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The Food and Veterinary Office - Contributions

How does the FVO contribute to achieving this?

The FVO works to assure effective control systems and to evaluate compliance with EU standards within the EU, and in third countries in relation to their exports to the EU. The FVO does this mainly by carrying out inspections in Member States and in third countries exporting to the EU.

Each year the FVO develops an inspection programme, identifying priority areas and countries for inspection. In order to ensure that the programme remains up to date and relevant, it is reviewed mid-year. These programmes are published on this website.

The findings of each inspection carried out under the programme are set out in an inspection report, together with conclusions and recommendations. The competent authority of the country visited is given the opportunity to comment on the reports at draft stage. You can search the inspection reports and the comments of the countries visited, on this website.

The FVO makes recommendations to the country’s competent authority to deal with any shortcomings revealed during the inspections. The competent authority is requested to present an action plan to the FVO on how it intends to address any shortcomings. Together with other Commission services, the FVO evaluates this action plan and monitors its implementation through a number of follow-up activities.

Where appropriate, it may highlight areas where the Commission may need to consider clarifying or amending legislation or areas where new legislation might be required. In this way, the results of FVO inspections contribute to the development of EU legislation.

In addition, the FVO produces other reports, such as general overview reports that summarise the results of a series of inspections to a number of Member States on the same subject or the annual EU-wide pesticide residues monitoring reports.

The FVO also publishes an annual report on its activities, which reviews the progress of its inspection programme and presents the global results.

The FVO is part of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection and it is based in Grange, Co. Meath, Ireland. The number of staff working in the FVO has increased from 74 in 1997 to its present complement of 163. Of these, 81 are inspectors, who participate regularly in on-the-spot inspection missions, with the balance consisting of management and support staff. Staff are organised in six units with different responsibilities within the FVO (see the Directorate-General’s organisational chart).


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