TRACES (TRAde Control and Expert System) 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.
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. 44,000 consignments of animals and 400,000 consignments of produce of animal origin have been imported into the EU in 2014.
National authorities and businesses benefit from the system as it reduces the economic burden by speeding up administrative procedures.
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.