Factbox: Restrictions on Japanese food imports

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2011 12:11 PM

(Reuters) - The United States became the first nation to block produce from Japan's radiation zone, saying on Wednesday it will halt milk, vegetable and fruit imports from areas near the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant because of contamination fears.

Food makes up 1 percent of Japanese exports, according to World Bank data.

Following are steps countries have taken to test or block Japanese food imports:

NETHERLANDS

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said it has started extra checking Japanese food imports for radiation. These checks will be implemented at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam port, Europe's biggest.

At this stage, no contaminated food has been found in the Netherlands.

CHINA

Monitoring food imported from Japan for signs of radiation.

HONG KONG

Bans food and milk products from five prefectures in Japan after samples of turnip and spinach were showed contaminants 2.6 to 10 times over the permissible limit.

MALAYSIA

Testing all consignments from Japan. Health Ministry is monitoring the situation daily but has no plans to ban so far.

PHILIPPINES

Not recommending any ban on food imports from Japan but will continue to conduct random tests for radiation.

SINGAPORE

Testing imported Japanese produce for possible radiation, its agri-food and veterinary authority said.

SOUTH KOREA

Is "actively" considering banning food imports from Fukushima and three nearby prefectures due to concerns about possible radiation contamination, Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday.

It is already testing for signs of radiation in fresh agricultural produce, dried agricultural and processed food from Japan.

Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) said earlier on Wednesday it would not ban Japanese food at this stage.

TAIWAN

Taiwan's Fisheries Agency has advised local boats not to fish in Japanese waters after radiation was detected in the sea around the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The agency will check all catches on fishing boats returning from Japanese waters and destroy any catches with radioactivity exceeding permitted limits.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The United States will block imports of milk and fresh produce from areas of Japan near the crippled nuclear power plant.

All milk and milk products and fresh fruits and vegetables from four Japanese prefectures -- Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma -- will be stopped from entering the United States, the Food and Drug Administration said.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Compiled by Daniel Magnowski and Sanjeev Miglani)