Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) underlines insufficient progress in preparation for use of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: BK1210
Bosnia and Herzegovina
EU Report Finds BiH Makes Limited Progress in
The European Commission’s 2012 Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) underlines
insufficient progress in preparation for use of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural
Development (IPARD) and emphasizes poor implementation of the State-level agricultural and rural
development strategy. Food safety responsibility remains fragmented at both the State and Entity level
and the capacity to implement official controls is weak. There are still overlapping areas between the
veterinary and food safety legislation and the lack of progress in the food safety area has had a negative
impact on trade in agricultural products, particularly with the EU. Some progress has been made in the
phytosanitary sector with improved border control checks and in the area of genetically modified
organisms (GMOs) as the result of adopting implementing legislation on product registration, risk
assessment and conditions for placing GMO products on the market.
The European Commission published its Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on October
10, 2012. The EU’s summary assessment is that insufficient progress has been made in 2012 in the
areas of agriculture and rural development policy, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy and
fisheries. A comprehensive national agricultural and rural development strategy remains to be
implemented throughout the whole country. The national capacity for coordination and harmonization
also should be strengthened and legislation further aligned with the Acquis. Implementation of the food
safety Acquis and BiH’s official control capacity needs to be stepped up and establishments need to
upgraded at an accelerated pace.
Regarding agriculture and rural development policy, the country has not yet adopted a country-wide
rural development strategy. Little progress was made with the preparations for the Instrument for Pre-
Accession Assistance for Rural Development (IPARD). Analyses were prepared for five sectors and the
Office for Payment Harmonization was established but is understaffed to carry out its tasks. The
Entities’ budgets for agriculture and rural development remain low and subsidies to farmers are mainly
product-based and not aligned with the Acquis. Also, BiH did not adopt the agricultural information
strategy or the Law on the Agricultural Census. Agricultural statistics and the agricultural information
system have yet to be improved. Land registration systems are not harmonized and land management
Regarding food safety, BiH also demonstrated little progress in adopting the implementing legislation
on residues of pesticides and radioactive contamination and product specific standards. Responsibilities
for food safety remain fragmented at the State and Entity level and a strategy is still missing for using
laboratory capacity to cover analysis of samples in line with the official controls on food and feed.
Regarding the veterinary sector, the EU found there is still much to be done. Veterinary legislation
remains to be aligned with the Acquis on hygiene and food supervision. The powers of the State
Veterinary Office are not sufficient to act as the central competent authority and the overlaps between
the veterinary and food safety legislation remain. National laboratories have not yet obtained
accreditation and they need to establish effective quality control systems. Inspectors and food business
operators need to be trained on the EU requirements on hygiene. This lack of progress in the veterinary
sector is already having a negative impact on trade in animals and animal products with the EU.
Regarding the phytosanitary sector, some progress was made. Phytosanitary checks at all border
crossings improved thanks to the introduction of uniform lists of plants, plant products and other objects
which must be subject to a plant health inspection. The program for monitoring potato diseases is being
implemented. The phytosanitary legislation remains to be harmonized with the Acquis and reference
laboratories for residue monitoring need to be designated.
Regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs), there was progress in adopting the implementing
legislation for registration, risk assessment and the conditions for placing GMO products on the market.
Training of laboratory and inspection staff on control methods has started. Entity legislation remains to
be harmonized with the State-level legislation.
Regarding fisheries, little progress was made despite the potential for a considerable increase in exports
of fish and fishery products to the EU. There is no national legislation which is aligned with the Acquis
yet, and responsibilities for the fisheries sector remain fragmented.