References | Europe

Veterinary and Sanitary Specialist

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Market Development, Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, Environment and Climate Change, Natural Resource Management

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The purpose of the Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA) is to provide technical assistance in 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, and contribute to poverty reduction.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures (SPS) Agreements legalized the use of standards and technical regulations in global trade. Standards and technical regulations have become a key issue for most food industry companies entering or competing on the international market. The challenge is to build awareness about the need for proper SPS measures and to meet the food safety and quality requirements.

Within the European Union, conformity assessment is a key element in achieving market access. Proving conformity with agreements, standards and technical regulations relies on efficient testing, certification and accreditation mechanisms that conform to the requirements of the SPS and TBT Agreements and enjoy international recognition. The food and agriculture products chain of the BiH products is currently facing this big challenge and still BiH exporters, legislative, control bodies, accreditation, certification, testing laboratories need further development in order to assure food quality and safety along food supply chains, whether they target the domestic or international markets.

European countries are permitted to import honey from outside the EU, only if the exporting country is on the EU’s list of so-called “third countries”. Being listed as a “third country” means that the country has met EC animal health and public health requirements governing trade and export i.e. exporting countries must have in place a National Residue Control Program. The control of pesticide and fertilizer residues in BiH is insufficient to provide the required assurance that products of animal origin meet the standards for MRLs (maximal residue level) for veterinary drugs and other harmful residues in export markets. These deficiencies are due to lack of:

  • A residue control program;
  • A competent authority to monitor residue levels throughout the production process, i.e., from the farm to the table;
  • Up-dated and comprehensive food safety laws and regulations; and
  • Laboratory facilities and analytical capacity to deal with agro-chemicals.

To be allowed to export honey into the European Union, BiH needs to implement legislation and control methods that are equivalent to the European Union standards. From the other side, BiH POs wishing to trade on the EU market also need to build capabilities to increase their knowledge, quality and conformity with importer mandated standards. FARMA staff has identified serious honey producers that are able to meet the EU standards, in a reasonable time period, in order to be able to export honey on the EU market.

The purpose of this assignment is to assist in the successful implementation of a National Monitoring Plan – National Residue Control Program and to provide technical expertise to FARMA and the BiH Veterinary Office to resolve SPS issues pertaining to the export of honey to the EU. The position will report to the FARMA Standards and EU Integration Coordinator and DCOP.