Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Posted on: 18 Feb 2012

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) requires various certificates for imported food products.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 12/29/2011 GAIN Report Number: BK1013 Bosnia and Herzegovina Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Certification FAIRS Export Certificate Report Approved By: Jim Dever Prepared By: Sanela Stanojcic-Eminagic Report Highlights: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) requires various certificates for imported food products. However, there are no specific formats that exporters are required to use, except for phytosanitary certificates that should be in accordance with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). Some veterinary certificates need to contain certain statements set by the State Veterinary Office (SVO). The SVO is responsible for verifying specific requirements for importing live animals and certain products of animal origin. This report includes an Export Certificate matrix and a detailed outline of the content of each certificate. Sections updated: II and III. Section I. List of All Export Certificates Required By Government (Matrix) : Product(s) Title of Certificate Attestation Purpose Requesting Required on Ministry Certificate All Food Health The food To certify food The Products Certificate/Evidence product is hygiene/safety Federation of Sanitary safe for of BiH Correctness human Inspectorate consumption and the Republika Srpska Inspectorate [1] All Food Certificate/Evidence Evidence of To certify food The Products of Quality quality such quality Federation as product of BiH composition, Inspectorate specification and the etc. Republika Srpska Inspectorate All Live Veterinary Depends on To certify that The State Animals Certificate the specific products are Veterinary and Certain requirements safe for animal Office Animal set by the and human Products State health Veterinary Office All Plants Phytosanitary To certify that To certify that The and Plant Certificate the product products are Federation Products has been safe for plant of BiH inspected and human Inspectorate according to health and the appropriate Republika procedures, Srpska considered to Inspectorate be free from quarantine pests and considered to conform to the current phytosanitary regulations of the importing country. [1] Under the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended the war Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was divided into two Entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. The Entities are generally responsible for agriculture, while the food safety responsibility is shared with the state- level institutions (veterinary, phyto and food safety agencies). The entity inspectorates are responsible for border and in-land food control/inspection, excluding the state-level veterinary inspection. Section II. Purpose of Specific Export Certificate(s) The health certificate/evidence of sanitary correctness attests to a product’s safety for human consumption. The requiring authorities are the Federation Inspectorate and the Republika Srpska Inspectorate, or more preciously their Sanitary Inspection Departments. The certificate/evidence of quality attests to the product’s quality and to confirm that the product meets certain quality standards. The requesting authorities are the Federation Inspectorate and the Republika Srpska Inspectorate, or more preciously their Market Inspection Departments. The veterinary certificate is required for live animals, semen, embryo and egg cells, some processed animal products, raw materials for processing, veterinary medicines and accessories, diagnostic kits and materials, animal feed and waste, and other products that might be carriers of animal disease and put animal and human health at risk. The certificate verifies the product’s safety for animal and human health. The requesting authority is the State Veterinary Office of BiH. The phytosanitary certificate certifies the health of all plants and plant products. The requesting authorities are the Federation Inspectorate and the Republika Srpska Inspectorate (Phytosanitary Inspection Departments). Section III. Specific Attestations Required on Export Certificate(s) The certificate/evidence of sanitary correctness – there are no specific certifications required by the authorities, except that the product is fit for human consumption and meets the exporting country’s safety requirements. There is no specific format requested, but it should be an original certificate signed by the official authority of the exporting country (e.g FDA) and translated into local language. The certificate/evidence of quality - There are no specific certifications required by the authorities except for the standard quality certification used in international trade. However, the market inspection has the authority to sample and test imported products on a random basis, and if the product’s quality does not meet the domestic standards, it will not be cleared and allowed to enter the market. The veterinary certificate – The veterinary certificate should clearly identify the imported product, the means and route of transportation, the packaging, consignee and consignor, as well as insure clear epizootic/disease status of the country, state, premise, and the amount of the imported item. The State Veterinary Office (SVO) is responsible for the specific requirements for importing live animals and products of animal origin, and the veterinary certificate must attest that those requirements have been met. Some of the requirements are unavailable in English, and the FAS office in Sarajevo can assist exporters with obtaining the certificates and translating them into English). No specific format is requested; the content of the certificate is usually negotiated between the SVO and the veterinary authority of the exporting country (e.g. there are U.S. – BiH agreed pet food certificates). The certificate must be an original, issued by the exporting country’s official authorities and it should be translated into the local language. The SVO has published some veterinary certificates at the following link: However, it’s recommended to verify this information directly with the SVO or through the FAS office in Sarajevo. The phytosanitary certificate should be in accordance to International Plant Protection Convention recommendations. The certificate should contain the name and the address of the exporter, declared name and address of consignee, origin, means of conveyance, point of entry, packaging, name of produce, botanical name of plants, quantity, any treatments conducted such as disinfestations or disinfection treatments and should state that the product has been inspected according to appropriate procedures, considered to be free from quarantine pests and considered to conform with the current phytosanitary regulation of the importing country. Section IV. Government Certificate’s Legal Entry Requirements An original document or a certified copy for a multiple shipment must accompany each shipment at the point of entry for each mode of transport, translated into the Bosnian language. Imported products will be cleared of customs duties only upon presentation of all required certificates. Phytosanitary certificates are valid for 15 days and veterinary certificates are valid for 10 days from the date of issuance. Certificates cannot be applied to multiple shipments. Derogation of export certificates will occur if products contain biotech products or if the products’ quality does not meet local regulations. Section V. Other Certification/Accreditation Requirements Prior import approvals issued by the BiH State Veterinary Office (SVO) are required for live animals, fresh, chilled and frozen meat, veterinary medicines, eggs for reproduction, semen and inseminated egg cells. To import animals for reproduction, additional certificates/evidence regarding origin, production and reproductive value is required. Importers of semen should provide progeny test results. Contact Information: State Veterinary Office Radiceva 8/II 7100 Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Contact person: Ms Elna Kolasinac Tel. +387 33 565 706 Fax +387 33 565 723, 565 725 E-mail:; For seeds, planting materials, and pesticides the Entities’ Agricultural Ministries provide prior approvals/technical opinions based on presented health and quality certificates. Forms are available at the Ministries. Contact Information: Federation Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry Phytosanitary Department Titova 15 Contact person: Scepan Raguz 71 000 Sarajevo Tel. +387 33 214 247 Fax: +387 33 206 638 Email: Republika Srpska Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Phytosanitary Department Kralja Petra I Karadjordjevica 100 78000 Banja Luka Tel: +387 051 338 397 and 338 398 Fax: +387 051 338 866 Additional information can be obtained from: BiH Plant Health Administration Radiceva 8 71000 Sarajevo Contact person: Miljana Knezevic Tel/fax: +387 33 211 693 and 212 387 E-mail: A GMO free certificate or a GMO-related statement included in the health certificate is often required for grains and similar products. Since the passage of the Food Law of November 2004, GMOs have not been permitted into Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH). The new Law on GMO that was passed in spring 2008 permits the importation of licensed GMOs. However, it is again a defacto ban because the approval procedure has yet to be defined, making entry impossible. Appendix I. Electronic Copy or Outline of Each Export Certificate Because BiH accepts all kinds of export certificates, the post cannot provide digital copies. A detailed outline of the content of each certificate is provided under the Section III. Author Defined: Disclaimer: “This report was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their foreign customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPORTING COUNTRY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT ENTRY.”
Posted: 18 February 2012

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