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Commission News Item, 2 July 2020
The items below relating to food are extracted from the list provided by the Commission. The news item has the following introduction:
In its regular package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas, aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.
The key decisions taken by the Commission are presented below and grouped by policy area. The Commission is also closing 97 cases in which the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.
Food safety: Commission urges BULGARIA to correctly apply EU rules on the marketing of natural mineral water and spring water
Today, the European Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria for failing to comply with EU rules on marketing requirements for natural mineral and spring waters in Directive 2009/54/ECon natural mineral waters. The Bulgarian legislation does not prohibit the marketing of natural mineral and spring waters under more than one trade description which originate from one and the same spring as required by Directive 2009/54. Moreover, contrary to that Directive, the Bulgarian legislation does not require the indication of the name of the spring to be placed on the labels of those foodstuffs. Directive 2009/54 was adopted to eliminate differences between Member States' laws governing the natural mineral and spring waters to protect the health of consumers, to prevent consumers from being misled and to ensure fair-trading. Bulgaria now has three months to take the necessary measures to comply with the letter of formal notice, otherwise the Commission may, if appropriate, issue a reasoned opinion.
Food safety: Commission urges ROMANIA to correctly apply EU rules on hygiene rules for food
Today, the European Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Romania regarding the exclusion of certain supplies of products of animal origin from the scope of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004on hygiene rules of food of animal origin, which are accordingly governed by national law, without complying with the conditions for exclusion from the scope of the EU Regulation. The letter of formal notice also concerns the failure by Romania to comply with certain provisions of the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 and of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs. Furthermore, the Romanian food hygiene rules apply to goods which are the subject of free movement in the internal market, their observance is compulsory and compliance with them confers a presumption of conformity with the obligations imposed by EU law. The national food hygiene rules should have therefore been notified at the draft stage under Directive 2015/1535 on technical regulations to allow the Commission to assess their compatibility with EU law. The failure to notify these rules constitutes a breach of the notification obligations set out in Article 5(1) of Directive 2015/1535. Romania now has three months to take the necessary measures to comply with the letter of formal notice, otherwise the Commission may, if appropriate, issue a reasoned opinion.
Food safety: Commission urges CZECHIA to correctly apply EU rules on the performance of official controls
Today, the European Commission decided to send a supplementary letter of formal notice to Czechia for failing to comply with EU rules on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (Regulation Regulation (EU) 2017/625). The Czech authorities have decided to carry out a systematic risk assessment and subsequent potential official controls targeting certain foodstuffs coming from another Member State each time such foodstuffs enter Czechia. On that basis, the Czech authorities have established in national legislation the obligation for operators to systematically notify, at least 24 hours in advance, the arrival of such foodstuffs to the place of destination. This is incompatible with the harmonised framework established by EU rules. The Commission considers that the obligation to report the arrival of goods from another Member State must not be systematic. On the contrary, the reporting of the arrival of such goods may be requested by the competent authority only on a risk basis and to the extent strictly necessary for the organisation of the official controls. A letter of formal notice and reasoned opinion were sent by the Commission to Czechia in January and July 2019, respectively, for breaching Article 3(6) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. Since Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 was repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2017/625 as of 14 December 2019 and the provisions of Article 3(6) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 were maintained in Article 9(7) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 and Czechia is found to continuously breach those provisions, a supplementary letter of formal notice was sent by the Commission. Czechia has now three months to take the necessary measures to comply with the supplementary letter of formal notice, otherwise the Commission may, if appropriate, issue a reasoned opinion.