The audit concluded that the implementation of the 2004 “hygiene package” is behind schedule and still has to be completed in important regulatory aspects. Moreover, it was found that substantial reductions in the levels of import controls were established in some “Equivalence Agreements” established with third countries. The Court found that such reductions were not supported by reasonable evidence.
The information systems (TRAde Control and Expert System (TRACES) and RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food)) on which veterinary checks on meat imports rely are widely and usefully employed across the EU. However, certain BIPs in three Member States still do not enter all the relevant data. This in particular affects the completeness and reliability of the data captured and the information systems as a whole.
On the basis of its observations, the Court makes recommendations which could help the Commission to increase the effectiveness of the system of veterinary checks for meat imports.