Overall objective

To improve conditions for the EU food and drink industry to access the markets of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

The general objective is to contribute to improve the regulatory cooperation on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanaitary (Food Safety, Plant Health and Animal Health) and food safety between competent authorities in the EU Commission, EU Member States, and Asian partner countries and to expand economic opportunities for EU businesses in Asia through this cooperation. 


1st seminar march 2022


The first regulatory dialogue visit to support official inspections on EU exports of pork products to Thailand during 7-18 March 2022 took place in Spain.

This Regulatory Visit aims at demonstrating the robustness of the EU regulatory systems applied to the production and exportation of pork meat and pork products to Thailand. This activity is aiming to improve a better mutual understanding of the EU sanitary rules and control systems in place and to improve conditions for the EU meat industry to access the Thai market. 

Read more: Reports-on-past-visits  


1st event report


Improving EU-Asia food and feed trade: seminar on plant and plant products in Thailand

On the 24 and 25 March, we organised a seminar in Bangkok on the “import of plant and plant products into Thailand” under the scope of its ongoing European Commission-funded project, “EU Asia Cooperation on (phyto-) sanitary (SPS) and food safety regulation” (EU Asia Cooperation on SPS).  The project aims to improve the conditions for the EU food and drink industry to access the markets of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Global trade of food and feed products is on the rise, however sanitary and phytosanitary issues are some of the most important trade barriers – an outbreak of animal disease anywhere in the EU can have almost immediate repercussions with exports being cancelled overnight. In order to ensure the continuity of such trade it is of utmost importance that safety measures, in terms of animal and plant disease control, be considered and applied.

The EU has proven to have policy instruments and capacities in place, and if trade partners are confident in the EU’s capacity to manage occasional food safety risks, then outbreaks and other issues would wreak less havoc on EU trade. The project does not aim to down-play the sanitary risks of trade, but to demonstrate that these should be addressed via continuous dialogue and close administrative relations.

The new EU plant health regulation – which entered into force on 14 December 2019 - aims to modernise the plant health regime, introducing more effective measures for the protection of the Union's territory and plants. It also aims to ensure safe trade, as well as to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the health of our crops and forests. This regulation set part of the scope for the event organised by AETS consortium.

The event was the first of its kind organised for the abovementioned contract, which saw the entirety of its 2020 events cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Participants included members of the Thai competent authorities, members of the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand and industry representatives. Keynote speakers from EU Member States, including members of DG SANTE, participated via conference call. Two sessions with informative presentations on the topic of sanitary and phytosanitary cooperation – plant health requirements, food safety requirements for plant products and quality standards – were held. The first day of the event focused on the Thai market, its opportunities and market access conditions, while the second day was dedicated to the EU regulatory framework.

Due to travel ban and restrictions, the programme of first hybrid seminar includes pre-recorded presentations, live presentation as well as interactive sessions when the time difference between Europe and Asia allows. The pre-recorded presentations from keynote speakers from EU Member States, DG TRADE, DG SANTE and DG AGRI are made available on the website of the project: Past seminars (eu-asia-sps.com)

The event was successful and set the precedent for the numerous events which are envisaged under the scope of the contract, which is expected to run until end of 2022.



New guides under preparation

The ongoing EU-Asia Cooperation on SPS project supports the cooperative orientation of the EU's policies and is fully in-line with the “Trade for All Communication” of the European Commission through the development of 8 electronic guides for applicants including import conditions/regulations of the selected Asian countries, as well as sanitary, phytosanitary and food safety-related issues in the area of animal health, plant health and food safety regulations. 

Four guides are currently being prepared:  

- A guide on import rules for fruits and vegetables in India, which complements the information already available on the DG Trade Market Access Database and in the Handbook for EU Exporters of plant and plant products to India. The guide will include single commodity protocols to be applied by the competent authorities and exporters of EU Member States, as well as alternatives to Methyl Bromide for use on apples, plums, kiwis and possibly other products for import into India. 

- A guide with an overview of EU Law versus Chinese Law concerning the export of pork and beef meat and offal to the People’s Republic of China. This guide will aim to increase precision and clarity on import conditions imposed on beef and pork meat and by-products into China to be used by the competent authorities and exporters of EU Member States. 

- A guide on the import requirements of meat and meat products in Indonesia, which will include a detailed look at market access requirements and administrative procedures involved in obtaining approvals. 

- A guide on the import requirements of meat and meat products, including Halal requirements, in Malaysia. This guide will aim to help EU exporters enter developing markets in the region and to assist companies in securing halal certifications, since products with halal “certifications” will appeal to Muslim consumers more than other non-certified products. 




The project is funded by the European Commision and implemented by AETS consortium