Albania’s control of egg production backed in FVO audit

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Three poultry establishments are authorised to export class B eggs to the EU
Three poultry establishments are authorised to export class B eggs to the EU

Related tags: International trade, European union, Eu

Albania’s official controls on egg quality for EU export are satisfactory but the certification system requires refining, according to a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit.

The system of official controls is implemented well by the competent authorities and provides guarantees that class B eggs are produced in accordance with EU rules.

However the certification system needs refinement to ensure that officers can certify that eggs to be exported to the EU meet all requirements contained in the veterinary certificates.

Supervising conditions

The audit assessed the authorities’ supervision of public health conditions of the production of class B eggs and egg products for human consumption for export to the European Union (EU).

However, as Albania does not manufacture egg products, the report deals with egg production.

Class B is the quality class for eggs graded certain second quality or preserved.

The audit, which took place for one week in May, evaluated organisation and capacity for implementing EU requirements.

In Albania there are around 275,000 poultry establishments. 16 are considered as industrial holdings of which three are authorised to export class B eggs to the EU.

Position to certify

Rules and principles on official certification are in place and they are mainly in line with EU requirements, said the FVO audit.

However the certification system does not ensure that officers are in a position of certifying all the statements in the veterinary certificate as they deal with data of which they have no personal knowledge or which has not been ascertained before signing the veterinary certificate.

The veterinary certificates used for EU exports do not contain unique identifying numbers. So guarantees about the authenticity of the certificates themselves and their link with the relevant certifying officer are compromised.

Responding to the recommendations, the Albanian authorities said: “All exports certificates for different countries which export eggs in EU, will be downloaded in NFA – net after that they will be generated and monitored from the General Directorate of NFA and each of them will have a unique number.”

Evidence of check

In the region visited, the National Food Authority (NFA) Veterinary Inspectors said that before issuing export certificate they perform a documentary check on inspection by the Veterinary Services in the farm concerned.

However there is no evidence to confirm that this check is actually done and no procedures are available to be followed.

FVO said the authorities should ensure that staff carrying out official controls in poultry farms has adequate knowledge of EU legislation.

It added that the authorities should ensure that certifying officers have all the information to support the statement related to the items to be exported before signing the EU export certificates.

NFA said it was preparing training for 24 inspectors during 2014-15 who will be in charge of the certification of exports products.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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