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Commission reports on audit of official plant health controls in Tanzania

24 April 2018

The Commission has published a report of an audit carried out by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission in Tanzania from 11 to 22 September 2017.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the system of official plant health controls for the export of plants, plant products and plants intended for planting to the European Union.

Tanzania has a plant health service with an export control system within an appropriate legal framework in place. Although inspection staff are educated, there is an absence of continual professional training and development with respect to technical duties and responsibilities, in particular for meeting specific requirements for exports to the EU. Record keeping and archiving is sporadic, communication within the plant health service and with stakeholders generally takes place by oral means.

There are no survey activities targeted at EU regulated harmful organisms associated with the main exported plants and plant products (including plants for planting and seeds). Consequently no pest free areas are established. Certain harmful organisms (thrips, whitefly, leaf miners and Spodoptera spp.) are widespread in the main export production region.

There are no official laboratory capacities to identify or confirm the presence or absence of specific harmful organisms. The frequency and efficacy of official inspections at the production sites of plants for planting and tomato seeds are not in line with EU requirements, making certification of place of production freedom from relevant harmful organisms impossible.

The efficacy and sampling intensity of pre-export inspections is not sufficient for certifying that a consignment is free from harmful organisms. Consequently Tanzanian Phytosanitary Certificates cannot provide a sufficient level of phytosanitary assurance to the EU. Currently, existing plant health risks are mitigated, to some extent, by commercially driven internal quality control systems applied by producers, but not verified by the plant health service.

Due to deficiencies in the authorisation and control system of treatment facilities, it is not fully ensured that wood packaging material bearing the Tanzanian treatment mark is in compliance with the requirements of the relevant international standard. The report contains recommendations to the national plant protection organisation of Tanzania to address the shortcomings identified.

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