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Food safety: Weaknesses identified in Icelandic import controls

25.1.2013

PR(13)03

Iceland needs to remedy shortcomings in its import control system and veterinary checks of products of animal origin entering its territory. This is the main conclusion of a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority today.

The Authority carried out a mission to Iceland in October 2012 regarding import control systems and border inspection posts (BIPs). The objective of the mission was to verify that official controls related to import control systems and BIPs are carried out in compliance with the EEA legislation.

Although the report shows that facilities at BIPs and veterinary import procedures in Iceland are, in general, in line with the EEA legislation, it also identifies severe shortcomings.

In particular, it is not guaranteed that all products of animal origin that enter Iceland are subject to veterinary checks as they should. This is due, in part, to the following findings:

  • lack of accurate knowledge concerning incoming products. Less than 20 % of checked consignments are pre-notified by operators and systematic cross-checks are not carried out;
  • lack of adequate veterinary checks before customs clearance (which can happen up to 6 months after entry into Iceland);
  • lack of knowledge of the nature of the goods in transit which may lead to absence of veterinary checks on products of animal origin

In addition, weak enforcement of existing rules and procedures was also noted. This concerns, in particular, the 60-day deadline to destroy or re-dispatch rejected consignments and the absence of measures to remedy the lack of pre-notifications of consignments by operators.

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has taken note of the shortcomings identified, and has provided an action plan with deadlines in which the Authority's recommendations are addressed. The action plan is currently being reviewed by the Authority.

Read the final report here.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187




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