The present report summarises the monitoring data collected in 2012 on the presence of residues of veterinary medicinal products and certain substances in live animals and animal products in the European Union. A total of 772,540 samples were reported to the European Commission by the 27 EU Member States. They consisted of 427,193 targeted samples and 23,102 suspect samples reported under council Directive 96/23/EC, 4,164 samples collected at import and 318,081 samples collected in the framework of programmes developed under the national legislation. The majority of Member States fulfilled the minimum requirements for sampling frequency laid down in Council Directive 96/23/EC and in Commission Decision 97/74/EC. The percentage of non-compliant targeted samples (0.25 %) was slightly lower compared to the previous five years (0.28 – 0.34 %). A lower frequency of non compliant samples was reported in 2012 for antithyroid agents, steroids, resorcyclic acid lactones, antibacterials, anticoccidials and carbamates and pyrethroids compared to the previous five years. The proportion of non compliant samples for chemical elements (mainly metals) in 2012 was higher compared to 2007, 2008 and 2009, but lower compared to 2010 and 2011. For the other substance groups, there were no notable variations over the six years. This analysis should be regarded as having a certain degree of uncertainty, as it is based on partially aggregated data and the sampling plans and the spectrum of substances analysed are not necessarily the same every year.