Ensuring further progress of SPS and food safety system in Georgia
The project aims to assist the National Food Agency and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia in elaborating and implementing legislative and regulatory frameworks and developing procedures to facilitate progress in the area of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary. This will support the effort of MoEPA and NFA in implementing the respective EU acquis and introducing best European practices in this important field. During the two years of the project, the European experts from the peer institutions from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden will work together with the Georgian colleagues to achieve this goal through a combination of activities including development of legislation, delivery of trainings and elaboration of different tools for better food safety. From a broader perspective, the project and its results should help Georgia to obtain functional market economy and be able to compete successfully in the EU market while maintaining the consumer protection and achieving high food safety standards.
The project consists of three Components that are aligned in three main areas: i) approximation of legislation, ii) strengthening of capacities and iii) enforcement of legislation.
In the first direction, the project will perform revision of the relevant legislation on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary, and prepare proposals on changes in legislative acts. The experts from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden will support NFA and MoEPA in building up a well-functioning process of approximation of EU Acquis related to Chapter 12 Food Safety, Veterinary, Phytosanitary Policy.
The second direction focuses on assisting NFA, both at the central and regional levels to handle more efficiently implementation of hygiene and safety standards in primary production of food and be better prepared to deal with food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary issues. This will include assessment of the existing situation in primary production with food hygiene and safety and veterinary standards as well as preparation of guidelines, recommendations and training materials for different target groups. Biodiversity will also addressed in this Component of the project.
The third direction envisages supporting NFA in enforcing the new food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary legislation. It is planned that the food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary system will be improved in accordance with the new EU regulations. Food safety for consumers will be increased and both, import and export of food facilitated. The activities of this Component include implementation of official risk assessment and enhancing monitoring for imported food, strengthening sanitary and phytosanitary controls, review of border procedures and carrying out workshops on border inspection.
The specific objective of the project is to improve capacity of the competent authorities for food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy for implementation of the EU acquis through further development of the already improved administrative, organizational and management structure and technical capacity of the National Food Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (NFA) and other key Governmental institutions supporting NFA in performing its responsibilities in accordance with the Georgian legislation and international best practices.
The project's expected results are structured around three main areas, with more specific sub-results defined in each area. Namely:
Area 1: Administrative and operational capacity of the National Food Agency supported to ensure efficient approximation of the relevant legislation
EU compliant implementing legislation regarding food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policies developed and effectively adopted according to the approximation plan
Success of the approximation of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary implementing legislation followed systematically by the NFA management system
Area 2: The capacities at the central and regional levels for food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary issues and implementation of hygiene and safety standards in primary production supported
Monitoring/surveillance programmes regarding food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policies developed and effectively implemented
Veterinary bio-security measures introduced
Implementation of hygiene and safety standards in primary production strengthened
Phytosanitary Information system established
Area 3: Enforcement of the newly approximated food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary legislation in the country supported
Enforcement of hygiene and safety standards strengthened
Enforcement of phytosanitary, veterinary and food safety (SPS) border inspection control strengthened
Capacities for plant health and control of plant production products strengthened
Capacities for control of animal diseases in the country strengthened.