Food import could be made easier

8/26/2002 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 26 August 2002 - The State Audit Office audited the system of issuance of licences for food and food raw materials and found that the licences are necessary only for importation of animal products and not for other food products. The only requirement that must be met to receive the licence, with the exception of licence for import of animal products, is the payment of the state fee; for prevention of hazards to health and life of humans and environment other measures are implemented. The state fee is unreasonable high.

For importation of food and food raw materials a licence issued by the Ministry of Agriculture is required. In case of importation of animal products also a special licence issued by the Veterinary and Food Board for supplying certain goods from particular supplier of a certain country is required. Such licences have been issued to more than 800 entrepreneurs.

Audit leader Olav Lüüs: “ The main reason for issuance of such licences is the revenues to state budget. The state fee for one licence is 25 000 kroons. No other requirements have been established. The issuance of such licences does not help to prevent the availability of poor quality food in shops. The quality of food is checked by other means. The state fee required is unreasonably high, as it exceeds several times the state costs for a licence issuance”.

The Minister of Agriculture agreed that these licences are not practically necessary.

The issuance of special licences for importation of animal products is necessary, as the requirements for issuance of these licences is stricter, it helps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and the availability of poor quality products not meeting the established requirements in shops.

The State Audit Office also remarked that the efficiency of licence provision depends on the fact whether the existence of licences is checked. The present checking system does not preclude the possibility to evade the registration of goods in the Veterinary and Food Board and submit forged documentation to the Customs Board. This risk could be reduced by integration of Boards` computer systems, which enables to perform quick checks of the registration of documentation related with goods in both Boards. Technical solutions are being developed at present time.


Sven Soiver
Press Representative of State Audit Office
Telephone: (372) 640 0787
GSM: (372) 53 414464
E-mail: Sven.Soiver@riigikontroll.ee

  • Posted: 8/26/2002 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 10/15/2015 10:11 AM
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