: The first mission was concluded beginning of March.  We are processing the reports of the first three countries (Hungary, Poland and Spain) and this has not been completed yet. With regards to the follow up missions, we have unfortunately not planned these as yet as we have to take into consideration the finances and the officials who will undertake this.  Once a decision has been reached, we will update.”   There is certainly no rush to re-open EU markets!!!... read more

EXPORT WORKSHOP

A very successful export workshop was held last week.Present were members of the AMIE executive team,some AMIE members,non AMIE traditional exporters,and representatives from various DAFF departments,and outside consultants, as well as the DTI,and very pleasingly,some representatives of the local poultry industry. There were a number of excellent presentations on export history,current export potential,target markets,DTI assistance and DAFF’s challenges. Most concerning was the predicament that DAFF finds itself in with very low operating budgets and many posts frozen. This puts serious strain on their inadequate resources which leads to low performance levels in many areas,as we have seen. Worryingly,we need to stress that this is a department that needs to certify the safety of food that enters and exits the country and bears overall responsibilty for animal and public health in the country. despite these problems they have been very involved in the battle against BSE,Listeriosis and Avian Influenza amongst other challenges. We,at AMIE,have often been at loggerheads with DAFF and we have been very unhappy with poor communication levels and slow policy implementation that has proved expensive to industry and consequently the consumer,but having said that,they were very open and candid in the workshop,which deserves recognition. One would like to believe that their own Ministry would understand and appreciate their challenges and give them more support.     David    ... read more

EXPORTS

We are finally putting the E back into AMIE. Tomorrow we are hosting an industry EXPORT workshop.In attendance will be numerous exporters,DAFF (co hosts),the DTI,and a number of AMIE members. There will be presentations by DAFF and the DTI as well as open discussions on export progress to date,target markets and any other export issues that attendees wish to raise. The workshop will be facilitated by Georg Southey,Chairman of AMIE.  ... read more

LISTERIOSIS

As members are aware the source (s) of the tragic listeriosis outbreak in SA have been traced and extensively publicized. Investigations are apparently ongoing.     AMIE has no involvement in this tragedy.   However we are very saddened and distressed by the loss of life and extend,on behalf of all of our members,our sincere condolences and sumpathy to the bereaved families.Our thoughts are with them and we wish them the strength that they will need to carry them through this terribly sad ordeal. AMIE will cooperate fully with the authorities including the Department of Health and DAFF in any and  all current and future tests and investigations. There can be no compromise in this area.   David... read more

LISTERIOSIS

LISTERIOSIS—We have not posted anything on our website to date concerning the listeriosis outbreak in South Africa as we were waiting for the authorities to trace its source. Unfortunately,despite extensive investigations and monitoring of the outbreak by The Department of Health and others (including DAFF),no source has yet been found. The outbreak which is apparently the largest in history,commenced with the first known case discovered in January 2017. To date there have been 915 known cases with 172 deaths spread over the entire country. Listeriosis was declared a notifiable disease three months ago. AMIE has naturally cooperated fully with the authorities in terms of testing of imported products. We will post any important updates as they occur,  ... read more

UPDATES

UPDATES: Avian Influenza EU–DAFF is sending an inspection team to the Netherlands,Spain and Poland in February 2018 to inspect facilities and controls. Other previously AI infected countries will be visited after 1 March-no details are available at this time.   Safeguard-Discussions between SA and the EU are continuing with each party sticking to its guns.It is possible that a dispute may be declared followed by mediation. In the interim AMIE’s litigation against the DTI... read more

DURBAN PORT ISSUES

Durban Port Issues/SOP 2017   Papers have been served on relevant parties. Now awaiting responses. DAFF has requested meeting for 29th September. Should consider roping in Etlin. Must be sure to discuss NHLS issue in detail,over which there is much dissatisfaction.   Georg and Bruce to set up working group with DAFF asap.   9.Executive Committee Issues   Recent issues were discussed and it was decided that current timing is not appropriate for AMIE intervention.Also no email to be sent to members at this time. Options open pending future developments.   10.Poultry Levy   David updated meeting on current status.   Awaiting response from NAMC-follow ups have been done and will be regularly repeated.   11.Strategic Fund   A lengthy discussion took place. The schedule was reviewed in detail with executive collection functions clearly agreed upon and noted.It appears as if final collection figure will be just short of R4m,but as David pointed out,this figure includes vat. David summarised AMIE’s finances,which,over the short term are extremely healthy,but longer term are very dependant on the poultry levy.   Attempt to obtain additional funding from EU (as before). Exec members to have discussions with AVEC and EU exporters at ANUGA.   Amie to consider distributing support details to all members once collection process is complete.... read more

EU SAFEGUARD

EU Safeguard Action.   ITAC issued an essential facts letter,to which we have responded. The next step is for ITAC to propose a safeguard duty to Minister Davies,who will then discuss the recommendation with the Trade and Development Committee,consisting of SA and EU members. It appears as if ITAC is seeking a duty in the order of 35%.   We are still of the view that an investigation initiated under the TDCA agreement between SA and the EU cannot simply be converted into an EPA(the new agreement with the EU,replacing the TDCA) investigation and finding. As pointed out before,the two agreements differ greatly and we believe, and have been legally advised,that it would be unlawful for the SA Government to proceed with the safeguard under the new agreement and there is simply no provision for such action in terms of the EPA.We believe that if they wish to proceed,a totally new investigation needs to be commenced in terms of the EPA.   We have served legal papers on the DTI and SAPA to this effect.We now await for them to file their responses.... read more

EU AI

As members are aware, the Netherlands was declared AI free on 17th May,while Poland and Spain are apparently AI free,with the UK expected to announce their freedom within the next two weeks.   DAFF,instead of reopening the Netherlands,initially delayed any decision due to the “plight” of the local poultry industry-a decision that reeks of using commercial and political interests instead of sps issues which the WTO compels them to do.   We sent DAFF a legal letter in this regard and they immediately changed their tune by saying that they wish to send a fact finding visit to the EU but will only do so once they have sourced the funds and this mission will take place after the European summer holidays,which are now over. Daff’s motives and strategy seem blatantly obvious,but they,of course,deny this.   We have heard rumours of impending inspection visits to EU countries but have thusfar been unsuccessful in obtaing clarification from DAFF.   While we are reluctant to go the legal route,this is,of course,an option. Events over the next few days will decide our approach-we will keep members informed.... read more