The third country must be approved to export a specific category of food of animal origin and must be in the list of approved third countries for that specific category of food.
Before a country is approved and can start export a category of food of animal origin, an evaluation of the country and its competent authority will be carried out by the Commission inspection service of the Health and Consumers Directorate general (FVO- Food and Veterinary Office located in Grange – Ireland).
The requirements for each category of food products are specified in Annex III to the Regulation (EC) No 853/2004. These requirements must be checked and guaranteed by the competent authorities of the third country before an establishment can be listed as an EU approved establishment. The competent authorities of the third country also must inform the Commission if an establishment is no longer fulfilling the above mentioned requirements.
The third country must have a residue monitoring plan (in accordance with Council Directive 96/23/EC) for the category of food of animal origin and must appear in the list of countries with an approved residue monitoring plan (Commission Decision 2011/163/EU as amended).
For food products concerned, the third country must have a salmonella control program in animal population in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 2160/2003.
The competent authority is responsible to keep the lists of establishments up to date and to inform the Commission of any changes necessary.