29 January – European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) finalised a study which assessed food, plant and sanitary safety (otherwise known as sanitary, veterinary and phytosanitary (SPS)) norms and practices on both banks of the Dniester River. The report includes practical recommendations and a list of priority measures for technical assistance in this area, and could also potentially serve as a basis for the future cooperation between relevant bodies of both banks of the Dniester River.
Commenting on this step forward, Andrew Tesoriere, the Head of EUBAM said: “EUBAM is seeking to catalyse the necessary cooperation on food, plant and animal safety standards in order to benefit and protect households, consumers, producers and businesses at both banks of the Dniester River”.
As a part of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement commitment, Moldova including Transnistria, should meet a number of EU and international SPS standards. The study examines whether current SPS legislation, practices, institutional arrangements and implementation systems on both banks of the Dniester River are in line with the relevant EU and the World Trade Organization requirements and identifies gaps.
The research revealed that the Republic of Moldova undertook an intensive and successful process of harmonisation and implementation of policies and legislation, the legislative achievements being well documented and agreed with the EU.
Although Transnistrian SPS bodies do not apply Moldovan SPS legislation and operate in accordance with their own requirements and systems, they cooperate with MD National Food Safety Agency which enables EU compliant official controls to be undertaken on Transnistrian Food Business Operators.
In order to maintain current Transnistrian agri-food exports to the EU and further develop Transnistrian agri-food trade, EUBAM has recommended that the current SPS control cooperation mechanisms should be retained and developed. At the same time Transnistrian SPS bodies should introduce key concepts and systems into the regulatory framework as well as requirements relevant to the products exported to the EU.
The research was based on document analysis, interviews and site visits on both banks of the Dniester River. The results of the study were well received by high level officials both in Chisinau and Tiraspol.