The EC carried out an audit in the Netherlands from 9 to 13 May 2011. The objectives were to audit the capability and the performance of the official bodies responsible for import controls and the adequacy and effectiveness of import checks carried out for plant health purposes to ensure compliance with EU requirements. Follow up on the action taken in the Netherlands in response to certain recommendations of previous FVO reports was also evaluated. All in all, the results of the audit were good in a qualified sense.
The Netherlands is a major importer of plants and plant produce into the EU and there is a well organised system in place for phytosanitary import controls. In many aspects the controls meet the requirements of EU legislation and are generally carried out by competent and well supported inspectors. However, there are deficiencies and non-compliances that were also identified in previous FVO missions, that have still not been adequately addressed by the Netherlands, which could constitute a plant health risk for the EU. In particular, the required checks and enforcement related to additional declarations of Phytosanitary Certificates are not carried out for the majority of consignments, the plant health checks are often not “meticulous” as required and the sample taken for plant health checks is not always “representative”; the controls of wood packaging material are very limited in extent.
Recommendations are made in the report to address the deficiencies found.