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Commission Draft Regulation, 31 May 2017
The Commission has published a draft Regulation for consultation. The following are the introductory recitals in the document. The full draft Regulation (with annex) is available on this site. The consultation closes on the 28th June 2017. For more details, see: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say_en
Draft Commission Regulation amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin as regard echinoderms harvested outside classified production areas
(1) Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin for food business operators. It provides, inter alia, that food business operators may place products of animal origin on the market only if they have been prepared and handled exclusively in establishments that meet certain requirements, including the relevant requirements of Annex III thereto.
(2) Section VII of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 specifies that that Section applies to live bivalve molluscs, and with the exception of the provisions on purification, it also applies to live echinoderms, live tunicates and live marine gastropods. It also specifies that specific requirements are applicable to pectinidae and marine gastropods which are not filter feeders harvested outside production areas.
(3) Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council lays down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin. It provides that the Member States are to ensure that the production and placing on the market of live bivalve molluscs, live echinoderms, live tunicates and live marine gastropods undergo official controls as provided for in Annex II thereto. Chapter II of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 provides that production areas are to be classified according to the level of faecal contamination. Filter feeder animals, such as bivalve molluscs, can accumulate micro-organisms representing a risk for public health.
(4) Echinoderms are generally not filter feeder animals. Consequently, the risk of such animals accumulating micro-organisms related to faecal contamination is remote. In addition, no epidemiological information has been reported to link the provisions for classification of production areas laid down in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 with risks for public health associated with echinoderms which are not filter feeders. For this reason, such echinoderms should also be excluded from provisions on the classification of production areas as laid down in Chapter II of Section VII of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.
(5) In addition, Chapter IX of Section VII of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 establishes specific requirements for pectinidae and live marine gastropods which are not filter feeders harvested outside classified production areas. Such requirements should also apply to echinoderms which are not filter feeder.
(6) Section VII of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 should therefore be amended accordingly.
(7) The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.