United States Mission to the European Union
Foreign Agricultural Service
United States Department Of Agriculture
Last modified: February 16, 2017

Approved U.S. Residue Plans


The monitoring of residues in animals and animal products is addressed in Council Directive 96/23/EC. This directive includes the monitoring of the pesticide residues as well as residues of veterinary drugs and a wide range of other contaminants and undesired substances such as residues of growth promoters. The prohibition of the use of hormones in meat production is addressed in Council Directive 96/22/EC.


Directive 96/23/EC states that any third country exporting to the EU must submit a plan setting out the guarantees it offers as regards the monitoring of the groups of residues and substances referred to in Annex I to Council Directive 96/23/EC. Furthermore, a split system has to be in place guaranteeing that animals have not been treated with growth promoters if their products will be exported to the EU.  To address this requirement, the U.S. has developed the Non-Hormone Treated Beef Program (NHTC) and the Pork for the European Union Program (PFEU).  The EU only accepts beef and pork if they are produced under these programs.


A country is only eligible to export food of animal origin to the EU if it has received approval from the Commission for the residue plans it submits on a yearly basis to the Commission for the various animal species of interest.  Commission Decision 2011/163/EC, as amended shows the most recent residue approval status for EU suppliers of animal products.  The U.S. is currently approved for all animal species except equines.  Approval for equines was withdrawn by Commission Decision 2011/163/EC.