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Strict conditions for the placing on the market of seal products in the European Union

The placing on the market of seal products should not be allowed say MEPs. It is permitted only where the seal products result from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities. Otherwise the import is permitted where it is of an occasional nature and consists exclusively of goods for the personal use of the travellers.
Furthermore it is allowed to place on the market products that result from by-products of hunting [and] conducted for the purpose of sustainable management of marine resources on a non-profit basis.

Conditions for placing on the market

The placing on the market of seal products shall be allowed only where the seal products result from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and which contribute to their subsistence. These conditions shall apply at the time or point of import for imported products.

The legislative report which has been agreed with the Council in first-reading has been drawn up by Diana WALLIS (ALDE, UK). The legislative resolution was adopted with 550 votes in favour, 49 against and 41 abstentions.

The Regulation establishes harmonised rules concerning the placing on the market of seal products. It is therefore without prejudice to other Community or national rules regulating the hunting of seals.

By way of derogation from the above:

(a) the import of seal products shall also be allowed where it is of an occasional nature and consists exclusively of goods for the personal use of the travellers or their families. The nature and quantity of such goods may not be such as to indicate that they are being imported for commercial reasons;

(b) the placing on the market shall also be allowed for seal products that result from by-products of hunting that is regulated under national law and conducted for the sole purpose of sustainable management of marine resources. Such placing on the market shall only be allowed on a non-profit basis. The nature and quantity of such products shall not be such as to indicate that they are being placed on the market for commercial reasons.

Definition of Inuit

"Inuit" means indigenous members of the Inuit homeland – i.e. those arctic and subarctic areas where, presently or traditionally, Inuit have Aboriginal rights and interests – recognized by Inuit as being members of their people and includes Inupiat, Yupik (Alaska), Inuit, Inuvialuit (Canada), Kalaallit (Greenland) and Yupik (Russia)

Penalties

Member States will lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

Omega-3

MEPs point out that the existence of those diverse legal requirements may further discourage consumers from buying products not made from seals, but which may not be easily distinguishable from similar goods made from seals, or products which may include elements or ingredients obtained from seals without this being clearly recognisable, such as furs, Omega-3 capsules and oils and leather goods.

by S. C.
15 may 2009, Food & Fun > Nature

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