Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary

During the process of accession to the EU, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) must adopt, implement, and enforce the whole package of EU legislation, including the legislation in Chapter 12 (Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary), with more than 100 Regulations, Directives and Decisions. This is also crucial as for the fact of the accession of Croatia, a major export market for BiH to the EU in July 2013. Now when Croatia is in the EU, BiH needs to meet relevant EU standards and requirements to enable export of competitive products, where applicable, to the EU, thereby also to Croatia. Meeting the requirements for the export of potatoes in July 2015 opens additional opportunities for development of country’s export potential and growth. Such progress is also expected in other relevant competitive sectors and trade related fields of the approximation to the EU. As related to the animal origin goods, the country is already allowed with exporting fish, raw hide, honey and sugar to the EU.

Effective food control systems are essential to protect the health and safety of domestic consumers. They are also critical in enabling countries to assure the safety and quality of their food entering international trade and to ensure that imported food conforms to the relevant requirements. The new global environment for food trade places considerable obligations on both importing and exporting countries to strengthen their food control systems and to implement and enforce risk-based food control strategies.

For Bosnia and Herzegovina, development of a functioning system to implement the food safety acquis remains a priority to increase trade in agricultural products. Official control capacity for the food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary fields and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) needs further strengthening.

Through IPA 2007-2012 programmes, the EU has been supporting the process of alignment in these fields with the technical assistance to development and implementation of legislation, support for control and eradication of animal diseases and provision of laboratory equipment for food control, veterinary and phytosanitary laboratories.