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 given added currency by the foreseen accession of Croatia, a major export market for BiH, to the EU in July 2013. Once Croatia is in the EU, BiH will need to meet relevant EU standards to keep exporting to Croatia.
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 foods entering international trade and to ensure that imported foods conform to national 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 strengthening.
Through IPA 2007-2010 programmes, the EU has been supporting the process of alignment in this field with 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.