EU helps strengthen food safety controls in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The European Union provides more than 30 vehicles for use by authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina for phytosanitary inspections as well as food controls and surveillance.

The 33 new all-terrain vehicles worth € 467,000 ($ 540,000) will be used by the country’s authorities to support alignment with EU standards. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not yet an EU member country.

The monitoring of the human and animal food chain will be faster, the time between taking a sample during border inspections until the final analysis will be shortened and the time spent on issuing phytosanitary certificates will be reduced.

The keys to 14 of the vehicles were handed over by Johann Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Džemil Hajrić, Director of the Food Safety Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Šemsudin Dedić, Ministry of Agriculture and Anis Ajdinović, Director of Administration for Inspection Affairs.

Continuous capacity building
Sattler said ensuring food safety makes the supply chain stable and viable.

“Food control and safety are of paramount importance to the EU market, which has more than half a billion consumers and more than 45 million employees in the agriculture and food sectors. I call on the authorities of the sector to continue the professionalization of phytosanitary services, the improvement of phytosanitary control, the regulation of the internal market in line with the EU market and the harmonization of legislation with the legislation and phytosanitary standards of the EU. ‘European Union, “he said.

Through several ongoing projects, the European Union is building capacity in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the areas of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary. There are three projects worth € 6 million ($ 6.9 million) aimed at strengthening official agencies and aligning sectors with EU legislation. Through pre-accession funds, the European Union will obtain equipment such as laptops and printers for authorities working in the areas of phytosanitary inspection and food safety and surveillance in the country.

Hajrić said the donation would help the food security sector in the country.

“In addition to this donation, it is important to underline that the EU will help us improve our capacities regarding the implementation of the new legislation. We already have a project worth 1.5 million euros ($ 1.7 million) in the implementation phase, which is already carrying some results, and with additional IT equipment provided by the EU, we will be able to fulfill all our tasks in the food security sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Benefit for EU consumers
Fifteen vehicles have already been handed over to the Republika Srpska Inspectorate and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republika Srpska, while the remaining four will soon be delivered to Brčko District.

Ajdinović said this would help strengthen the control system and allow consumers to have healthy and quality food.

“These are consumers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also consumers in the EU, because Bosnia and Herzegovina exports more and more every day to EU countries. These vehicles will improve cross-border and internal control, and inspectors will be more mobile to reach companies that export and supply the Bosnia and Herzegovina market with food.

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