This Technical Report presents challenges, opportunities and good practice examples in relation to the implementation of Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.
Competent authorities of the Member States are required to not only detect violations of the rules governing the agri-food chain but also to identify possible intentional violations of those rules, perpetrated through fraudulent or deceptive practices by operators for the purpose of gaining an undue advantage.
Between 2020 and 2022 a series of pilot and fact-finding studies of eight Member States were carried out with the aim to identify good practice examples and challenges Member State authorities face with the implementation of fraud related controls. The results of these fact-finding studies form the basis of this report. The reports of the six fact findings studies have also been published:
The report states that as fraud is driven by opportunity and motivation, detecting fraud requires good knowledge about the sector, the fraud risks and the way fraudsters operate.
The report advocates a risk-based approach based on a vulnerability assessment. The best approach to risk-based planning will differ between authorities, control areas and Member States, but the risk-based planning should be based on a vulnerability assessment. A fraud risk assessment should be tailored to the control areas for which the competent authority is responsible. The report acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all solution across all sectors does not exist and provides key considerations for undertaking vulnerability assessments.
Furthermore, the use of mechanisms for the exchange of information between competent authorities on suspicions of fraudulent practices and criminal investigations (fraud part of iRASFF, Secure Information Exchange Network Application - SIENA, etc.) is crucial.
The purpose of this technical report therefore is to promote the uniform interpretation and application of the provisions of Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625