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Capacity Assessment of Veterinary Laboratories

The purpose of the Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA) is to provide technical assistance in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) subsectors of agriculture markets through demand driven assistance aimed at improved competitiveness of BiH agricultural products. FARMA is to expand environmentally sustainable production, processing and sales of value-added agricultural products. The expected result of FARMA is economic growth and contribution to poverty reduction.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) cannot export products of animal origin, with the exception of fish, to the EU as it is not listed as a ‘Third Country with an approved residue monitoring plan’ as required by the EU Council Directive 96/23/EC. This places additional pressure on BiH as Croatia, which is an important trading partner, fast approaches EU accession and starts to apply EU’s import rules. The EU’s import rules for products of animal origin seek to guarantee that all imports fulfill the same high standards as products from EU Member States - not only with respect to hygiene and all aspects of consumer safety but also, if relevant, regarding their animal health status. The EU general food law places strong emphasis on process controls - throughout the food chain.

In BiH, the State Veterinary Office is the competent authority responsible for the control of residues in animals and animal products and has been developing annual national residue monitoring plans (NRMP) and submitting it to the EU. The EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) conducted a mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2010 to evaluate the implementation of national measures, aimed at the control of residues and contaminants in live animals and animal products, including the controls on the distribution and use of veterinary medicinal products and feed additives, the use of which may give rise to residues in such products.

The mission concluded that the structure of the NRMP is generally in line with EU requirements and the plan has been significantly improved in 2010 compared to previous years. Nevertheless, several shortcomings have been noted, including issues related to laboratories (accreditation and validation of residue tests) as well as inspection (handling, storage of samples as well as traceability). The approval of the NRMP by the EU is one of the key conditions that will enable BiH to export products of animal origin to the EU.

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