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Thursday, 9 July 2015

24 Taiwanese firms violate bans on Japanese food imports

A customer selects Japanese biscuits in a store selling Japanese goods in Taipei, Taiwan.

Authorities find fault with entry documents and compliance with customs clearance procedures
Two dozen Taiwanese firms have been found to have imported food products from five Japanese prefectures in violation of a ban in effect since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the island's health authorities said on Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration said that since it began strengthening inspections on Japanese food imports in March, the 24 Taiwanese companies were found to have imported 381 food product items from the five prefectures.
After the March 2011 disaster, Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima and nearby Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba. It has been conducting random radiation checks on nine categories of imported foods.
Among the 24 firms, 23 filed entry documents inconsistent with the products they imported and one failed to follow proper customs clearance procedures, the administration said.
Wang Te-yuan, deputy director of the FDA's Northern Centre for Regional Administration, said firms that unwittingly imported food products from the five prefectures must report it to authorities or face punishment.
Offenders could be fined up to NT$3 million (HK$750,000) and will lose permission to import the products in question, according to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.
Authorities beefed up inspections after investigators found some Japanese food imports carrying Chinese labels different from the actual place of origin - a practice allowed in Japan but illegal in Taiwan.
A legislative committee passed a motion in late March tightening inspections on food products imported from Japan.
Under the new measure that came into effect on May 15, such items must carry prefecture-specific labels of origin, and some food products from certain prefectures must carry documents proving that they had passed radiation checks.
Source: South China Morning Post
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