Search

 

Cablegate: Argentina: Starting an Import Safety Dialogue

VZCZCXYZ0043
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1689/01 2391546
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271546Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9037
INFO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6488
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6342
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6693
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0714
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6343
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ AUG CARACAS 1444
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3493
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 2326

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001689

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR WHA/BSC
EEB/TPP/ABT FOR PAUL SAXTON
PASS USTR FOR KATHERINE DUCKWORTH AND MARY SULLIVAN
TREASURY FOR ROSELLEN ALBANO
USDOC FOR 4322/ITA/MAC/OLAC/PEACHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD TBIO AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: STARTING AN IMPORT SAFETY DIALOGUE

REF: (A) STATE 114788, (B) BUENOS AIRES 1644, (C) BUENOS AIRES 1648

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: GoA officials confirmed, in response to Ref A
questions, that import safety issues are a concern, but to date they
have taken only limited measures to increase safety inspections.
The GoA announced on August 17, 2007 new measures to restrict
imports from 13 Asian countries (Ref B). While those announcements
cited safety concerns as one criterion for increased restrictions,
measures implemented to date appear primarily designed to protect
local industry from import competition (Ref C), and no new
regulations relating to product safety have been issued.
Information on how Argentina regulates safety issues is detailed in
paragraphs 5 to 13. END SUMMARY

--------------------------
Contact with GOA Officials
--------------------------

2. (SBU) Argentine agriculture, livestock, and food safety
inspection service (SENASA) officials Mr. Oscar Astibia, Coordinator
for International Relations and Dr. Carlos Ameri, National Director
for Agricultural Food Safety met with Ag Counselor David Mergen and
Agricultural Specialist Francisco Pirovano August 21 to discuss
Argentine consumer product safety concerns regarding agricultural
and food products and how the U.S. and Argentina can cooperate on
safety issues. The Agricultural Office in the Embassy is in regular
contact with SENASA regarding safety requirements for Argentine food
exports to the U.S. Mr. Astibia stated that SENASA has not received
any orders from the GoA to change any processes or requirements for
food imports due to the recent problems of food safety encountered
with products from China in other countries. Mr. Astibia explained
that SENASA's Resolution 816 is the relevant Argentine regulation
that regulates meat and livestock products under SENASA's
jurisdiction. Resolution 816 states that processing plant
inspections can be required, as determined by SENASA, before
granting an import permit for a product manufactured in such plant.


3. (SBU) Patricia Andreo, Director of Import Authorization at the
National Food Institute (INAL) told an Embassy official on Aug. 22
that there has been increased awareness and concern over tainted
products (mainly ceramic products) from China which has resulted in
more thorough inspections of imported products. They are now doing
100 percent testing for contaminants of ceramic products from China.
On August 1, 2007, INAL began to randomly sample food shipments
from all destinations to check that the products meet composition
standards set out in the product registration. They are also
checking for bacteria and other requirements. In particular, they
are more closely inspecting products from China, with special
attention to those ingredients/raw materials that will be used to
manufacture food in Argentina. INAL has also been looking more
closely at packaging.

4. (SBU) Maria Rivera from the Under Secretariat of Domestic
Commerce, Secretariat of Industry and Commerce spoke to Agricultural
Specialist Francisco Pirovano on August 22 regarding additional
measures taken in the wake of the recent increase in product safety
concerns. She said that her agency has not increased measures or
restrictions and that as long as a product has the necessary
certification from a Secretariat approved certifying agency, the
product is allowed entry into the country.

--------------------------------------------
Import Regulatory Entities for Food Products
--------------------------------------------

5. (U) There are three official entities that regulate food safety
standards, packaging, and transportation of food products in
Argentina:

A. The National Service of Agricultural Food Health and Quality
(Servicio Nacional de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria - SENASA)
handles fresh, chilled, or frozen products and by-products of

animal, plant and seafood origin. It also handles canned products
containing over 60 percent animal origin and food preparations
containing over 80 percent animal origin.

B. The National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos -
INAL), a division of ANMAT (see below) regulates processed food
products which are prepared for direct human consumption, health
supplements, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, with
the exception of wine.

C. The National Wine Institute (Instituto Nacional de
Vitivinicultura - INV) exercises control over wine and wine products
during their production, manufacturing, and marketing.

--------------------------------------------- --
Regulatory Agencies for Non-Food Products
--------------------------------------------- --

6. (U) Argentina's regulatory equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (Administracion Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y
Tecnologia Medica - ANMAT), within the Ministry of Health, regulates
and prohibits imports of certain toxic substances contained in
products such as pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.

7. (U) The Under Secretariat of Domestic Commerce, part of
Argentina's Secretariat of Industry and Commerce, controls imports
of toys and electric products. For those products to enter the
country, they must be certified by an Argentine certification
company approved by the Secretariat.

------------------------------------------
Regulations and Controls for Food Products
------------------------------------------

8. (U) SENASA's resolution 256/03 establishes the Maximun Residue
Limits (MRLs) for products that are traded in the country. The
mechanism to set them is as follows: a chemical company that applies
for a pesticide to be released in the Argentine market must carry
out a two-year study in three different agro-ecological areas of
Argentina. The sampling method to be used in these cases is the one
that is approved by FAO. Argentina uses the Tolerated Daily Intake
(Ingesta Diaria Admisible - in Spanish) suggested by the Codex
Alimentarius for the Latin American Region 14 as a reference.

--------------------------------
Products Imported Through SENASA
--------------------------------

9. (U) "Fresh, Chilled, or Frozen Products and By-products of
Animal and Seafood Origin" are covered by SENASA Resolution No.
816/02. An import permit is required to import products and
by-products of animal origin into Argentina. The permit is obtained
from SENASA and should be requested by an importer who has already
been registered at SENASA and who has registered the facility
intending to export to Argentina.

10. (U) Products of Plant Origin: A Phytosanitary Certificate
issued by officials in the exporting countries is required for all
plant products entering into Argentina. Upon arrival in Argentina,
SENASA holds the product at the port of entry for inspection and to
verify that it meets all the requirements stated in phytosanitary
certificate. SENASA then issues an import certificate for Customs
to release the product.

------------------------------
Products Imported Through INAL
------------------------------

11. (U) Processed Foods, and Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic Beverages,
Except Wine: Product and importer registration is required prior to
importing a product into Argentina. The product must be registered
by an importer who has already completed the registration process at
INAL. Registrations are normally ready in less than thirty (30)
days.

------------------------------------
Products Imported Through INV (Wine)
------------------------------------

12. (U) INV requires the following for wine imports:
The importer must be registered with the INV. The imported product
must come accompanied by a certificate issued by the appropriate
official authority of the country of origin, stating its analytical
specifications. The product must comply with the composition
standards required by the INV for similar locally manufactured
products.

--------------------------
Prohibited Product Imports
--------------------------

13. (U) The GOA has prohibited the import of the following
products:

- Used automobiles (with some exceptions, Decree 110/1999);
Used motorcycles and velocipedes (Resolution 790/1992, Ministry of
Economy);

- Used equipment and its parts, as indicated by Decree 690/2002,
Appendix XIV and its modifications (Resolution 89/2003 ME, article
70);


- Used clothing and accessories (MERCOSUR Tariff Codes 6309.00.10 &
6309.00.90) until June 30, 2010. (Resolution ME 367/2005);

- All types of dangerous residues (Law 24051);
Certain dangerous substances (Resolutions 750/2000, 845/2000,
182/1999, etc.);

- Telephone terminals that operate in a band between 1880 Mghz-1900
Mghz (Resolution SC 1994/1999);

- Toys considered dangerous for children. This is a temporary
measure valid for twenty-four months starting September 22, 2005
(Resolution MSA 243/2006);

- Used and recapped tires (MERCOSUR Tariff Codes 4012.10.00 &
4012.20.00, Law 25,626 8/8/2003);

- Used equipment, instruments, parts and transportation material
(Resolution MEOSP 909/94, article 40, and modifications). Resolution
MP 37/2003 exempted donations of used goods over 5 years old made to
governmental institutions and registered religious entities;

- Raw cotton (not carded or combed, harsh or rough) as per Res.
SENASA 208/03

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>