Public health checks mean Manston airport needs to become a DPE to import Kenyan veg

The No Night Flights campaign at Manston has discovered that many of the much disliked night flights there are bringing in peas and beans from Kenya.  The EU has now identified some of these peas and beans in the pods as being a possible risk to public health, due to the level of pesticides present. It is therefore deemed necessary to test 10% of these imports, and this can only be done at the number of ports and airports that have the status of Designated Points of Entry (DPEs).  Manston does not yet have this status, and will need to apply and be registered in order for these imports to continue.


The Food Standards Agency have confirmed (3.1.2013) that Manston Airport has now been designated as a Point of Entry for the purpose of importing beans and peas, but only till 31st March 2013. Consignments will be subject to checks at Manston Airport.


 DPE – Designated Point of Entry

Bean Ban Bombshell

 26.12.2012 (No Night Flights – at Manston.  Herne Bay Matters)

New EU rules will outlaw flying Kenyan veg into Manston, meaning fewer cargo night flights in 2013.

Thanks to the automated cleverness of the web, I get a steady stream of more or less interesting stuff from every corner of the globe. This little snippet is courtesy of the European Commission, and I think I’ve managed to get the right end of this new bit of red tape.

Since 2009, the European legislators have been heroically protecting us from iffy food. The sort of things they look out for should never form part of a balanced diet – Aflatoxins, Salmonella, Norovirus, Hepatitis A, Pesticide residues, Aluminium and suchlike.

Anything that they’ve spotted as being a potential problem – specific foods from specific countries – goes on a watch list. The watch list is periodically reviewed, with items being added and removed, or having the testing frequency adjusted.

Two of the latest additions to this watch list are peas and beans (in the pod) from Kenya, the cause of concern being pesticide residues  (in particular residues of: Dimethoate (Sum), Chlorpyriphos, Acephate, Methamidophos, Methomyl, Diafenthiuron, Indoxacarb). [For details from the EU  see link   ] It doesn’t appear to be a screaming dib-dabs panic, as they only plan to test 10% of imports – the lowest level of inspection. These additions to the watch list were published on 12th Dec 2012 and come into effect on 1st Jan 2013.

So what? Well, I’ve heard many descriptions of the freight flown into Manston – cut flowers, fruit salads – but a recurring feature has always been Kenyan green beans. This is what Cargolux and others are flying in when they arrive in the small hours, in yet another unexpected late arrival.

Watch list items can only be imported through Designated Points of Entry – DPEs are the ports and airports that have the Food Standard Agency (FSA) approved facilities for randomly testing the agreed percentage of imports.

Manston is not a Designated Entry Point.  The list of DPEs is at link .

These are the UK’s current DPEs: Belfast port, Felixstowe port, Gatwick airport, Grimsby and Immingham port, Harwich port, Heathrow airport, Hull and Goole port, Liverpool port, London Thamesport, London Tilbury port, Manchester airport, Port of Bristol, Port of Tyne, Portsmouth port, Sheerness port, Southampton port, Stansted airport, Teesport.

This seems to mean that as of 1st January next year, Kenyan peas and beans (in the pod) can’t be flown into Manston – unless/until the airport is FSA approved. The FSA website site has a handy application form, if Infratil are thinking of taking that route.

Of course, all of this is exactly the sort of thing that most modern businesses prepare for through contingency planning, risk registers, SWOT analysis, and so on. Manston’s business plan should be able to deal with one income stream drying up.

With a bit of luck though, we’ll be getting fewer night flights while Charles Buchanan manages this unexpected opportunity.




Imports of High Risk non animal origin products

Products Not of Animal Origin (NAO)

Imports are controlled through a system of checks aimed at making sure that non animal origin products (NAO) which have been identified as presenting a risk to health meet European Community standards.  These checks on high risk food and feed impose a parallel regime to that in place for veterinary checks,  requiring that checks are carried out at a designated port which has been approved to handle the product concerned.   Felixstowe is approved for the import of all categories of food and feed.

Import Checks High Risk Food and Feed

EC Regulation 882/2004 is the main legislation setting out the principles of checks on food and feed imports; which is implemented into law in the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations 2009.