EU organic control in Italy gradually improving
by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)
The EU Directorate General for Health and Food Safety inspected Italy's eco-control system in June 2018. The audit report now published, confirms progress made by the member state, but still criticises some details.
Positive feedback for implementation of past recommendations and new regulations
The report praises Italy for having implemented the recommendations of the last audit in 2013. New national regulations have also been adopted to strengthen and harmonise eco-controls. The EU auditors were also satisfied with the performance of the controls and the supervision of the control bodies by the competent regional authorities.
EU criticises unscheduled checks being announced in advance
Criticism was levelled at the inspection bodies in cases of serious cross-border infringements of directives. The summary of the report states that the measures taken have not always been satisfactory. Thus, even in suspicious cases unscheduled checks would also be announced in advance. Samples would only be taken from the lots already mentioned in the notification in the EU OFIS database. As a result, the inspection bodies are not in a position to identify whether the infringement is systematic and may affect other lots.
The auditors also criticised the fact that the control bodies did not inform the authorities in the event of a suspicion or an established infringement, but often only after they had decided on a measure and consulted the company concerned. This could take several weeks. The control authorities could therefore only assess afterwards whether the measures taken by the control authority were sufficient.
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