Caviar labelling scheme goes live

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
3 July 2007, at 1:00am

UK - From 1 July all caviar sold in the UK must display labels approved by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

This is in line with the international CITES and European Commission (EC) trade regulations.

The non-reusable labels give detailed information about the origin and age of the caviar, and, if appropriate, where it has been repackaged in the UK.

Illegal caviar trade is a major concern as the main threats to the species are over fishing and poaching. In the last 15 years the Caspian Sea population has been reduced by 40 %.

The EU is the single biggest consumer of caviar with 591 tonnes imported per annum compared to the USA which imports 300 tonnes per annum. The EU seized 12 tonnes of illegal caviar (2000 – 2005).

Containers of caviar arriving into the UK for trade or repackaging must also display labels that state its country of origin. If caviar is still contained in the original container from the country of origin then it should have a label affixed from that country’s CITES management authority.

Caviar without these labels will be illegal and liable to be seized by police or HM Revenue and Customs officers.

All caviar repackaging plants in the UK are now required to be registered with Animal Health.

Animal Health is the licensing arm of the UK CITES Management Authority responsible for ensuring the Convention is properly implemented and enforced in the UK.