Updated 2008-05-26

Directorate VETERINARY SERVICES (South Africa)

IMPORTATION OF HAM & SALAMI INTO SOUTH AFRICA REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURE

                                                      

1.      Department of Agriculture (Directorate of Veterinary Services)

 

The Directorate Veterinary Services administers the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984). The Import Export Policy Unit of the Directorate Veterinary Services also administers the sections of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act No 40 of 2000) and regulations that apply to the importation of meat. The importation of animals and animal products from individual countries is evaluated in accordance with these Acts, international standards and other requirements.

 

The Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984) is available on the following website: 

Link to Animal Diseases Act

The Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act 40 of 2000) is available on the following website: 

Link to Meat Safety Act

The new Red Meat Safety Regulations:  Red Meat Safety Regulations

 

Regulations for meat derived from other species have not yet been promulgated.

 

Copies of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 and the regulations promulgated there-under can also be obtained by contacting Ms Ramos at Tel 012 319 7405 (International tel. +27 12 319 7405), AnnaR@nda.agric.za or fax no 012 329 0499. Copies of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 and the regulations promulgated thereunder can be obtained by contacting Mrs Viviers at tel 012 319 7700 (International tel. +27 12 319 7700), ElmarieV@nda.agric.za or fax no 012 329 6892.

 

Veterinary Import Permit

 

No animal or animal product (including samples) may be imported without obtaining a veterinary import permit from this Directorate. The importer must be in possession of the veterinary import permit before the consignment departs from the country of origin. Import permits for animal products (e.g. meat) imported for commercial purposes are only issued to companies residing in South Africa or an agent in South Africa appointed by an international company. (The reason being the difficulty of initiating legal proceedings against foreign individuals or companies.)

 

Import requirements vary according to product and the animal health situation in individual countries. Specimen copies of permits (examples) can be obtained from the permit office (Contact numbers are given below). If you request specimen copies please mention the country of origin and the product you want to import.

 

It is not advisable to enter into any agreement before you have received a signed and stamped veterinary import permit for a particular product (this excludes specimen copies of veterinary import permits) - especially, if you are importing it for the first time.

 

Obtaining an Import Permit

 

Please ensure that the correct application form is completed.

 

Applications for veterinary import permits will not be processed unless a payment of R110 per permit has been received.

 

Please indicate whether the import permit must be mailed to you or whether it will be collected at the permit office.

 

Completed application forms must be returned to:

 

Postal address:

Physical address:

The Director Veterinary Services 

Import / Export (Permit Office)

Private Bag X138

PRETORIA

0001

The Permit Office, Room G52

Delpen Building

Corner of Annie Botha and Union Avenue

Riviera

Pretoria

Fax No:

012 329 8292

International Fax No:

+27 12 329 8292

 

Application forms and information concerning the payment can be obtained from the permit office at tel no 012 319 7514 / - 7414 /-7632 /  -7633 / -7503 or via the following link: Application forms

 

Ship Chandling and In Transit Consignments

 

Ship chandling and in transit movement of animals and animal products are regarded as importation, unless the consignment does not leave international ground and departs within a couple of hours. If the products are in transit through the Republic of South Africa, a copy of the veterinary import permit from the country of final destination must be submitted with the application for a South African veterinary in transit permit.

 

Veterinary Health Certificate

 

A veterinary health certificate, which is in compliance with the conditions stipulated by the South African veterinary import permit, must be obtained from the veterinary authorities in the country of origin before the product is shipped. Imports via third countries are generally not accepted.

 

Ports of Entry

 

The veterinary import permit and the veterinary health certificate must be presented to the relevant authorities at the port of entry. Only original documents will be accepted. Meat must be inspected at one of following inspection sites stipulated on the import permit:

 

Durban:

tel no

031 337 4346/7

Cape Town:

tel no

021 551 2050

City Deep Abattoir (only from neighbouring countries):

tel no

011 613 1636

Port Elizabeth (special permission):

tel no

041 585 8907

 

 

Importation from countries not exporting to South Africa at present

 

An application to import meat from countries not exporting to South Africa at present (or to import a particular product for the first time from a country exporting other animal products to the RSA) is evaluated in terms of the relevant legislation, international standards and other requirements.

 

South Africa is an active member of an international network of veterinary administrations. Through these international contacts we receive regular reports on the disease status of other countries. Disease reports are received from the Office International des Epizooties / World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) and by direct contact with the veterinary administrations in the exporting countries.

 

Trade is based on a series of requirements, which the importing country considers appropriate to prevent the entry of diseases.  The regulating authority in the importing country always requires someone independent of commercial involvement in the exporting country to act as its agent to ensure that its import requirements are appropriate for the trade and that they are complied with when an export takes place. The Directorate of Veterinary Services specifies that this must be its equivalent government agency.  In some circumstances it may be considered sufficient for the process to be audited by the government body.  The draft conditions of trade are drawn up by the Directorate Veterinary Services and represent the Directorate’s perceptions of the exporting country's animal health status.  The conditions usually reflect the concerns of our agricultural industries and our own livestock disease status.  Because the industries perceptions are not always well-founded, considerable negotiation takes place to try to reduce the requirements to the lowest level compatible with the maintenance of adequate agricultural security.

 

The animal disease situation in a country is first evaluated using OIE reports and other information available internationally. Depending on the outcome it is decided whether further consideration should be given to the importation of a product from a certain country. If the outcome is favourable the next step is usually to carry out an inspection visit to evaluate the animal disease situation, veterinary control and surveillance programs. The inspection of establishments can be done during the same visit, but will usually only be considered if the animal health situation appears to be favourable.

 

Inspection visits are planned and budgeted for, each financial year (starting 1 April). It is usually very difficult to deviate from this schedule.

 

Before planning an inspection visit our Directorate requires the following:

 

  1. An official invitation from the prospective exporting country

 

  1. Written confirmation from the organisation or company sponsoring the inspection visit indicating which expenses they are prepared to pay.

 

  1. In some cases confirmation may be required from the veterinary authorities in the country of origin that the establishments (abattoirs, cutting plants, etc) have been inspected and, in their opinion, could comply with our requirements.

 

The date of the visit will be set only after receiving the documents mentioned in paragraphs 1 to 3 and will not be sooner than 3 months after having received the above-mentioned documents.

 

A major part of the risk analysis aims to confirm the reliability of statements made by the veterinary authority in the exporting country and by the industry organisations in that country. This requires a detailed knowledge of controls and procedures in the country of origin. These include:

 

-         The legislative controls on import and export of animals and animal products.

-         The governmental veterinary services.

-         The laboratory service coverage (both private and state).

-         The veterinary practitioner base and its interactions with the state services.

-         The industry, its use of veterinarians and its interactions with the governmental veterinary services.

-         Systems of disease notifications and exotic disease response procedures.

 

Knowledge of these factors allows an assessment to be made of the degree of disease surveillance in place in the exporting country.

 

The requirements include inter alia that the exporting country must be free of certain diseases. All statements must be supported by documented surveillance information.

 

The requirements on the veterinary health certificate vary according to the conditions in individual countries and are only agreed upon once the procedure described above has been completed.

 

Enquiries

 

Enquiries can be directed to:

 

The Director Veterinary Services 

Attention: Dr Michelle Lewis

Private Bag X138

Pretoria

0001

 

Tel No:

(012) 319 7648 (Int. +27 12 319 7648)

Dr M Lewis

Fax:

012 319 7529

 

e-mail:

MichelleL@nda.agric.za

 

 

OR

Import Export Policy Unit Contact List

 

2.      Department of Health (Directorate Food Control)

Website: Department of Health: Food Control

Act on Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants, 1972 (Act No 54 of 1972) 

The National Directorate of Food Control in Pretoria sets the standards, which the port health officials of the provincial governments enforce, at all the ports of entry (the major ports being Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg Airport. Please note that there are a number of other ports of entry, the contact details are available on the DoH webpage)

This Directorate does not issue import permits for meat products.

Contact persons:

·          Ms P T Campbell

Tel 012 312 0159 or campbp@health.gov.za

Fax 012 312 3180

·          Director Mr. AWJ Pretorius

Tel 012 312 0185/6

Fax 012 312 3180

 

·        Act on Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants, 1972 (Act No 54 of 1972)

 

·        The National Directorate of Food Control in Pretoria sets the standards, which the port health officials of the provincial governments enforce, at the ports of entry (Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg Airport)

 

·        This Directorate does not issue import permits for meat products.

 

·        Contact person:

 

 

Mr AWJ Pretorius

Tel

012 312 0159

 

 

Fax

012 326 4374

·        Director

 

 

Dr. Theo van de Venter

Tel

012 312 0185/6

 

 

Fax

012 326 4374

 

·        Act on Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants, 1972 (Act No 54 of 1972)

 

·        The National Directorate of Food Control in Pretoria sets the standards, which the port health officials of the provincial governments enforce, at the ports of entry (Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg Airport)

 

·        This Directorate does not issue import permits for meat products.

 

·        Contact person:

 

 

???

Tel

012 312 0159 (?)

 

 

Fax

012 312 3162(?)

 

·          Director

 

 

Mr AWJ Pretorius

Tel

012 312 0185/6 (?)

 

 

Fax

012 312 3162(?)

·          Website: http://www.doh.gov.za/department/dir_foodcontr.html

 

 

 

 

3.      Port Health

 

 

 

 

Monitoring of imported food consignments (excluding fresh/raw meat) at ports of entry

 

South African health officials, commonly called “Port Health Officers” may decide to detain products after carrying out a physical inspection.

 

 

Contact details:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johannesburg

Tel

+27 (0) 11 613 5522

 

 

Fax

+27 (0) 11 613 3605

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Town

Tel

+27 (0) 21 421 1124

 

 

Fax

+27 (0) 21 418 5685

 

 

 

 

 

Durban

Tel

+27 (0) 33 846 7506

 

 

Fax

+27 (0) 33 846 7272

 

 

 

·          Website: http://www.doh.gov.za/department/foodcontrol/ports.html