Question 12 February 2014 Sir Graham Watson (ALDE-LibDems)
Subject: Gibraltar aid to the Philippines
Tropical cyclone Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of SouthEast Asia and tragically killed over 6.000 people in the Philippines.
Citizens across the European Union, including my constituents in Gibraltar, have rightly been generous in supporting emergency aid for those affected. One Gibraltarian organisation had hoped to ship relief supplies onwards to the Philippines via Spain. However, health certificates for the onward shipment of food stuffs contained with the relief goods could not be obtained at the border from Gibraltar into Spain at La Linea. This prevented the aid from being shipped from Gibraltar via Spain to the Philippines in a timely and inexpensive manner.
Is the Commission aware of this incident which prevented aid reaching the Philippines?
Answer 25 March 2014 Commissioner Borg
The Commission would like to thank the Member of Parliament for bringing this matter to its attention.
The European Union has strict rules in place with respect to the import and transit of products of animal origin. According to Union legislation, products of animal origin must be certified by the country of origin to ensure they do not pose a risk to the animal health of the EU territory.
In this case, assuming the shipment contained such products of animal origin, such a certificate should have been issued by the Gibraltarian authorities.