Sarajevo, June 23, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
European Union Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) informed the Veterinary Office of BiH that all actions proposed by BiH in its Action Plan to control the production and processing of dairy products intended for export to the EU are considered satisfactory in relation to all recommendations made by the FVO, announced on Tuesday the Office of EU Delegation in BiH.
“The European Commission commends BiH on the establishment and approval of its Action Plan and expects all aspects of the Action Plan to be fully implemented in a coordinated manner without delay across the country by state level and entities’ administrations. An FVO audit to verify the full implementation of the Action Plan is scheduled for 2016, emphasized the EU Delegation Office in the announcement”.
As it is explained, BiH is already included in the list of countries eligible to export heat treated milk and dairy products to the EU but before exports can start, BiH will have to submit to the European Commission a list of establishments assessed as compliant and proposed for export to the EU. Once this list has been approved by the European Commission, BiH can start exporting milk and dairy products to the EU from those establishments.
“While this is a very positive development in the trade relations between BiH and the EU, the European Commission recalls also the need to focus now on the adaptation of the trade part of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement following the accession of Croatia to the EU”, said the EU Office.
BiH Minister of foreign trade and economic relations, Mirko Sarovic, confirmed this news at the extraordinary press conference in Sarajevo, saying that “most important for this was the quality Action plan”.
“The key institution for registration of dairy products is the Veterinary Office of BiH and our whole sector will cooperate with this institution in the future. Small farms must also meet EU standards regarding the quality of raw milk. The preconditions and standards of the EU must be respected”, Sarovic said.
He added that registration of dairy companies will be taken in the next month or two and that, at this moment, four companies have already been registered.
President of Association of farmers in RS, Vladimir Usorac, said for IBNA that this is good news for farmers but that BiH milk will have a “battle for its piece of EU market” in the future.
“In fact, this decision means just the return on a market from which we were expelled years ago. Also we must know that it is a temporary license and that there are several conditions to fulfill and laws to adopt in order to the full benefit from this market”, said Usorac.
He added that “as easy as they gave the license, they can withdraw it” if BiH fails to fulfill everything what the EU demands. Usorac said that, in fact, this is a small crumb and that farmers must see what they must give for it.
It is not known when the first contingent of BiH milk will be exported to the EU market, but the good thing is that there is no limit for exports.