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Audit programme for 2013 of DG Health and Consumers' Food and Veterinary Office (FVO)

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This document sets out the audit programme for 2013 of DG Health and Consumers' Food

and Veterinary Office (FVO). It also contains a short report on the execution of its audit

programme 2011.

In its function as "eyes and ears" of the Commission, the FVO verifies on the spot that EU

requirements in the areas of food safety and quality, animal health and welfare, plant health

and public health are properly implemented and enforced by Member States and also by third

countries exporting to the EU. By contributing to the improvement of national control

systems, the effective enforcement of requirements in the EU and third countries is

enhanced. This, in turn, helps to ensure that:

• Consumers can be confident that the safety of their food is protected by strict

enforcement of controls.

• Trade within the EU can take place under conditions of uniform and high safety levels

and standards, which allow markets to focus on price, quality and consumer


• Exporters can harness the advantages of a single EU market, with high and uniform

levels of enforcement, to promote their position on world markets.

• EU policies in relation to the above areas, including their obligations towards trade

partners and developing countries, are supported by effective, non-discriminatory and

transparent enforcement and informed by the lessons from on-the-ground audit


In its reports the FVO makes recommendations to the competent authority of the country

concerned to deal with any shortcomings revealed during the audits. The competent

authority is requested to present an action plan to the FVO on how it intends to address

shortcomings. Verification of the completion and effectiveness of corrective actions through a

number of follow up activities is an integral part of FVO activity.

In addition to audit and follow-up, the FVO carries out a range of other activities, including:

the evaluation of Border Inspection Post plans; the operation of the Europhyt plant health

interception notification system; the evaluation of residue control plans from Member States

and third countries exporting food of animal origin to the EU; and, the management of lists of

approved third country establishments for the production of food of animal origin. The FVO

also contributes to the Commission's technical assistance for third countries to help them

meet EU food safety, animal and plant health standards, as well as to the Better Training for

Safer Food (BTSF) Programmes.

The programme is developed annually, and reviewed mid-term. Audit priorities are identified

under careful consideration of a number of factors like risk, legal requirements, trade and



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