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July 2013

Common Fisheries Policy

1. EU Council and Parliament agree key CFP reforms
2. DG MARE issues guidance on the new labelling requirements for fish
3. EU Parliament approves operating rules for new fishery subsidies 2014 to 2020
4. Fifty percent increase in fishery subsidies for EU outermost regions
5. Ireland, UK, France and Spain seek trade sanctions against Iceland over mackerel
6. Commission initials a new 4-year Fisheries Protocol with Morocco (EUR40 million/year)
7. EU and Comoros initial new tuna fishing Protocol; EUR600,000/year
8. Commission negotiates new Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Cook Islands
9. Commission DG MARE and Mauritania amend terms of Fisheries Protocol
10. EU updates blacklisted IUU fishing vessels; Parliament wants action against Korea
11. Council adopts TACS and quotas for anchovy in the Bay of Biscay for 2013/14
12. Commission publishes scientific study on the status of shark stocks fished by EU vessels
13. CCAMLR discusses Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Antarctic
14. DG MARE publishes study on NE Atlantic fish stocks; many exploited sustainably
15. Stop fishing notices published for several Spanish segments
16. EU Fisheries Control Agency holds "Compliance Evaluation" seminar
17. DG MARE study concludes regional tuna agreement for Pacific "extremely difficult"
18. Study shows significant benefits likely from Exclusive Economic Zones in Mediterranean
19. Commission publishes market studies on fish prices from European Market Observatory
20. Free trade between EU and Colombia implemented; includes fishery products
21. Commission publishes information of fishery subsidies in Italy and Netherlands
22. EU Council nominates Piraeus, Turku, Burgas, and Lisbon to host European Maritime Days
23. EU 7th Framework- funded project SEAFARE to organise stakeholder workshops
24. EU 7th Framework- funded project SOCIOEC also to hold workshops

Fish hygiene

25. Thirty seven Rapid Alerts notified to the Commission for non-compliant fishery products
26. FVO of DG DANCO reports on bivalve controls in Italy; controls not ensured at all levels
27. FVO reports on EU fish export controls in Indonesia; outstanding significant deficiencies
28. FVO reports on EU fish export controls in Côte d'Ivoire; several insufficiencies
29. FVO reports on EU fish export controls in Senegal; guarantees not adequately implemented
30. Commission considers ban on import of bivalve molluscs originating from Turkey
31. Commission adds Tristan da Cunha to list of approved countries
32. EFSA study finds Listeria monocytogenes in 10% of ready to fishery products
33. Commission discusses proposals to allow polyphosphates in salted fish, despite concerns
34. Commission allow rosemary extract to be used in low fat fish and meat products
35. Commission confirms sodium and potassium carbonates banned in fishery products
36. Member States question legal validity of EU guidance document on additives
37. Commission considers harmonising rules on approved smoke flavourings
38. Sweden required to control intra-community trade in wild caught Baltic salmon
39. EFSA to hold public consultations on its scientific work
40. EFSA issues revised guidance for assessing pesticides risk to aquatic environment
41. Better Training for Safer Food Programme publishes 2012 Annual Report

Common Fisheries Policy

1. The European Council and the European Parliament agreed on the two final compromise texts on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform. The first was the basic regulation on the CFP and the second was the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products covering market policy and regulation. The agreement covers setting fishing opportunities at a level which will deliver maximum sustainable yield, the elimination of discarding practices (with some limited exceptions), and the regionalisation of fisheries management decisions to stakeholder bodies (Regional Advisory Councils).

2. The European Commission DG MARE issued guidance on the labelling of fish, in line with expected changes in the legislation regarding the common market organisation for fishery and aquaculture products. In addition to the current requirements stating details of where the fish was caught, and how it was produced, from 13th December 2013, labels will have to include date of minimum durability and whether the fish has been defrosted or not. Wholesale operators will also be obliged to display the scientific name of the product, a details of where it was caught, and details of the fishing gear used. The new requirements, will apply to both pre-packed and non-pre-packed products, for which the information may be provided through posters or leaflets. In addition to the mandatory information, the fishery business operator may also include additional information such as the date of catch, or the date of harvest of aquaculture products, or information on the port at which the products were landed.

3. Member of the Fisheries Committee of the EU Parliament approved the operating rules for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for the period 2014 to 2020. The EMFF will fund financial subsidies under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and will also fund implementation measures under the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). Amongst the fisheries subsidies approved were funds for renovation of small-scale and coastal fishing vessels more than 35 years old (maximum EU funding contribution of 15% of the total investment up to EUR80,000) and up to EUR100,000 grants for investment by young fishers. The European Commission welcomed the decision. However more discussions are required to establish the details of the funding instrument. The Commission has proposed to base the allocation of subsidies between Member States on a sectorial approach (rather than based on GDP as at present). Proposed criteria for allocation include employment and production in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, as well as the share of small scale coastal fishing in the fishing fleet.

4. As part of the package of fishery subsidies agreed by Member States under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the European Council has increased by 50% the amount available for fisheries in the outermost regions of the EU. A total of EUR192 million will be paid up to 2020. The annual subsidy includes EUR6.4 million for the fishery operators in the Azores and Madeira, EUR8.7 million for the Canary Islands and EUR12.3 million for the French outermost regions (now including Mayotte). Commissioner Damanaki welcomed the increase.

5. The European Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers was briefed by the Commission on the mackerel dispute with Iceland and Faroe Islands, following Mrs.Damanaki's visit to Iceland last month. Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Spain have asked the Commission to consider trade measures against Iceland and the Faroe Islands, supported by several Member States. However, some delegations suggested exploring further possibilities to continue negotiations. Concerning the Faroe Islands' step of setting a unilateral quota for the Atlanto-Scandian herring, the Commission indicated it has already initiated the preparation of trade measures which will shortly be presented the Council for discussion.

6. DG MARE of the Commission initialled a new 4-year Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the Moroccan Minister for Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries. Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and United Kingdom all have an interest in the FPA with Morocco, which includes 6 fishing categories exploited by both industrial and small-scale EU fleet segments. The total financial envelope for Morocco is estimated at EUR40m, with a contribution from the EU budget of EUR 30m a year, of which EUR16m compensates Morocco for access to the resource and EUR14m will be assigned to the support of the Moroccan fisheries sector. EU vessel operators will contribute an estimated EUR 10million in the form of licence fees.

7. The European Union and the Union of the Comoros initialled a new Protocol to the EU-Comoros Fisheries Partnership Agreement, which will be activated from 1 January 2014, when the current protocol expires. The duration of the Protocol will be 3 years and will allow the European fleet to continue its fishing activities for tuna in the Comoros Islands EEZ, enabling it to follow the migration of tuna and other highly migratory species throughout the western Indian Ocean. The Protocol provides the EU with fishing opportunities for 42 purse seiners and 20 long-line vessels, based on a reference tonnage of 6,000 tons. In return, the EU will pay the Comoros, an annual contribution of EUR600,000, out of which EUR300,000 is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of the Comoros.

8. The European Commission DG MARE has published a summary of a consultancy study on the feasibility of establishing a Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Cook Islands. The study recommends that the adoption of an FPA, with a protocol to permit 4 or 5 EU tuna seiners would be in the interests of both parties (rather than allowing vessel operators to negotiate their own access arrangements). Following the study the European Commission held the first round of discussions for the negotiation of a Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement (SFPA) and a Fisheries Protocol with the government of the Cook Islands. Progress was reported in the production of a draft text for both a SFPA and a Fisheries Protocol. The text will be considered by the parties leading up to a meeting in Brussels in September 2013, with a view to initialling the Agreement and its Protocol.

9. The European Commission DG MARE and the fisheries administration of Mauritania held a meeting of the Joint Committee in February 2013, under the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Protocol. The meeting discussed the status of all fish stocks, including cephalopods, under the Protocol, as well as examining technical measures for various fisheries, including adjustment of the permitted by-catch rate for EU shrimp vessels, and the extension of the southern pelagic zone. The parties also agreed to re-allocate some of the fishing opportunities for tuna seiners and pole and line vessels. Licences for tuna seiners will be allocated to Spain (17 licences) and France (8 licences). Licences for pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface longliners will be allocated to Spain (18 licences) and France (1 licence).

10. The European Commission adopted an updated list of blacklisted vessels engaged in IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing, which are prevented from landing or selling their fish in the EU. The list comprises 66 vessels (down from 69 in 2012) which are included in the IUU lists adopted by regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) around the world. The European Parliament's Fisheries' Committee urged the European Commission to take action to black list and launch trade sanctions against South Korea for IUU fishing notably in West African waters.

11. The European Commission proposed a total allowable catch (TAC) of 17,100 tonnes for anchovy in the Bay of Biscay for the fishing season 1 July 2013 - 30 June 2014. This TAC represents a reduction by 17% of the fishing possibilities for this stock compared to the previous season. The proposal follows scientific advice that stock size has decreased. The TAC is split between Spain and France, with Spain being allocated 90% of the total TAC). Council passed a Regulation adopting the proposals.

12. The European Commission DG MARE published a scientific study on the status of some of the key shark stocks exploited by EU vessels in the High Seas of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific area, which are currently monitored and managed by respective Tuna RFMOs. The study supports the implementation of the EU Plan of Action on sharks by providing baseline data to facilitate the monitoring of shark stocks at the species-specific level. The study found that there is a lack of shark reporting in artisanal and coastal fisheries; reporting in industrial fisheries is usually not broken down by species; species are mis-identified and there is a lack of biological and ecological information and difficulties to access to the data both at RFMO level and at a country level. Longlining accounts for 59% of the shark catch in the Atlantic, and 86% in the East Pacific, and 95% in the West. In the Indian Ocean gillnetting is the fishing method which accounts for the greatest part of the catch (61%, compared to 18% for longliners).

13. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) held a meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany, to discuss the creation of two Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Antarctic. The EU, Australia and France proposed the creation of an East Antarctic Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (EARSMPA) and the United States and New Zealand presented a proposal for the establishment MPA in the Ross Sea.

14. The Commission DG MARE announced that a study involving international researchers and the University of Strathclyde, has assessed the status of several European fish stocks, based on data collected by a number of different research organizations and reviewed by ICES. The study identified that many of the North-East Atlantic stocks are now being fished sustainably and can be expected therefore to continue to recover. However the study recommends that fishing pressure should be maintained at a low level, in order to allow full recovery.

15. Stop fishing notices were published by the Commission due to exhaustion of quota by Spanish fishing vessels operating with traps for bluefin tuna, and other Spanish vessels fishing for greater forkbeard, Blue ling and Common sole.

16. The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) published the results from its "Compliance Evaluation" seminar which took place in Vigo on 26-27 June 2013. The seminar was attended by the European Commission, representatives from Member States, Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and Regional Advisory Councils, as well as scientific institutions. The seminar discussed the most effective methods to evaluate compliance of fisheries control operations, as well compliance challenges arising from the reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy.

17. The European Commission DG MARE published a summary of a consultancy study reviewing the tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and their exploitation by EU vessels operating under Fisheries Partnership Agreements. The study concludes that threats to sustainable exploitation include significant rises in vessel numbers over the years, an increase in fishing effort, and possible illegal fishing activity. There is a need for improvements in monitoring, control and surveillance if IUU fishing is to be reduced or eliminated. The EU has signed FPAs with Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Kiribati, and is negotiating with Cook Islands and Tuvalu. Whilst the European Parliament and the European External Action Service have expressed support for a regional approach to the negotiation and implementation of the EU's bilateral agreements, the study notes that negotiating a regional agreement would be extremely difficult. It therefore suggests seeking greater regional consistency between agreements on issues such as fisheries management, science, and compliance, through the use of consistent legal text, and common approaches to sectorial support.

18. The Commission published a consultancy study investigating the costs and benefits of different approaches by Mediterranean coastal states to the declaration of different kinds of economic zones, to replace the current "mosaic of rights and constraints" and informal respect for conflicting territorial claims. In three case study areas studied, net benefits could reach EUR2.7 billion/year. The study found that declaration of Exclusive Economic Zones could provide twice the total benefits compared to an Ecological Protection Zone and six times those of a fully effective Fisheries Protection Zone. Mrs.Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries stated: "There are huge untapped opportunities in the Mediterranean Sea, which could come to fruition by establishing Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs)" She declared the intention to commence cooperation with neighbouring coastal states within the frame of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

19. The Commission published the May edition of the EU Fish Market highlights, prepared by the European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products. Includes an analysis of first sale prices in several EU countries and prices along the supply chain for octopus in Portugal.

20. The Commission announced that the EU-Colombia-Peru trade agreement (signed by the parties in June 2012) will take effect from 1 August 2013. The agreement will open up markets for products traded between the EU, Colombia and Peru, with removal of customs duties on industrial and fisheries products and reduced duties on agricultural products (at the end of a transition period).

21. The Commission has published information regarding the latest subsidies paid by EU Member States to fishery operators. Italy will provide EUR250,000 for pilot projects for improved management and development of new markets and promotional campaigns. Netherlands will provide EUR63,000 for an aquaculture guarantee fund.

22. The Council of the European Union announced the host cites for the future European Maritime Days (EMD). Piraeus, Greece will host EMD 2015, Turku, Finland will host EMD 2016, Poole, United Kingdom will host EMD 2017, Burgas, Bulgaria will host EMD 2018 and Lisbon, Portugal will host EMD 2019.

23. The EU 7th Framework- funded project SEAFARE (Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Aquaculture for the Atlantic Region of Europe) announced that it will organise a workshop in October 2013 in Seville, Spain, in order to facilitate the transfer of knowledge generated from the project to interested parties. The aim of the project is to provide small-to-medium enterprises and public authorities with tools for the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly aquaculture, using a greater range of species and alternative production systems, whilst protecting sensitive coastal environments, minimising the impacts of aquaculture discharges (through the use of wetlands as natural bio-filters) and assessing the dangers associated with introduced aquaculture species.

24. The SOCIOEC project (Socio Economic Effects of Management Measures of the Future Common Fisheries Policy) which is funded by the EU's 7th Framework Research programme, held its second project meeting. The project aims to provide a better understanding of fishermen's problems and expectations relating to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), through a series of case studies, discussion groups and surveys in different regions. During the coming months, the SOCIOEC consortium also expects to start a series of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) workshops at local case study level and to increase cooperation with the Regional Advisory Councils.

Fish hygiene

25. Rapid Alerts were notified for failure to comply with health conditions for three consignment of bivalve molluscs, two consignment of cephalopods, two consignments of crustaceans and 30 consignments of fish and fish products. The alerts included 4 consignments of swordfish and 2 consignments of yellow fin tuna from Spain, 2 consignments of swordfish from Sri Lanka and 2 consignments of hake from Ecuador.

26. The Food and Veterinary Office, an agency of DG SANCO of the European Commission published its Final Report of an audit carried out in Italy in October 2012 concerning the sanitary controls for bivalve molluscs place on the market in the European Union. The mission found that official controls are organised and carried out at all stages of the production chain and are supported by an accredited laboratory network. Official control of live bivalve mollusc establishments was also generally satisfactory. However there were deficiencies in relation to the classification and monitoring of live bivalve mollusc production areas. Several production areas were not reclassified even where the monitoring data showed results above the mandatory limits. Frequencies set in the annual regional sampling plans were not respected. Some production areas were not monitored for a long time. In one region visited clams were rarely monitored for the presence of biotoxins. In some bivalve establishments, the implementation of all HACCP principles was found to be not in line with EU requirements. The method for PSP toxin analysis was not accredited in one laboratory visited and was not properly performed in two other laboratories. The Competent Authority could not guarantee effective supervision of local official controls. The mission concluded that the central Competent Authority cannot ensure, at all levels, the effectiveness, quality and consistency of official controls. The Competent Authority, the Department of Veterinary Public Health, Food Safety and Collegial Bodies for Health Protection, was therefore required to submit a plan of corrective actions for the consideration of the FVO.

27. The Food and Veterinary Office, an agency of DG SANCO of the European Commission published its Final Report of an audit carried out in Indonesia in March 2013 concerning the sanitary controls for fishery and aquaculture products exported to the European Union, and to follow up on findings from a mission conducted in 2009. The mission found that whilst there was a system of official controls in place, there were outstanding significant deficiencies (in particular concerning standards of vessels, temperature controls and the reliability of laboratories) which should be addressed urgently. Non-conformities with regard to hygiene conditions on fishing vessels were identified, but no corrective actions were undertaken. Listed freezer vessels did not have HACCP plans. Shrimp was processed in establishments not under official controls. There was poor temperature control in some of the establishments visited, and in some cases non-potable water was used. Insofar as testing for official controls, the number of samples for histamine testing and the method used (fluorometric method) was not in line with EU requirements. No checks for PCBs were done, dioxins are not analysed regularly, and the maximum limits for heavy metals applied for fishery products were not in line with EU requirements. No corrective measures were taken when unsatisfactory results of water analyses were found. Control of poisonous fish was not correctly done. There were no analyses for additives used and labelling was not adequately controlled by the CA. A number of errors and omissions in laboratory accreditation had not been addressed. In particular discrepancies identified by proficiency testing were not corrected. The mission considered that these findings undermined the guarantees given by the CA when signing health certificates and concluded that most of the guarantees given by the Competent Authority in relation to the recommendations in the previous report from 2009 had not been adequately implemented. The Competent Authority, the Fish Quarantine and Inspection Agency under the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries was therefore required to submit a plan of corrective actions concerning 11 key recommendations arising from the mission, for the consideration of the FVO.

28. The Food and Veterinary Office, an agency of DG SANCO of the European Commission published its Final Report of an audit carried out in Côte d'Ivoire in February 2013 concerning the sanitary controls for fishery products exported to the European Union, and to follow up on findings from a mission conducted in 2006. The mission found that there had been significant improvements in the official controls applied at the level of the establishments. However the quality water used for ice was still not monitored and defects in HACCP implementation were not always correctly identified or followed up. The reliability of the health certificates issued was undermined by insufficiencies identified in the nominated testing laboratories. In particular there was no testing for PCBs and dioxins and there were no checks on parasites or for toxic fish species. In one testing laboratory, inter-laboratory proficiency testing activities did not included tests on fishery products. The Competent Authority (Direction des Services Vétérinaires under the Ministère des Ressources Animales et Halieutiques) was required to submit a plan of actions to correct the issues identified by the mission.

29. The Food and Veterinary Office published its Final Report of an audit carried out in Senegal in January 2013 concerning the sanitary controls for fishery products exported to the European Union. The mission found that legislation regarding heavy metal limits was not equivalent to EU requirements. There were some deficiencies identified in controls applied in the fishery sector, notably, weakness in verification of HACCP manual, poor follow up of non-compliances identified, gaps in the control of discharges from EU-flagged vessels, and lack of evidence of checks on water and ice. Fishery products derived from EU vessels were incorrectly certified, only one of three contracted laboratories was accredited. In particular results of chemical testing (for histamine, sulfites and heavy metals) were undermined by a weak system of internal quality controls. The mission concluded that several of the guarantees given by the Competent Authority in relation to the recommendations in the previous report from 2010 had not been adequately implemented. The Competent Authority, Division des Inspections et du Contrôle under the Ministère de la Pêche et des Affaires Maritimes, was required to submit a plan of actions to correct the issues identified by the mission.

30. The Commission and Member States discussed proposals to introduce 100 % testing on bivalve molluscs originating in Turkey for E.coli and marine biotoxins, following a number of negative findings reported to the RASFF system. Seven Member States however supported an outright suspension of imports, and the measure was postponed pending the amendment of the proposal.

31. The Commission and Member States amended the list of third countries and territories permitted to supply the EU with fishery products set out in Annex II to Decision 2006/766/EC. The UK Overseas Territory, Tristan da Cunha was approved for imports of fresh or frozen lobster and the entry for Mayotte will be deleted from 1 January 2014 (when Mayotte will become part of the European Union).

32. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued the first results of an EU-wide baseline survey on Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat foodstuffs. The bacteria was found in 10.3% of fish, 2.1% of meat and 0.5% of cheese samples collected from supermarkets and shops. However, the EU food safety limit (100 bacteria per gram) was exceeded only in 1.7% of fish, 0.4% of meat and 0.06% of cheese samples. The proportion of food samples exceeding the legal food safety limit was considered low. However, given the popularity of chilled ready to eat foods and the severe implications of Listeria infections for human health, EFSA recommends the need for continued vigilance.

33. The Commission presented its draft decision to the Committee regarding an amendment to Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 which will permit the use of Diphosphates (E 450), Triphosphates (E 451) and Polyphosphates (E 452) in wet salted fish, subject to labelling requirement. Some Member States continued to express concerns over negative consumer response and impacts on traditional producers.

34. The European Commission has amended Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008, to increase the permitted levels of extracts of rosemary (E 392) when used as a food additive in low fat foods (<10%). The changes set the maximum level at 15 mg/kg for products with a fat content not higher than 10 % and maintain the allowed maximum level of 150 mg/kg expressed on fat basis for the products with a fat content higher than 10 %. The decision is in line with the 2008 recommendations of the European Food Safety Authority, which found that the use of this additive and the levels indicated would not be of safety concern.

35. The Commission notified Member States that it has received information that additives Sodium carbonate (E 500) and Potassium carbonate (E 501) are being marketed (in a blend with citric acid and its salts) as processing aids, and are used by some operators to treat fresh fish and fisheries products. The Commission confirmed that these materials are considered to be additives and that their use is therefore not permitted in association with fishery products.

36. Some Member States questioned the legal validity of the guidance document describing the permitted use of different additives in different food categories, set out in Part E of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on Food Additives, along with concerns regarding possible anomalies. The Commission referred the matter to its Working Party of Governmental Experts on Food Additives.

37. The Commission and Member States discussed the possibility of publication of a list of harmonised smoke flavourings to be used in or on foods. A decision was postponed pending the development of a specific proposal.

38. In discussions within the Commission's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, France raised the issue of intra-community trade in wild caught Baltic salmon which is carried out by several companies in Sweden. The Commission confirmed that, as the companies involved could not provide the evidence to have performed the necessary sampling analysis of the wild caught Baltic salmon, they are not able to demonstrate compliance with the EU legislation concerning dioxins and PCBs, and the trade is considered to be illegal. Sweden undertook to correct the situation.

39. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced that it will hold a number of public consultations on its scientific work in the areas of nutrition, food contact materials, pesticides, plant health, animal welfare (including killing methods) and feed additives, over the coming weeks and months. All interested parties are invited to provide written feedback via EFSA's website.

40. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued revised guidance for assessing the risks posed by pesticides to aquatic organisms (such as fish, amphibians, invertebrates and plants) living in ponds, ditches and streams next to fields that are treated with these substances. The guidance document, developed by EFSA's Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR), outlines methods for assessing impacts of exposure to pesticides on aquatic organisms, with a view to improving risk assessment and decision-making regarding placing of pesticide products on the market. The document replaces existing guidance published in 2002.

41. The Directorate-General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission and the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (now responsible for implementation) have published the 2012 Annual Report on the Better Training for Safer Food Programme, covering its sixth year of operation. Six new programmes were added in 2012 and new e-learning modules were launched on animal welfare and food contact materials (followed in 2013 by modules on prevention, control and eradication of BSE and related diseases, hazard analysis and critical control point principles and the EU rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.) In 2012, BTSF held 130 training courses in the EU and applicant countries, attended by 3,801 participants. In third countries, the programme held 36 events, with 2,043 participants.

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