Food Law News - EU - 2003

FSA Consultation letter, 12 March 2003

OFFICIAL CONTROL - European Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the council on official feed and food controls

A copy of the proposal is available on this site: COM (2003) 0052 (pdf file; Caution: 519KB)

The European Commission has recently issued the above proposal. Official controls are those activities undertaken by Member States and their designated enforcement authorities (e.g. local authority environmental health departments and trading standards departments) for verifying compliance of businesses with animal feed and food (for human consumption) legislation. Official controls also include activities undertaken by the European Commission itself to evaluate the performance of national control systems.

Discussions on the proposal will begin shortly in Brussels. The Food Standards Agency will represent the UK.

The Proposal

A copy of the full proposal is available on the Agency's website at In order to aid consideration of the proposal, a summary document is available (See: Controls - Summary (pdf file)). This gives some background information and outlines the proposal's main provisions and our understanding of these.

In summary, the proposed Regulation consolidates and builds on existing horizontal and sector specific legislation to create a more comprehensive, consistent and integrated 'farm to table' approach for control systems. It lays down the rules to be followed by the competent authorities in Member States in developing appropriate and efficient systems for verifying compliance with EU feed and food law.

The main elements include: operational criteria; training requirements for control officials; rules for delegating control tasks to independent bodies; requirements for reference and official laboratories and for methods of analysis and sampling; rules for dealing with emergencies; import controls; rules on official certification; administrative assistance and co-operation between Member States and with the Commission; provisions for financing controls and, enforcement measures.

There are a number of questions on which the FSA should particularly welcome views:

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