This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Hungary from 25 March to 1 April 2014 to assess how the competent authorities evaluate the performance and effectiveness of their system of official import controls (regarding live animals and products of animal origin).
The report concludes that the Hungarian authority is developing the activities for verification of effectiveness of the official import controls including the setting of relevant objectives and indicators to measure the extent to which these objectives are met.
The verification activities do not ensure compliance of the official import controls with EU legislation. This is due to the lack of implementation of verification in some border inspection posts (BIPs) for a long period of time. The competent authority has not considered the risk of absence of verification of the official import controls and has not planned such activities for a period of two years. The above undermine the verification of effectiveness of the official import controls as required by article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004/EC.
The results of the verification activities are foreseen to be used for planning of the official controls and also on planning future verification activities. Activities like performance assessment of personnel, national database (EVIR) to monitor the output of the audits are potential tools to assess effectiveness of the official import controls, not currently used as such. In addition, process
and performance audits as foreseen in the new Quality management procedure can be a means of assessment of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the official import controls.
A Commission report published today presents key findings on the controls carried out at Europe’s borders to prevent harmful plant pests from entering the EU market.
This EUROPHYT report reveals that 7.000 consignments mainly imported from non-EU countries were intercepted in 2013. In about one third of the cases insects, fungi, bacteria or viruses were found; the number of interceptions with such harmful organisms increased by 18%, compared to 2012. Fruit and vegetables fall amongst the highest category of consignments that were prevented from entering the EU marketplace. These included mainly mangoes, gourds, basil, aubergines, guavas and peppers, coming from India, Pakistan, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Bangladesh. As a result of specific EU safeguard measures, the number of interceptions from Thailand, Vietnam and Israel decreased significantly in 2013. There were over 2.000 interceptions of wood packaging material, originating mainly from Russia, China, USA, Belarus and India. EUROPHYT is an IT rapid alert system, managed by the Commission, which facilitates the cross-border flow of information and notifications between national authorities in the EU and Switzerland.
What is EUROPHYT?
EUROPHYT brings together the words ‘European’ and ‘Phytosanitary’ and describes a notification and rapid alert system dealing with Interceptions for plant health reasons of consignments of plants and plant products imported into the EU or being traded within the EU itself. EUROPHYT is established and run by the Directorate General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission.
With the increase in trade over the last decades, the risk of introducing new pests and diseases has increased and, given favourable weather conditions and a lack of natural enemies, they can spread and lead to environmental damage, destruction of native plant species, substantial economic losses in agricultural production and an increase in the use of pesticides. Therefore measures to prevent their introduction and spread are essential. EUROPHYT provides an essential support for the implementation of preventative measures by ensuring that the data on risks to plant health from trade in plants and plant products is up-to-date and accurate
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(Source: DG Sanco)