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SANITARY MEASURES : COURT SUGGESTS IMPROVEMENTS TO CHECKS ON MEAT IMPORTS.

The European Union's Court of Auditors published, on 16 March, a report on the European Commission's management of the system of veterinary checks of meat imports put in place following the serious health crises of the 1990s. It concludes that implementation of the 2004 hygiene package is behind schedule and that the information systems used at border inspection posts and checks by these posts can still be improved.

The court reviewed the Commission's supervision of the EU system of veterinary checks carried out at border inspection posts (BIPs) for meat imports with visits to France, the Netherlands, Spain and Romania. It observed that in some cases relevant data are not being entered. The auditors also took part in inspections carried out by the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in three member states (Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Greece). Given the particularly relevant role played by the FVO in supervision and control of EU veterinary checks, its planning and reporting procedures were scrutinised closely. The Court of Auditors found that the substantial reductions in the levels of import controls established by certain equivalence agreements with third countries constitute a weakness. Such reductions are "not supported by reasonable evidence," it concluded.

The report is available at eca.europa.eu

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Mar 31, 2011
Words:208
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