Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Food , Beverages and Tobacco in Iraq

Posted on: 30 Dec 2011

Iraq food standards are based on Codex Alimentarius, as well as regulations and standards of neighboring countries.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 12/12/2011 GAIN Report Number: Iraq Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards FAIRS Country Report Approved By: David Salmon Prepared By: Walid Sharif Report Highlights: This report was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq is still going through a transition from a centrally-run economic system to a more market-oriented economy. Across the government, many regulations and policies are being revised; therefore, information in this report is subject to change. Iraqi importers can confirm current regulations through local authorities. Regulatory agencies and contacts are provided in the appendix. Section I. Food Laws: Since 1990 Iraq has functioned with two legislative authorities, the semi-autonomous Kurdistan (KRG) region in the north, which consists of three provinces with the capitol in Erbil, and the southern 15 provinces that are administered by the central government in Baghdad. The two governments share common legislation but differ in the implementation of policies and regulations. The Government of Iraq’s legislative process starts with a ministry’s request to enact a law or amend a law. The process starts at the Shura Council in the Ministry of Justice, and then moves to the Council of Ministers, Council of Representatives for ratification, and finally to the Presidential Council for endorsement, after which the law would be published in the Iraq Gazette with an implementation date. The Central Organization for Standardization and Quality Control (COSQC) is an agency within the Ministry of Planning that was established by law no.54 in 1979. It is charged with enforcing standards for imported products and also acts as a consultant on quality control and standardization issues for government ministries and state owned enterprises. It maintains relationships with international standard setting organizations. Iraq food standards are based on Codex Alimentarius, as well as regulations and standards of neighboring countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Gulf Cooperation Council states. Shelf life and standards applied in the region significantly influence Iraqi shelf life and standards. The KRG has reached an agreement with its counterparts in Baghdad to adopt the same standardization and quality control standards issued by COSQC in Baghdad. There are currently 28 points of entry into Iraq, seven airports, two sea ports, and 17 land border crossings. The KRG has also announced recently that it will be opening additional ports of entry to Turkey and Iran. MOH has a presence and is able to enforce food safety regulations at 15 entry points, ten additional mobile laboratories have been obtained and KRG has set up inspection points between KRG and the other 15 southern provinces. Both MOA food safety officials and MOA animal and plant health officials are at these posts. Mobile laboratories are located at additional crossing points as follows: 2 with Mosul Diyala Kirkuk Salah al Din MOA officials in Sulaymaniyah cover Iraqi entry points at the Bashmag border crossing between Iran and Iraq and at the Sulaymaniyah airport. Section II. Labeling Requirements: A. General Requirements Labeling requirements for prepackaged and canned foods are outlined in the Iraqi Food Standards IQS/230/1989. These labeling requirements were drafted in 1973 and were updated in 1978 by the COSQC and discussed by the Technical Commission for the Standardization of Dairy Products and Canned Foods. The labeling requirements for locally produced and imported food products are as follows: The name of the food List of ingredients Net contents and drained weight (metric system) Name and address of the manufacturer/packer/distributor/importer/exporter/vendor Country of origin Lot identification Date of production and storage instruction Instruction for use Quantitative ingredients declaration B. Shelf life The first Iraqi regulation on foodstuff shelf life was written in 1986 as the Guidelines for Shelf life of Foodstuffs but later was approved by a special commission set up for this purpose and known as Iraq General Standardization number 1847/1994. It was updated in 1999 and published in the National Gazette issue number 3868 on March 5, 2001. A further amendment to Iraq General Standardization number 1847/1999 Foodstuff Shelf Life was published in the official Iraq Gazette issue number 3878 in May 2001. Standard Specification number IQS/1847/1999 identified the shelf life requirements for the majority of foodstuffs. For selected perishable foods (vegetables and fruits), white sugar liquid and dried, table salt, pulses (unprocessed and unpackaged), dried vegetables, medicinal plants and liquor the only shelf life requirement is the date of expiration or date of manufacture. Products, such as green coffee (unpackaged), black tea (unpackaged) herbs and spices, would meet the general labeling requirements of the date of harvest: For products having three months shelf life or less - Dates shall be engraved or in relief, printed with permanent ink directly on all packages or their original label by the producer only. Using stickers and expiration dates is not permissible. For these products, date of production and validity should be stated as day, month, and year. For products with more than three months shelf life - Product packaging should state date of production and expiration in the order, month / year, and that considering first day of the month, as date for production and likewise the end of the month is considered as the expiry date. For packaging containing multiple pieces, shelf life information should be printed on the outer packaging of each individual item. For individual food products having a shelf life of more than one year, no approval will be granted for importation for which less than of half of the product’s shelf-life remains. For products having a shelf life of one year or less, no more than one-third of the shelf life may have expired. Shelf life can only be shown by clear and unambiguous production and expiration dates. The use of any of the following statements for expressing expiration date is permissible. Expiration Date Use by (date) Fit for (from the day of production) Use Before Sell by date (for food products having an expiration period exceeding 3 months). The production and expiration dates should be declared on the label of the package in a clear manner as follows: DD-MM-YY: for food stuffs with expiration period less than three months. MM-YY: for foodstuffs with expiration exceeding three months. Table- 1 Foodstuffs shelf life for specified products is as follows: First and second amendments of Iraq specification No. (1847/1999) (Food expiration period) which was published in Iraq Official Gazette (Wqa’a), Edition No. 3868, March 3, 2001. Amendment to chapter 4, article 5 red and white meat, with respect to canned fish , to read : Product Name Expiration Storage period Conditions Canned fish meat (whole or in 4 years Normal storage pieces) preserved in oil metal conditions containers 2 years Canned fish meat whole or in Normal storage pieces preserved in water or conditions sauce in metal containers Amendment to chapter 4, article 6. all kinds of canned food, with respect to concentrate tomato paste, see below : Product name Expiration Storage conditions Concentrate tomato paste, concentration of at least 32% 1 year Normal storage conditions In plastic drums 2 years Normal storage conditions In glass or metal containers Amendment to chapter 4, article 8 different food products for grated coconut see below: Product name Expiration Storage period condition Grated coconut pulp with 2 years Normal storage fat content not less than conditions 40% (in appropriate containers) Third a mendment of the Iraq standard specification No. 1847/1999 food expired period, which was published in the Iraq Official Gazette No. 3878 in 14/05/2001 Amendment to chapter 4, article 8 different food products with respect to cocoa powder see below: Product name Expiration Storage period conditions Cocoa powder, local and non-local 2 years Normal and powdered chocolate drink and cappuccino storage (metal, glass, polymer, mixed or aluminum chip conditions containers) 1 year in regular carton or paper bags Cold storage Fourth amendment to Iraq specification No. (1847/1999) (Food expiration period) which was published in the Iraq Official Gazette (Wqa’a), Edition No. 3868/ 2001. Amendment to chapter 4, article 8 different food products with respect to cake mix see as below: Product Expiration Storage conditions name period Cake mix In polymer or carton containers 1.5 years Normal storage conditions Table-2 – Expiration periods of food products classified by groups: Dairy products Product name Expiration Storage conditions period Sterilized milk in glass bottles 4 months Normal storage conditions/ Not to be kept in direct sunlight Sterilized milk in cartons 3 months Normal storage conditions/ Not to be kept in direct sunlight Pasteurized milk in sealed standard 3 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C containers Milk powder in appropriate sealed 2 years Normal storage conditions containers Powdered milk in lined bags 2 years Normal storage conditions Condensed and evaporated milk in metal 1 year Normal storage conditions containers Yogurt in plastic containers 7 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C Concentrated yogurt 10 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C Pasteurized cream in plastic or carton containers 5 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C Pasteurized cream in metal containers 1.5 years Normal storage conditions Powdered cream 1 year Normal storage conditions White cheese (Brie) in plastic containers 5 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C Processed cheese in metal containers 2 years Normal storage conditions For all dairy products in sealed cartons or 1 year Temperature of 0 – 7 C glass containers For all dairy products in unsealed plastic 15 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C cups Processed cheese in different packages 1 year Temperature of 0 – 7 C Cheese – packed in liquid in containers 1 year Temperature of 0 – 7 C coated with wax Butter in lined paper or plastic 1 year Temperature of -18 C Margarine in metal, plastic or paper 1 year Temperature of -18 C containers Ice cream – creamy and milky 1 year Temperature of -18 C automatically filled in sealed containers Ice juice - automatically filled in sealed 1 year Temperature of -18 C containers Baby Food Product name Expiration Storage conditions period Powdered Milk – infant formula In metal Containers 2 years Normal storage conditions Powdered Milk – infant formula In paper or carton or plastic packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions Powdered baby food made of grain: In carton packing In lined packing with metal or 1 year Normal storage conditions aluminum foil packed under vacuum 2 years Normal storage conditions Baby food – Vegetable and Fruit: In glass containers 1 year Normal storage conditions In metal containers 2 years Normal storage conditions Baby food with meat: In glass containers 6 months Normal storage conditions In metal containers 1 year Normal storage conditions Fats and Oils Butter: In glass containers 1 year Normal storage conditions In metal containers 2 years Normal storage conditions Oils and vegetable fats 2 years Normal storage conditions All types of packaging Hydrogenated vegetable fat product 2 years Normal storage conditions All types of packaging Sesame syrup: In glass containers 1 year Normal storage conditions In metal containers Frozen poultry meat – whole or piece 1 year Temperature of -18 C Canned fish – whole or piece 2 years Normal storage conditions Frozen fish and crustaceans 6 months Temperature of -18 C All kinds of cans Canned fruit in sugar solution In metal containers 2 years Normal storage conditions Canned vegetable in salt solution in 2 years Normal storage conditions metal containers Canned vegetable in sauce with meat in 1 year Normal storage conditions metal containers Frozen vegetable 1 year Temperature of -18 C Dry vegetables in glass or metal, paper 1 year Normal storage conditions or wooden containers Pickles Glass containers, heat treatment 1.5 years Normal storage conditions Aluminum foil 1 year Normal storage conditions Cans 6 months Normal storage conditions In metal acid-resistant containers 2 years Normal storage conditions Tomato Paste: In glass containers 2 years Normal storage conditions In Cans 1.5 years Normal storage conditions Tomato Sauce: In glass containers 1.5 year Normal storage conditions In Cans 1 year Normal storage conditions Tomato paste concentrate, the highest concentration of 40 % 1 year Normal storage conditions In plastic containers or drums Normal storage conditions Whole tomatoes in juice/sauce: In glass containers 1.5 year Normal storage conditions In metal containers 1 year Normal storage conditions Skinless tomatoes: In glass containers 1.5 year Normal storage conditions In metal containers 1 year Normal storage conditions Ketchup: In glass containers 1.5 years Normal storage conditions In metal containers 6 months Normal storage conditions Sauce: In glass containers 1.5 years Normal storage conditions In metal containers 6 months Normal storage conditions Mayonnaise in glass containers 2 years Normal storage conditions Hommus with Tahini – Fava Beans – Cooked Hommus Acceptable Packaging: In glass containers 1.5 years Normal storage conditions In metal containers 6 months Normal storage conditions Dried Soups in – Cubes – Parts – Powder in suitable packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Soups, ready-to-eat in metal containers 1 year Normal storage conditions Jams – in suitable packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Canned mushrooms in metal cans 2 years Normal storage conditions Canned Truffles in metal cans 2 years Normal storage conditions Soft drinks, Juices and alcoholic beverages Soft drinks: In metal cans 1 year Normal storage conditions In glass bottle 6 months Normal storage conditions Drinks, dietary: In glass bottles 1 year Normal storage conditions In metal cans 6 months Normal storage conditions Powdered artificial drinks, sweetened and non sweetened: In glass bottles 1.5 years Normal storage conditions In metal containers 2 years Normal storage conditions In polymer or cartons 1 year Normal storage conditions Artificial drinks: In metal containers or glass bottles 1 year Normal storage conditions In Cartons or polymers packaging 6 months Normal storage conditions Concentrated fruit juice – in suitable 2 years Normal storage conditions sealed containers Fruit juices intended for direct consumption - Glass bottles and metal 1 year Normal storage conditions packaging In cartons 6 months Normal storage conditions Concentrated fruit juices In suitable packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions Fruit puree – Nectar: In glass bottles 1 year Normal storage conditions In metal packaging 6 months Normal storage conditions In cartons 6 months Normal storage conditions Frozen fruit juices 1.5 years Temperature of - 18 C Frozen Concentrated fruit juices 2 years Temperature of - 18 C Concentrated fruit juices - intended for 2 years Cooling storage further processing In all kinds of sealed packages Beer: In glass bottles 3 months Normal storage conditions In metal cans 1 year Normal storage conditions Different food products Gelatin powder sealed in suitable packages of: Vegetable source 2 years Normal storage conditions Animal source 1 year Normal storage conditions Cake Mix in plastic or cartons packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions Pudding in powder: In sealed packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions In other packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions Baking powder in sealed metal or plastic packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Dry bread yeast in suitable packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Moist bread yeast in suitable packaging 2 months Temperature of - 7 C Roasted ground coffee in suitable packaging 1.5 year Normal storage conditions Coffee powder – Instant in appropriate containers packed under vacuum 2 years Normal storage conditions Extruded snacks: Moisture resistant sealed bags 6 months Normal storage conditions Carton –lined aluminum sealed bags 1 year Normal storage conditions Bulgur – Oats and Groats 2 Years Normal storage conditions Breakfast cereals Maize, Rice, Wheat .etc in sealed packaging 1.5 years Normal storage conditions Vermicelli, Spaghetti and Pasta In suitable packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Starch powder ( for consumption) in different packaging 3 years Normal storage conditions Wheat flour: In cloth bags or polymers 6 months Normal storage conditions In durable paper bags 1 year Normal storage conditions Whole dates or stripped – core or dates stuffed in different packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions Date syrup: In glass packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions In metal packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions Vinegar: In glass containers 2 years Normal storage conditions In plastic containers 1 year Normal storage conditions Fresh Mushroom in plastic containers 7 days Temperature of 0 – 7 C Basra Limes 3 years Normal storage conditions Corn meal 1.5 years Normal storage conditions Nuts, roasted, salted or sweetened; In can or canned under vacuum 1 year In plastic or paper packaging 6 Months Normal storage conditions All kinds of egg powder in suitable packaging 6 months Normal storage conditions Apricot paste (Kamaruddin) in suitable packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Lollipops 2 years Normal storage conditions Fudge, toffee In suitable packaging 9 months Normal storage conditions Chocolates in suitable packaging 1 year Cooling storage conditions Grated coconut: Fat percentage of 55% and more 1 year Normal storage conditions Fat percentage less than 55% 2 years Normal storage conditions In suitable packaging Dry cheese yeast In suitable packaging 2 years Normal storage conditions Rose water in suitable packaging 1 year Normal storage conditions The following products could be exempted from a printable expiry date, with only print date of packaging: White sugar Syrup and powder glucose Honey Sodium Chloride Freshly produced vegetables and fruits Dry pulses Dry vegetables Medical herbs and alcoholic drinks (under suitable container and normal packing) For the following foodstuffs, it is acceptable to print the year of harvest: Green coffee not packaged Black tea not packaged Spices and condiments Nuts untoasted and unpacked All foodstuffs that are not mentioned above require printed labeling information, that displays production date or expiry date by the original manufacturer A. Additional Labeling Requirements Labeling requirements for prepackaged and canned foods are outlined in Iraq Food Standards IQS/230/1989. These labeling requirements were drafted in 1973 and were updated in 1978 by the COSQC and discussed by the Technical Commission for the Standardization of Dairy Products and Canned Foods. A. No food product should be introduced into the market without a label B. No food product should be labeled in a way that could be confused with another food product C. If the food product contains pork meat or any other pork product, it should be clearly labeled D. The labeling of food products should be clearly marked in normal purchasing and consumption conditions, and it is not permissible to hide information through drawing or writings. Furthermore, the product should be clearly marked with a reasonable size, using a distinct color different from label background E. If the package is covered by external casing it is required to display all necessary data, and should not obscure the labeling, especially the food items, net weight or volume on the label that would be visual to the consumer F. Providing information on method of processing and how the food item is to be used G. For pet food, it should be indicated that the materials packed are not suitable for human consumption with clear imaging In addition to the labeling requirements as stated in IQS/230/1989, further information must be declared for prepackaged food. Here is some of the required labeling information 1. Name of the product 2. If there is a name or names that have been provided for one of the national standards it is a requirement to use the same name or an alias name. 3. If the names on the label are misleading, appropriate descriptive terms should be used to identify product type. Labeling requirements for ingredients: 1. The list of ingredients should include all nutritional contents placed in descending order according to their percentage except in the following circumstances: A. When the national legislation does not consider as vitally important to make this clear identification. B. When the food item is an ingredient of different parts, the list should include these materials unless the national standards have prelisted this material. C. Water content should be listed unless it is one of the main components such as salt solution or juice or a broth D. When making additives such as vitamins, mineral salts or any others should be labeled E. There should be a name for each content except in the following circumstances: 1. Animal fat 2. Butter fat 3. Cod oil 4. Vegetable oil 5. Herbs 6. Seasoning and spices 7. Starch (except for modified starch) F. The following additives which are listed in the aforementioned labeling requirements are permitted for use: 1. Anti –caking agent 2. Antioxidant 3. Bleaching material (bleach) 4. Coloring agent 5. Emulsion agent 6. Flavoring agent 7. Curing agent 8. Preservative agent 9. Thickening agent 10. Thickening agent in addition to modified carbohydrates 11. Antifoaming agent 12. Modifying PH agent 13. Net Content G. The labeling requirements for net content should include: 2. Volume for liquid foodstuffs 1. Weight for solid foodstuffs or piece number if sold by individual pieces in addition to the weight of the package as a whole 2. Volume or weight of foodstuffs that are viscous or semi-solid. Volume of solid material in brine, where the brine is removed before consumption. The solid material should not be under a certain permitted weight according to the food standards of each foodstuff 1. The special national requirement for each foodstuff Name and address, printed name and address of the manufacturer supplier, importer or the origin of the foodstuff Date of manufacture, packaging, shelf life for foodstuffs that require that: 1. Perishables for a shelf life of less than three months date should be printed as, DD-MM- YY 2. Foodstuffs having a shelf life exceeding (3) months and under (18) months should be printed as MM-YY only Foodstuffs having a shelf life of more than (18) months, print year of expire Storage Prepackaged and canned foods with special storage requirements (freezing, refrigeration or best if stored away from direct sunlight, for example) should be labeled accordingly: 1. Country of Origin 2. Labeled with country of origin 3. For foodstuffs that have been remanufactured in a second country, that country would be considered the country of origin A. Requirements Specific to Nutritional labeling In addition to the general labeling requirements as stated in IQS 230/1989, further information must be declared for prepackaged foods for special dietary purposes (General Requirements for Prepackaged foods for special dietary purposes in section 5 page 5) should be printed accordingly on the general label or on the essential descriptive labeling. Food stuffs must be clearly marked to indicate they have been prepared under ionized radiation. Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations: In 1989, Iraq issued standard No. IQS/230/1989 entitled Labels of Prepackaged and Canned Foods, General Requirements. Some of the main requirements are listed below: All packaging material used should be of food grade Size or volume of the food item should be proportional to the outer packaging, using suitable materials to protect food materials and not to mislead consumers They shall be clean and in a condition that does not allow any contamination They shall maintain the properties of the packaged material and protect it from developing undesirable odors, flavors and tastes They shall offer protection to the product against contamination with microorganisms, insects, rodents, and dirt in the case of such products They shall be impermeable to moisture They shall offer necessary protection against environmental conditions and mechanical hazards such as impact, vibration, static stress, and they shall be in an intact appearance during handling They shall not affect the container as a result of the migration of some of the ingredients that may react or be mixed with food material Wood is not allowed as a packaging material for fruits There are other Iraqi standards with specifications for glass, ceramic, waxed paper and plastic containers used as packaging for food material, outlined in the following standards: 1. Standard No. 1629/199 Glass Bottles for sauces and tomato ketchup packing 2. Standard No. 1854/1994 Ceramic in contact with food release of Lead and Cadmium 3. Standard No. 2167/2001 waxed Paper General Packaging 4. Standard No. 1811/1993 Plastic Container used Packaging and Shipping of Vegetables and Fruits and other Food Stuffs 5. Standards No. 1590 /1990 Code for Hygienic Practices for Poultry Processing Section IV. Food Additives Regulations: There are a number of standards for foodstuff additives some of them are outlined in appendix II. A hard copy of the standards can be purchased from COSQC. Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants: There are number of pesticide standards published on COSQC’s official web site, www.cosqc.gov.iq. No Iraqi standards are available on pesticides contamination. Hard copies of the standards listed on the COSQC’s web site are available at the Central Organization for Standardization and Quality Control. Interested U.S. exporters can purchase them from COSQC’s library in Arabic. Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements: All imported food products should be within the shelf life set and adhere to the labeling requirements outlined previously in section II. Seed varieties must be registered with the National Committee for Registration and Release of Agricultural Varieties (NCRRAV), which is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. For new varieties, registration is done through a local agent by submitting a sample for field trials and laboratory testing and a fee of $ 4,300 paid to the NCRRAV. The process normally takes a minimum of one year. Seed producing or processing companies should be registered with the NCRRAV to market their products; the registration is done through a local agent by submitting the company’s official papers endorsed by the Iraqi embassy in their country, in addition to a fee of $ 1,750. The company is required to submit general information such as address, annual capital and number of professional staff. The company registration is a prerequisite for registering seed verities. Product Inspection The current system for testing imported products at border crossing points involves three agencies, the Central Organization for Standards and Quality Control (COSQC), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health. On July 1, 2011, the COSQC in Baghdad implemented a new precertification requirement for most imported products, including processed food, which is in effect for the lower 15 provinces. The intent of this new requirement was to bring imports of substandard and unsafe products under control. Under this new requirement, COSQC contracted with two private sector companies, SGS and Bureau Veritas, to inspect and certify, in the country of origin prior to shipment, that products meet Iraqi import requirements. Products arriving at Iraqi ports in the lower 15 provinces are required to have a certificate of conformity (COC) issued by one of these two companies at countries of origin. The KRG has also implemented precertification of imports, but did not include food products. MOA tests shipments, such as grain, feed, vegetables, live animals, and agricultural inputs. Preliminary analysis of the shipment is handled at the border and more thorough testing is done at their testing labs in Baghdad. The MOH conducts its own testing by taking a sample of the foodstuffs and analyzing it at provincial health department labs or at the Central Health Lab in Baghdad. A representative sample would have an average weight of two kilograms. All agricultural products and food stuffs crossing the border into the KRG are inspected by MOH and MOA in the KRG. Import Precertification Mechanism Requesting conformity certification The importer or exports submits an application to SGS or Bureau Veritas attaching the following: Pro forma invoice and LC All documents necessary for exports Al l certification, test reports for food safety or Iraqi standardization such as Codex, ECE, EN, IEC, ISO..etc Certification for quality control, ISO 13485, ISO/TS 16949, HACCP, ISO 22000..etc Physical address for goods 1. Documentary verification The preshipment inspecting company would verify documents and may take samples 1. Issuing the certificate Once the certificate issuing company is satisfied that the goods are in compliance with food safety, standardization and quality control, then a COC is issued. However, if the consignment is not in compliance with the above requirements then the company would issue a non compliance certificate. 1. Verification at the Iraqi boarder The assigned surveyor would implement the following at the port of entry: Documentary verification Matching shipment with documents Verifying seals at country of origin Verifying that the containers is not damaged and there for the shipment is not damaged as well Taking pictures to damaged shipments When there is suspension then that should be reported to customs officials, and vice versa 1. Random Testing COSQC has the right to do random testing and would authorize the customs department to withhold that shipment until testing is complete Fee Schedule 1. Fees for Pre-import testing certification, all numbers are in US dollars: Shipment value Fees Minimum fees Maximum fees 0- 80,000 320 320 320 80,000 -200,000 320+0.40% 320 800 200001 -1,000,000 800+0.30% 800 3,200 Above 1,000,000 3200+0.15% 3200 000.00 1. Fees for the lab testing, is not included in above as it depends on the shipment and technical specification that it falls under 2. Fees for customs inspection as follows: Shipment value ( excluding custom tariffs, insurance and shipping Fees for every container or fees) truck 0-5,000 50 5001-10,000 75 Above 10,000 100 For bulk sea cargo 250 Certification and documentation requirements The general requirements for imported food products are as follows: Brand/trademark should be used on product packaging Traceability of products It is permissible to use data or graphics on the general labeling if it does not contravene the general requirement of standard IQS 230/1989 When using quality grading, it should be comprehensible and should not be misleading to consumers The following terms can be used on labels: Descriptive terms - ionized radiation- herbs- country of origin- expiration date- optional labeling- date of packaging- date of manufacture- storage- manufacture- diet- background- grade designation- batch number- brine- broth- emulsifying agent- preservative- anti-caking agent- anti-foaming agent- stabilizing agent- thickening agent- coloring agent- curing agent- flavoring agent- antioxidant agent- food additives- net weight- drained weight- semi solid material The following documents are required for imports: Commercial Invoice Certificate of Origin Halal certificate for meat and meat products Health certificate from country of origin Bill of lading or airway bill Weight list (for grain) Phytosanitary certificate for plant and plant products Certificate of Conformity (COC) Section VII. Other Specific Standards: A. Halal Meat and Islamic Slaughter Per Iraq standards number 1590IQS/1990 (Code for Hygienic Practice for Poultry Processing), Iraq standard IQS (1185)/2/19789 (Beef and Buffalo Meat Fresh, Chilled and Frozen), and Iraq Frozen Chicken standard IQS 1179/1987, animal slaughter should be in accordance with Islamic Shareat, (Halal slaughter) using clean sharp cutting tools that would result in thorough bleeding of the carcass in preparation for dressing and evisceration. A. Baby Foods IQS 2105/1999 establishes the standards for baby foods, entitled Baby Food/Follow-Up Formula. Hard copy may be purchased from COSQC for a nominal fee. A. Frozen Chicken IQS 1179/1987 regulates frozen chicken. Per the regulation, imported frozen chicken must meet the Islamic slaughtering requirements mentioned above. When the shipment arrives at one of the border crossings, a sample is taken to be tested at MOH labs and COSQC in Baghdad. A. Animal Feed Requirements There are a number of published standards for feed including the following: IQS 924/1990 Finished and Concentrated Feed for Poultry IQS 925/1991 Finished and Concentrated Feed for Sheep IQS 1615/ 1991 Finished and Concentrated Feed for Fish IQS 1616/1991 Finished and Concentrated Feed for Cattle IQS 1617/1991 Protein Concentrates IQS 156/1990 Raw Materials in Feed Manufacture IQS 449/1992 Fat Content in Feed A. Non-standardized products COSQC has not developed a system of handling non-standardized products as yet, they are willing however to consider the US standards for such products , then would instruct SGS and BV to issue COC based on those standards. Animal Quarantine Regulations The MOA Baghdad has published live animal import regulation and the MOA in KRG has also published live animal import regulations. Both regulations are consistent with OIE guidelines; there are efforts underway to consolidate the two regulations to provide uniform administration, and enforcement at all points of entry. Regulation number (1) issued in 2010, based on Article (118) of Veterinary System number (84) for the year 1937 is the main legal framework that regulates imports of live animals The following instructions have been promulgated: The person/company wishing to import live animals into the Republic of Iraq should submit an application to the Ministry of Trade which refers it to MOA, State Company for Veterinary Services, for endorsement. The application should provide the following: The animal species, genus, number intended to be imported, weight and whether for breeding or slaughtering The country of origin Transportation mode, the date and point of shipment at the country of origin, as well as the date, time, point of destination and the route from the country of origin to the Republic of Iraq The application should be accompanied by the following documents: Permit to set up a farm, slaughter house or similar operation Membership in one of the chambers of commerce or certificate of importation and exportation Address of establishment as well as a copy of the applicant’s PDS ration card The civil status identity card and the Iraqi nationality certificate and ration card The passport (for non-Iraqi applicants) A clear commitment to slaughter sheep and cattle in the slaughterhouse determined by the competent authority (Ministry of Agriculture). When the imported animals are at the point of entry into Iraq; the importer should submit the following: The certificate of origin certified by the Iraqi embassy or consulate in the country of origin and ratified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Baghdad An international veterinary health certificate from the country of origin certified by the Iraqi embassy or consulate and ratified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Baghdad (therein stating that the animal is free of infectious and contagious diseases, septicemia epidemic and bovine spongiform encephalopathy). All laboratory tests and a record of preventive vaccine-inoculation for the animals in the country of origin before shipping A certificate from the country of origin that the imported animals are free of radioactive materials, as well as a certificate of non-use of hormones or synthetic growth promotants. A representative of the State Veterinary Services Company (SVSC) is entrusted with the following tasks: Confirmation that the country of origin is free from epidemic diseases Determination of the periods when the imported live animals should be subjected to veterinary quarantine and control, provided that during such period technical reports are submitted for any emergencies with authorization of autopsy for the carcass of deceased animals and deliver samples to the laboratory approved by the company, provided that the importer bears the cost of foraging, watering, managing and protecting the animals during the quarantine period Determination of proposed vaccines and treatments for the imported animals at the veterinary quarantine Obtaining approval of the SVSC to eradicate any number of imported animals (without reimbursing the importer) when they are proven to be infected by diseases that are epidemic, contagious or dangerous to public health during the veterinary quarantine period Ensuring the importer or investor possesses a lot or receiving station suitable for the imported, and the SVSC should perform a health inspection and prepare daily reports Ensuring that the SVSC determines the conditions and specifications for imported animals for breeding with regard to form and type of animal, sex, genetic and production rates and characteristics of feed conversion and reproductive performance and birth rates The SVSC is responsible for oversight of all live animal imports for slaughter. Ban importation of animals that are not approved for marketing in the country of origin. Prohibit importation of buffalo and sheep, females and males if they were imported for breeding purposes until the completion of deoxyribonucleic acid tests The MOA may prohibit breeding imported animals if there are pathogenic symptoms or infectious diseases tested in OIE guidelines, even after their total or partial release of the quarantine during 60 days in accordance with notification by the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Trade The MOA may entrust one of its veterinary health offices at the border crossings directly supervise the imported animals at the receiving station, prepare daily technical reports on the health conditions of the animals and recording all the pertinent information in a permanent register Installation of border crossings that are suitable to receive and quarantine animals in accordance with requirements for live animals for breeding purposes, where they shall be kept until they have been examined by the competent authorities in order to ensure their safety and satisfy the required conditions therein The imported animals shall be subjected to the following preventive procedures: Vaccination of animals imported for breeding purposes against external and internal parasites prior to shipment and before being allowed to enter the Iraqi territory Inoculation of the animals imported for the purposes of breeding by the heat-killed vaccines required for cattle. Hemorrhagic septicemia vaccine and symptomatic anthrax vaccine. Foot-and- mouth disease vaccine provided that it should not contain strains not registered in Iraq. Feeding imported heifers with cattle magnet, administering sedatives and long-acting antibiotics. The MOA may reject a consignment if it contradicts any technical and health condition without reimbursement, imported live animals for slaughter are subject to veterinary health quarantine for 48 hours and for the purpose of breeding for 21-30 days Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws: No enforceable updated regulations for copyright and trademark purposes are presently available. Many international agencies are working to develop appropriate regulations. Section IX. Import Procedures: A. Overview Since 2006, importers of food products and agricultural inputs, such as meat products, fresh produce, seeds and fertilizers, have been required to apply for import licenses issued by the Ministry of Trade’s State Company for Fairs and Trade Services (SCFTS), which is based on the written approval of the Ministry of Agriculture. The license is valid for 3 months with an extension of one month In December 2010, the Iraqi government issued law number 10 which authorized SCFTS to issue import licenses for all imports. The majority of Iraqi food imports enter via the port of Umm-Qasr or by truck on the Iraq-Jordanian border A. General Requirements As of February 15, 2011, SCFTS in the Ministry of Trade was delegated responsibility for issuing import licenses. Each importer will have to acquire an importer identification card, issued by SCFTS, a document furnished to companies and individuals which identifies in addition to business affiliations, the goods that he/she is importing. This document is issued contingent upon: Membership in one of the country’s authorized chambers of commerce The importer demonstrating his company is registered in Iraq and a letter of inception Proof of Iraqi citizenship Certificate of good standing from a local tax office Two personal photos The Iraqi government continues to financially support local production of vegetables, fruits, feed and grain. Provincial governments periodically issue seasonal bans on the imports of certain vegetables and fruit. The KRG has also issued seasonal bans that cover the three provinces in that region. There are also examples of national bans on fruit and vegetable imports, however, enforcement is spotty. Imports of food items and agricultural products are banned if the importation violates regulations pertaining to national safety, health, natural resources and national security. The MOA is the government department that issues licenses to import wood and fresh produce with an expiration date of three months, one month extension; it is the importers responsibility to submit a request to MOA, attaching importers credentials and shipment information. The following documents are required for imports of wood: Commercial Invoice Certificate of Origin Bill of lading or airway bill Phytosanitary certificate for plant products Once the shipment reaches the boarder it would undergo a physical inspection by MOA boarder inspectors. Customs uses the harmonized system for wood its 44.01.21.00 and the duty rate is 5%. Tariffs on Apples, Pears and Cherries found in the harmonized system 08.07.19.90 and the duty rate is 20 percent. There is a ban on imports of fruits from EU but no such ban on imports from North America. Codex Alimentarious Commission for maximum residue limits (MRL) are the basis for the Iraqi Standards. MOA does not sample fresh fruits at the boarder but resorts to the visual inspection. No restriction on the use of wax, no organic fruit regulation enforceable by MOA. Imports of grapes are banned. Codex Alimentarious Commission for chemical MRLs is the basis for the Iraqi Standards. They were basically copied. For sampling purposes MOA does sample fresh fruits at the boarder but resort to the visual inspection. 1. No restriction on the use of wax 2. No organic fruit regulation enforceable by GOI 3. Imports of Grapes are banned 4. Wood is not allowed as packaging materials A. Import regulations for materials of animal origin Those wanting to import food products of animal origin, either for the public, mixed-sector or private sector must provide a request to the MOA in order to obtain preliminary approval to import. The request should contain the following: types of products, number and quantity, country of origin, expected date of arrival, and port of entry. The request (application) will then be referred to the Ministry of Trade, SCFTS, for the issuance of an import license; the following should be taken into consideration: The imported foodstuffs must conform with the specifications and conditions approved by the COQCS Provide a certificate for the imported goods by country of origin and certified or approved by the Iraqi Embassy in that country or the neighboring country, any other certificate would not be acceptable Provide a Halal certificate for red meat and poultry Provide a certificate of quality and health confirming that the products are imported free of communicable diseases and the certificate issued by an accredited health department Provide a certificate confirming that the products are not genetically modified The State Company for Veterinary Services (MOA) has the right to annul an import license without giving prior notice, if there is a disease or epidemics in the country of origin The validity of the license issued by the Ministry of Trade is not to exceed the (90) days from the date of issue with a possibility to extend the import license for an additional thirty days with the consent of the Ministry of Trade and should be for customs purposes only. The importer has to provide a written confirmation not to release imported products to the market until laboratory testing results have been issued and shall store the items in appropriate storage facilities and the items should be under the supervision of customs professional only All the imported items should have clear labels. The imported products must be transported by special transportation to avoid damage or contamination The SCVS lists permitted or prohibited countries of origin may announce seasonal import bans to protect domestic production Imported eggs should be stamped with the manufacturer’s stamp or country of origin in accordance with the instructions issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Planning and Follow-up, Department of Animal Production No. 4284 March 3rd 2008 Appendix 1 Government Regulatory Agency Contacts: State Company for Fairs and Trade Services Iraq Ministry of Trade Sadiq Hussein Sultan General Director Chairman Tel: (964) 780-638-4344; (964) 770-464-4492 E-mail: iraqifairs@gmail.com www.fairs.mot.gov.iq Central Organization for Standardization and Quality Control Mr. Saad A. Abdul Gadir, President Iraq-Baghdad-AlJadriya P.o.Box: 13032 Tel: (964) 790-178-6768; (964) 790-190-8418 E-mail: office:cosqc@yahoo.com E-mail: info.center@cosqc.gov.iq www.cosqc.gov.1q Mailing Address: Ministry of Planning P.O. Box 13032, Al-Jaderiya, Baghdad, Iraq Iraqi Kurdistan Organization for Standardization and Quality Control Dr. Muayad Koji, President Iraq-Arbil Tel: (964) 750-445-8357 E-mail: muayad.koji@gmail.com National Investment Commission Mr. Adnan Al-Ramaihy General Manager of Legal Directorate Tel: (964)790-118-3316; (964) 770-444-3398 E-mail: alrmihy@yahoo.com www.investpromo.gov.iq Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Musadak D. Al Karaghuli Director General State Company for Animal Resources Tel: (964) 790-161-6053 E-mail: mmdma@yahoo.com Iraqi Kurdistan Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Bahjet Yousif Ghareeb Manager Agricultural Quarantine. Tel: (964) 750-472-1956 E-mail:bahjathadad@yahoo.com Iraqi Ministry of Trade Mr. Walid Habib Al. Moswee Deputy Ministry of Trade Tel: (964) 790-110-1953 E-mail: wakel_oftrade@yahoo.com Iraqi Company for Veterinary Services/and Iraqi representative to World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Dr. Mithaq Abdul Hussein Director Epidemiology Department E-mail: mithaq1973@yahoo.com Sulamaniyah Airport Dr. Baktiar Ahmed Chief for Inspection Service, E-mail: bgk.sulaymani@moakurdistan.com KRG, Erbil Dr. Refaat Hedayaat Hamad Salih Director General Animal Resources and Veterinary Services E-mail: kurdistan_vet@yahoo.com APPENDIX II: List of Food Standards Available from FAS Baghdad Office Standards Number Description IQS/1847/1999 Shelf Life of Food Stuffs IQS/230/1989 Labels of Prepackaged and Canned Foods IQS/1180/1988 Fresh Chicken Eggs IQS/1179/1988 Frozen Chickens IQS (1185)/2/1987 Beef and Buffalo Meat Fresh, Chilled and Frozen IQS/693/1999 Dairy Product Processed Cheese, Processed Cheese Spread and Processed Cheese Foods IQS/156/1990 Raw Materials Concerned in Feed Processing IQS/37/1988 Wheat Products Wheat Flour for Bread Industry IQS/1616/1990 Finished and Concentrated Feed for Cattle IQS/1615/1990 Finished and Concentrated Feeds for Fishes IQS/1590/1980 Code of Hygienic Practice for Poultry Processing IQS/925/1990 Finished and Concentrated Feeds for Sheep IQS/1086/1986 Commercial Formulations of Chemical sampling methods and General Tests IQS/607/1987 Dairy products/ Butter updated in 2003 IQS/608/5/1988 Dairy Products/ Powdered Milk IQS/693/1/1988 Dairy Products/ Cheeses IQS/ 693/2/1999 Dairy Products/ Processed Spread and Processed Cheese Food, First revision IQS/1582/1990 Edible Sunflower Seeds Oil IQS/1372/1988 Frozen Fish IQS/1580/1989 Red Meat Uncooked Products IQS/1127/1988-1 Carbonated Beverage IQS/2159/2001 Smoked Meat Beef Salami IQS/1903/1995 Edible Soya bean Oil IQS/1180/1988 Fresh Chicken Eggs IQS/1373/1988 Edible Vegetable Oil IQS/2033/1997 Soy Bean Meal IQS/2058/1998- Wheat 2084/1998 IQS/2036/1997 Soy protein Products IQS 1507/1989 Vanilla used in Foods IQS 924/1990 Finished and Concentrated Feed for Chickens IQS 925/1991 Finished and Concentrated Feeds for Sheep IQS 1615/1991 Finished and Concentrated Feeds for Fish IQS 1616/1991 Finished and Concentrated Feeds for Cattle IQS 1617/1991 Protein Concentrates
Posted: 30 December 2011

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Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards   By Foreign Agricultural Service
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