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DG Sante audit reports

5 June 2018

Import controls for plant health in Estonia

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out in Estonia from 22 to 26 January 2018, as part of the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety’s published audit programme. 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 found that Estonia has established a system of import controls for plant health, including for wood, which is overall in line with EU requirements. Checks are carried out on all regulated plants and plant products as well as high-risk wood packaging material.

Positive aspects of the system include the comprehensive training and work instructions for staff performing controls and the good cooperation between the Estonian Agricultural Board and Customs Service. The system ensures that declared imports of regulated plants and plant products arriving by post, courier or with passengers are subject to systematic checks.

However, there are some shortcomings, in particular with the lack of legal basis to take measures against non-regulated harmful organisms detected during import inspections, or to carry out checks of non-regulated articles, and the conduct of checks at places which do not meet EU requirements. The report contains recommendations to Estonia to address the shortcomings identified and enhance the implementation of control measures.

 

Import controls for plant health in Austria

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out in Austria by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission, as part of the published audit programme, from 20 to 24 November 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 Austria has established a comprehensive system of import controls for plant health, which is generally in line with EU requirements. Checks are carried out on all regulated plants and plant products as well as high-risk wood packaging material and nonregulated plant products.

There are many positive aspects of the system, in particular the comprehensive training and work instructions for staff performing controls; the risk-based selection and intensive inspections of high risk wood packaging material; the cooperation with the Customs service, in particular in the controls of passenger baggage; and the high level of scientific support.

However, shortcomings were identified with the risk criteria used to determine the size of samples taken for plant health checks of plant produce which may limit their efficacy. The report contains a recommendation to Austria to address the shortcomings identified and enhance the implementation of control measures.

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