According to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), animal by-product controls need to improve in Iceland. At the same time, Norway continues to work on a range of audit recommendations.

Iceland and Norway are part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) monitors how both countries implement European Economic Area (EEA) rules on food and feed safety, animal health, and welfare.

Findings come from updated country profiles, evaluating performance in the food and veterinary area.

Animal by-products problem
ESA’s assessment showed that Iceland made improvements in several areas, but shortcomings in the controls of animal by-products remain unaddressed. 

Following a general review audit, the ESA published Iceland’s country profile in April 2023. This covered 11 audits between January 2018 and September 2022.

Based on information provided by Iceland, the ESA has since closed five additional recommendations. Iceland has addressed 56 out of 91 recommendations covered by the 2023 general review audit, including all of them on the safety of bivalve mollusks. However, the country has failed to tackle nine points related to animal by-products. Action is still required for five, and in four cases, appropriate measures have not been taken.

Examples with no action taken include a recommendation for Iceland to ensure practical cooperation between competent authorities and another checking that all types of ABP plants are registered or approved in line with the regulations.

Steps are in progress for another 26 recommendations in areas such as food of animal origin and foodstuffs, food hygiene, imports of food of plant origin, and pesticides.

Norwegian outlook
General review audits are undertaken every three to four years to verify that corrective actions have been started to address any recommendations.

For Norway, progress has been made on official food- and veterinary-related controls.

ESA prepared Norway’s country profile in April 2023 after a general review audit. This covered nine audits between April 2018 and November 2022.

The update shows that ESA has closed 17 other recommendations since June 2023. Norway has addressed 37 of 53 points in the latest general review audit.

Sixteen suggestions have measures in progress in areas including animal welfare and food of animal origin.

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