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Cert now needed for EU goods to be sold in Malaysia

By Lee Yuk Peng and Leow Poh Lin

+Food items suspected to be contaminated

+Milk formulas on the Health Ministry list

KUALA LUMPUR: To ensure food products from European Union countries are free from dioxin, a certificate is required as proof before they will be allowed to be sold in Malaysia.

Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said that importers, manufacturers or distributors would have to get the certificate from the countries of origin to prove that they were dioxin-free.

The certificates would then be submitted to the relevant embassies here for validation and confirmation. The documents would then be passed to the ministry from which the distributors need to collect before being allowed to market the products.

The ministry has also written to Wisma Putra to inform all embassies on the action taken by the Government, Chua said.

He said the move to have embassies confirm the certificates was to avoid any falsifying or tampering of the documents.

"all these measures taken are to protect consumers," Chua added.

Earlier, the ministry's food quality control division director Datin Dr Harisson Aziz Shahbudin held a dialogue with 80 people comprising manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors and representatives from EU embassies.

She informed them of the procedures which they would have to undergo for the import of goods from the EU.

They had to furnish the ministry with information on the products such as brand names, country of origin, date of manufacture, date of import, batch number, quantity imported, value in ringgit and the place where the goods were kept.

As of Tuesday, Chua said 17 premises were checked where 78 different brands of foodstuff worth RM54,523.25 were seized.

Among them were infant formula, chocolate, cereals and products related to meat, eggs and milk.

At Port Klang, 43,500 kilos of skimmed milk powder worth RM588,898.80 were seized and sealed on Monday, Chua said.

For incoming imported goods, the Customs Department would seize and seal them if they were on the list, he said.

However, Chua said the goods were allowed to be kept in the warehouses pending the application for certificates.

"any attempt to break the seal would result in punishment under the food act 1985," he said, adding that the responsible party would also have to sign a letter of undertaking not to break the seal.

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