Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
469. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the rules governing food imports into the EU perform to the highest standards in husbandry, production and traceability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38946/21]
The import of products of animal origin from third countries is governed by a comprehensive and robust legislative framework laid down at EU level, controlled by Member States in the first instance, and audited by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety to ensure compliance with all of the relevant food safety standards. The legislation imposes health and supervisory requirements designed to ensure that imported products meet standards equivalent to those required for production and trade between Member States.
Veterinary checks are carried out by staff from the Department on consignments of foods of animal origin imported from third countries at designated Border Control Posts. All such consignments are subject to checks which include a range of documentary, identity checks and physical checks. This includes that sampling of products are carried out according to European regulations. Import control procedures on products of animal and fish origin are highly prescriptive and are strictly audited by the Directorate to ensure compliance. Inspection finding reports are published on the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety’s website.
This comprehensive and robust legislative framework and the checks carried out by the relevant competent authorities across EU member states ensure that imports meet the requisite standards.