The EU border control posts

In the European Union, there are 297 Border Control Posts (BCPs), operated by National Authorities, most of them located in airports, roads and ports. Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and France have the largest number of BCPs.

At BCPs, there are three main types of veterinary checks on all consignments:

  • Documentary: Documentary checks are carried out on all consignments. These involve checking that the appropriate veterinary documentation (CVED) exists and has been completed in a proper way;
sample of an entry document at a BIP
  • Identity: Every consignment is subject to an identity check to verify that it matches what is described in the documentation. Authorities also review the health mark, which typically identifies the country of origin and company identity;
  • Physical: In principle, a physical check is required on all consignments. However, for the majority of products where import rules are fully harmonized, a physical check is carried out only on a percentage of consignments, which varies according to the product category and risk. The physical check may also involve taking samples for laboratory tests. 

The EU has one of the highest food safety standards in the world, largely due to the serious EU legislation in force - the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)

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