The import of products of animal origin from third countries 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 to ensure compliance with all of the relevant food safety standards. The legislation imposes health and supervisory requirements designed to ensure that imported products meet standards equivalent to those required for production and trade between Member States.
Veterinary checks are carried out on all consignments of foods of animal origin imported into the European Union from third countries, at approved facilities called Border Inspection Posts (BIPs). All consignments must comply with EU rules for the importation of such products, including requirements for the approval of establishments, for consignments to be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate, and for advance notification of arrival. Upon arrival, all consignments must undergo documentary and identity checks in accordance with European regulations. Physical checks, including sampling of products, are carried at frequencies laid down in EU legislation. Import control procedures on products of animal and fish origin are highly prescriptive and are audited by the European Commission (DG SANTE) to ensure compliance. Inspection finding reports are published on the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety’s website.
To date in 2019, there have been 16 consignments of frozen sheepmeat with bone in for human consumption imported into Ireland from Australia, all of which came through Dublin Port. The total volume of these consignments was 240 tonnes.