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Commission Decision of 24 July 2008 on guidelines to assist Member States in preparing the annual report on the single integrated multiannual national control plan provided for in Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (notified under document number C(2008) 3756) (Text with EEA relevance) (2008/654/EC)

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8.GENERAL GUIDANCEU.K.

Regulations (EC) No 178/2002 and (EC) No 882/2004 provide for a systems-based approach to official controls. An essential part of such an approach is the compilation and analysis of the results of official controls and drawing conclusions thereon, with a view to the determination of appropriate system-based corrective actions and adjustment or amendment of national control plans where necessary. The annual report should therefore be a synthesis of that activity and also take account of the conclusions of the audits carried out in accordance with Article 4(6) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004.

A simple statistical account of the number of official controls and audits will not satisfy that requirement. For the purpose of compiling the annual report Member States should provide an overview of the overall or aggregate national results on which the analysis of the results of official controls is based, presented on the basis of sectors and stages in the production chain. The choice of sectors and production stages to be reported on is a matter for the individual Member State to decide. The scope of each sector and production stage should be clearly defined and be consistent with the structure of the description of the control systems in the national control plan. In order to place the results and analysis in context, the relevant official control (including sampling) strategies, audit programmes and performance indicators, set out in the national control plan should be referred to by means of cross-references, and where such information is not included in the national control plan, a brief description of those strategies should be provided in the annual report.

The issues to be covered in the overview and analysis of the results of official controls are outlined in Section 9 of these guidelines. The analysis of those results should identify trends and comment on their significance and possible future consequences for official controls. The identification of trends may require the review of data on results of official controls covering a number of years and for the purpose of such analysis reference should be made to data relating to previous official controls where appropriate. Taking account of Article 43(1)(e) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 these guidelines provide some guidance as to how that analysis may be carried out.

For the purposes of compilation of the raw control data, where Community legislation prescribes the data to be collected for the purpose of specific reports, in relation to feed or food law, animal health, animal welfare or plant heath, these data should form the basis of the analysis of the results of official controls for the sector in question. Where there are no such provisions Member States are free to decide the appropriate means of data collection and compilation appropriate to their national systems and may decide to continue with earlier arrangements for the compilation of data on official controls in relation to those activities.

For the purposes of classifying non-compliances, where Community legislation provides for such classification, this classification should be followed for the purposes of the annual reports. In the absence of any specific provision Member States are free to decide a classification system appropriate to their requirements and should briefly describe the system used in their annual reports.

Member States who wish to develop their systems for classifying and recording control data may take into account the ongoing work in Eurostat on ‘food safety statistics’ and in particular, the ‘control and monitoring activities’ database(1). In order to ensure coherence and avoid duplication of work, Member States are encouraged to closely cooperate with Eurostat in the development of those classification schemes. The results of such cooperation may be reflected in future amendments of these guidelines, as appropriate.

The background data supporting the results and analysis of official controls supplied in the annual report may be required by the Commission for the purposes of Community controls provided for in Article 45 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 and should therefore be retained and provided to the Commission on request.

(1)

This work, carried on within the context of the Community Statistical Programme and its annual work programmes, comprises various classification schemes like the classification of control and monitoring activities, the data dictionaries of products and activities of the establishments, a common glossary, the definition of sampling strategies and indicators of control and monitoring activities.

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