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DG Santé audits Greek system of import controls for plant health

20 February 2018

DG Santé has published its report of an audit carried out in Greece as part of the published audit programme from 20 to 29 June 2017.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the system of import controls for plant health, in particular the capacity and performance of the official bodies responsible for import controls and the adequacy and effectiveness of import checks carried out for plant health purposes to ensure compliance with EU requirements.

The audit team found that Greece has established a system of import controls for plant health, which is generally in line with EU requirements, and ensures that checks can be carried out on all regulated plants and plant products as well as high-risk wood packaging material.

The system includes some examples of good practice, in particular, the systematic sampling of plants intended for planting for laboratory analysis, including testing for latent infection of harmful organisms. Inspections are carried out by trained and appropriately qualified staff with the legal powers required to carry out their tasks.

However, shortcomings were identified, in particular with the lack of written national inspection guidelines, and with inadequate inspection facilities at road border crossings which prevent appropriate checks being carried out. These shortcomings compromise the reliability of the import checks.

The report contains recommendations to Greece to address the shortcomings identified and enhance the implementation of control measures.

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