Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Questions (34)

Bernard Durkan


34. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which he remains satisfied that the agrifood sector is adequately protected against competition from third countries with lower production, processing and hygiene standards in view of the need to ensure the application of EU standards for all imports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5650/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Agri-food products placed on the Single Market must comply with the same EU standards, whether they are produced within the EU itself, or are imported from non-EU countries. The importation of Agri-food products into the European Union is governed by a comprehensive and robust legislative framework laid down at EU level, controlled by Member States in the first instance, and audited by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (formally the FVO). The legislation includes rules in relation to checks that must be carried out at the borders of the EU to ensure that products being imported into the EU meet EU standards. My Department plays a part in the enforcement of this legislation along with competent authorities in other Member States, in other Irish government departments and state agencies such as the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and the Health Service Executive.