Terms of Reference (ToR) for a Short-Term assignment
Technical assistance requested: 1 (one) Senior Non-Key Expert in the area of Negotiating Chapter 12, Food Safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, plant health – Draft Law on Plant Protection Products
Project Title: Policy and Legal Advice Centre (PLAC III), Serbia
Service Contract No.: (CRIS) 2018/404-529
Main beneficiary: The Ministry for European Integration of the Republic of Serbia
Target Beneficiaries: Negotiating Chapter 12, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management
Budget Line/Expert Category: One Senior Non-Key Expert
Duration of the assignment: 30 working days, from January until September 2023
1. Relevant background information
Background information in relation to the PLAC III project:
The scope of the PLAC III project is to provide support to relevant national institutions in charge of alignment of national legal acts with the EU acquis and to contribute to further building of capacities of relevant national structures for the successful carrying out of accession negotiations.
The PLAC III project should achieve two results:
RESULT 1- Enhanced compatibility of national legislation with EU legislation and its effective implementation
RESULT 2 – Enhanced capacities of the relevant national structures for the successful carrying out of accession negotiations
In general, the Project aims to foster the process of accession negotiations of the Republic of Serbia by supporting the effective alignment of national legislation with the Union acquis and its implementation and by further building the capacities of involved carriers of the EU integration process in the Republic of Serbia. Upon completion of the screening process in 2015, the Serbian public administration has entered into much more demanding and obliging exercises of accession negotiations, whereby each step and every decision should result in approaching actual membership in the EU. For this scenario to happen in accordance with planned dynamics, preparedness and adequate institutional capacity of public administration with highly competent staff are of crucial importance. In the core period of the negotiations, the PLAC III project shall support domestic line institutions and the negotiating structures both in the performance of
quality operational work in relation to the harmonisation process and in the effective coordination during various stages and phases in the process for different negotiation chapters.
2. Background information in relation to Chapter 12 – Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy
The Republic of Serbia (RS) is intensively preparing for negotiations with the EU regarding Chapter 12 (Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy). To progress in negotiations Serbia must, among other things, develop a comprehensive strategy for transposition, implementation and enforcement of the acquis on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, substantially strengthen the administrative capacity of the veterinary, phytosanitary and national reference laboratories directorates and consistently apply and further improve the application of the risk-based approach to official controls.
The Country Progress Report of the European Commission (EC) for Serbia for 2022 (Serbia 2022 Progress Report) states that Serbia is moderately prepared in the area of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy.
Limited progress has been achieved through the adoption of legislation and the start of implementation of the Law on Plant Protection Products (“Official Gazette of RS” Nos. 41/09 and 17/19). In particular, the rulebooks have been adopted implementing the legislation and provisions regarding the training of professional users and periodic inspections of pesticide application devices (Serbia 2022 Progress Report, p. 125). However, further efforts are needed in the phytosanitary policy area.
The Law on Plant Protection Products (further referred to as the “Law on PPPs”), which entered into force in 2009, partially transposed Directive 91/414/EC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and Directive 128/2009/EC on establishing a framework for Community action in achieving the sustainable use of pesticides including some provisions of Regulation 396/2005/EC on plant protection products residues in food and feed.
In 2011 Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 on the placing plant protection products on the market entered into force repealing Directives 79/117/EEC 91/414/EEC, which together with Directive 128/2009/EC required further alignment of the national legislation in the area of registration of plant protection products (PPPs), pesticide residues and the sustainable use of PPP in accordance with European regulations.
The Law on Amendments to the Law on PPPs (“Official Gazette of RS” No. 17/19) was adopted in 2019, which transposed Directive 128/2009/EC and to a large extent aligned Serbian legislation with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 and Regulation 396/2005/EC.
As a result, the Law on PPPs in force regulates two major areas, the registration of plant protection products and the sustainable use of pesticides.
In the field of the PPP registration, the provisions that were aligned considered, primarily, the unique principles for the assessment of documentation including the source of active substances contained in products of physical, chemical and technical properties, the effectiveness of the products and possible direct or indirect harmful effects on human and animal health and environment through the evaluation of documentation related to ecotoxicology and behaviour in the environment.
However, in order to provide a clearer regulatory framework and achieve a greater degree of compliance of the national legislation with the changes in the EU legal framework in the field of
registration and placing on the market of PPPs and their sustainable use it is necessary to adopt two separate laws governing registration and sustainable use, respectively.
Therefore, the National Plan for Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA) 2022-2025, sub-section 3.12.5 (Plant Protection Products and Residues), envisages the adoption of the new Law on Plant Protection Products and the Law on Sustainable Use of Pesticides.
In particular, expert assistance to the Plant Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management (MAFWM) is needed in order to identify legal gaps in the legislation in force and to draft the new Law on the PPPs to achieve a greater degree of compliance of the national legislation with Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 including all its modifications adopted in the meantime up to Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438 and to ensure greater protection of human and animal health, the environment and placing on the market of safe food.
At present, there are no ongoing or planned assistance projects for the activities covered by this ToR.
3. Description of the assignment:
3.1 Specific objectives
The specific goal of this task is to provide assistance to the Plant Protection Directorate of the MAFWM, and the Negotiating Group for Ch. 12 in order to prepare a Draft Law on PPPs aligned with Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438.
In the scope of this objective, the selected expert is needed for the following activities:
- Assistance to the MAFWM and the Plant Protection Directorate in conducting an assessment of legal gaps in the national legislation in force compared to the legal requirements of the relevant EU legislation governing registration and placing on the market of the PPPs with a table of concordance;
- Assistance to the MAFWM and the Plant Protection Directorate in drafting the new Law on PPPs aligned with Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438;
- Assistance to the MAFWM and the Plant Protection Directorate in preparation of a table of concordance for the new draft Law on PPPs according to Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 (as last amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438);
- Hold a workshop presenting the results of the legal gap assessment, the new draft Law on the PPPs text proposed and on implementation of new provisions in accordance with the relevant acquis.
3.2 Requested services
The Senior NKE (SNKE) in the field of legislation on plant protection products is expected to provide the following services:
- Assist the MAFWM and the Plant Protection Directorate in drafting:
- A legal gap analysis of the national legislation in force and the table of concordance with regard to the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council on placing PPPs on the market (as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438);
- A draft Law on Plant Protection Products aligned with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 (as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438);
- A table of concordance on Regulation (EU) 1107/2009 (as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438) taking into account the provisions of the draft Law;
- Prepare and hold a Workshop presenting the legal gaps identified by the assessment of the legislation in force, the draft of the new Law on Plant Protection Products, including gaps addressed by new provisions and their implementation in accordance with the relevant Union acquis.
The SNKE is expected to deliver the following outputs:
- The legal gap analysis drafted;
- The Table of Concordance on Regulation (EU) 1107/2009 (as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438) drafted;
- The Law on Plant Protection Products drafted;
- The Table of Concordance on Regulation (EU) 1107/2009 (as last time amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/1438) taking into account the provisions of the draft Law on PPPs prepared;
- The Workshop held.
The Senior NKE shall provide the following reports by using the templates of the Project:
– A Final Mission Report, no later than 1 week after the completion of tasks under this assignment. This report will include a description of all activities and outputs provided by the SNKE in the context of this assignment;
– A brief Interim Report – only upon request of the PLAC III team: TL and/or KE2.
Submission of reports:
– A Final Mission Report prepared in the agreed quality shall be submitted to the Team Leader of the Project for review, comments and final approval;
– The reports shall be signed by the SNKE and the Team Leader, responsible for endorsing the reports;
– The reports and all prepared documents shall be submitted in a hard copy and electronic version to the Team Leader of the Project.
The SNKE shall work under the guidance and follow the instructions of the Team Leader. The SNKE shall collaborate with the Project team, other experts involved and representatives of the relevant beneficiary institutions.
For each of the short-term missions, the timing and duration shall be agreed upon with the Beneficiary and the PLAC III team prior to each planned mission.
3.6 Expert input
3.6.1 Total working days
30 working days (WDs) in total have been planned for the Senior Non-Key Expert for this assignment.
3.6.2 Period of the assignment and starting day
It is expected that the work will be performed through several missions during the period from January until September 2023. However, the starting date will be confirmed at a later stage.
3.6.3 Location/place of assignment
The SNKE must deliver 100% of the input in Serbia, unless otherwise agreed due to extraordinary circumstances (i.e., COVID-19). All home-based days are subject to prior approval by the EU Delegation Project Manager responsible for the PLAC III project.
3.6.4 Working language
4. Experts’ profile – Senior NKE (30 working days):
4.1 Qualifications and skills (25 points)
- A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least 3 years, attested by a diploma such as chemical engineering or agronomy engineering, plant protection
- Computer literacy;
- Proficiency in report drafting;
- Excellent communication and analytical skills;
- Proficiency in the English language;
- Independence and freedom from conflicts of interest in the undertaken responsibilities.
4.2 General professional experience (25 points)
- At least 8 (eight) years of general postgraduate professional experience related to the EU acquis, gained in an EU Member State, candidate or potential candidate country.
4.3 Specific professional experience (50 points)
- At least 5 (five) years of postgraduate professional experience in drafting and/or implementing legislation in relation to EU acquis in the plant protection products;
- Knowledge of the Serbian legal system will be an advantage.
Applications (EU format CV and application letter in English) need to be submitted by e-mail no later than 14 December 2022, 17:00 hrs, titled:
“Application for the position – Senior NKE in the area of Ch. 12 (Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy), plant protection products” References must be available on request. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Pre-selected experts will be requested to sign a Statement of Availability (SoA) in which they acknowledge and confirm their availability to accomplish this assignment within the indicated period, at the indicated starting date and within the number of working days requested. The Project is an equal opportunity employer. All applications will be considered strictly confidential. Advertised posts are not available to civil servants or other officials of the public administration in the beneficiary country, Serbia.
The implementation of the requested technical assistance and the start of the short-term assignment is subject to the signing and entry into force of the addendum to Service Contract No. (CRIS) 2018/404-529 between the Contracting Authority and the Contractor on the extension of the period of implementation of the tasks of the Policy and Legal Advice Centre (PLAC III) project under IPA 2021 framework.