In accordance with legal act 68/1999, The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, is the Authority in Iceland responsible for the control of import and export of live animals, animal breeding materials, animal products and animal feeds. The office of import and export within MAST executes this control on a daily basis. This is a voluminous task which covers all products and live animals which can carry contagious material dangerous for animals or humans. The main task of the office of import and export is to prevent contagious material, drug residues hazardous to animals and humans from entering the country by means of live animals, animal products, tourists or by any other means. Another task of the office of import and export is to certify that animal products, fish products and live animals exported from Iceland fulfil the requirements of the importing country and do not present undue health risk to animals and humans.
According to legal act nr.25/1993 all import of food of animal origin is forbidden. The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture is permitted to deviate from this ban, following a positive evaluation by MAST. The recommendations of MAST are based on thorough risk assessments on case to case basis. This evaluation is in accordance with OIE procedures, mainly taking notice of the animal health status of the exporting country.
Bearing in mind Icelands unique animal health situation MAST evaluates the risk involved by importing the product of animal origin or the live animal in question in each case. Mast´s risk assessment is mainly based on information from the exporting country, OIE and other international institutions concerned with animal and public health issues.