Banja Luka, December 4, 2014 / Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
Charge d’affaires of European union mission in BiH, Renzo Daviddi, confirmed on Thursday in Sarajevo that EU will not make any concessions to BiH regarding the high criteria the country must fulfill, in order to export milk and milk products to the EU.
Daviddi held a briefing for journalists in Sarajevo to inform them about the situation and the challenges in the exportation of milk and other products to EU countries.
“BiH must fulfill these criteria. EU will not decrease them”, said Daviddi.
He added that EU in last eight years has granted a total of EUR 19 million to the BiH to increase control of its food production. Three million were grants for technical support, security, phytosanitary measures and veterinary sector. For laboratory equipment was granted EUR 1,5 million, a further EUR 6 million for animal disease control, more than EUR 2 million for control of movements of animals and EUR 6 million for THE Bijaca border crossing, which will be ready for phytosanitary inspection.
Daviddi said that, along with financial support, EU also warned state institutions that they must adopt laws and other documents in order to adapt production to high standards. He also added that the criteria in the BiH market are the lowest in region and as a result milk in BiH stores has the poorest quality.
“At this moment, BiH can export fish, honey and sugar to EU countries”, said Davidi.
It is expected that, next year, potato will be on this list, which is very demanding at prescribed hygienic and other standards. The goal of these standards, as Daviddi said, is the protection of the consumers’ health.
Almost a month ago, BiH farmers blocked border crossings to Croatia in order to prevent import of milk and milk products from EU countries in BiH. Farmers said that the imports endangered domestic production and they are angry because import of milk and milk products from EU to BiH is allowed, but same products from BiH cannot be exported to EU countries.
The reason is that BiH still doesn’t have the relevant institutions to guarantee the quality control of these products. This situation has also stopped the exportation of milk and milk products from BiH to non EU countries, out of the region, because trucks must pass through EU territory. Characteristic is the case with the exportation of BiH milk to Turkey, but EU didn’t allow transit through Bulgaria.