TRACES, the European Commission (EC) online traceability system, kept track of 44,000 consignments of imported animals and 400,000 consignments of imported produce of animal origin in 2014, completing 10 years of the system’s operation.
“TRACES helps ensure that animals, food, feed and plants are traded safely and thereby help ensure that the food served on 500 million European plates is safe,” said the EC in a 10th birthday celebratory statement.
“Border control authorities in 28 EU countries must check health certificates and trade documents of all consignments at EU borders so that they can safely enter the food chain. Thousands of documents are managed electronically through TRACES which helps to track, like a footprint, the flow of livestock and produce imported from outside the EU and traded within the single market.”
With over 70 countries worldwide connected and more than 29,000 registered users, TRACES centralises data to simplify and accelerate trading processes in livestock, produce and plants.
“National authorities and businesses benefit from the system as it reduces the economic burden by speeding up administrative procedures,” said the EC. “The system can signal health threats, as well as help combat fraud by allowing the quick detection of fake certificates. It also facilitates trade which in turn contributes to economic growth.”