Food Law News - EU - 2005


FSA Report/Consultation, 31 August 2005

HYGIENE - Implementing measures linked to the new EU hygiene controls

Note this news item contains the content of two separate but related items taken from the FSA web site

Discussions at the EU Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) on 19 and 20 July 2005.

This report provides an overview of discussions concerned with documents relating to the new food hygiene legislation circulated at the meeting of SCoFCAH that took place on 19 and 20 July 2005 .

[Please note, as from 6 September 2005 , this page has been updated with the most recent versions of implementing measures and transitional arrangements. Details regarding an informal consultation on these new versions can also be found below.]

This was the second consideration by SCoFCAH of the proposal for implementing and transitional measures.

This report notes the division of the proposal into three separate documents and the likely timeframe concerned. A link to a pdf copy of the proposal (SANCO/55/2005 rev. 6) can be found at the foot of the page.

The report also touches on the proposal for Salmonella additional guarantees for Sweden and Finland and on the technical specifications paper for lists of approved premises.

A copy of the technical specifications paper (SANCO/ 2179/2005) can also be found at the foot of the page.

Implementing measures and transitional arrangements (SANCO/55/2005 rev. 6)

The Commission tabled a significantly and substantially revised version (SANCO/55/2005 rev.6) of the proposal for implementing measures and transitional arrangements at the meeting.

The proposal was not put to indicative vote as had been expected. In the course of inter-service consultation, the Commission's legal service insisted that the proposal be split into three, as it was dealing with matters deriving from three different legal bases. The rev. 6 document would however form the basis of the new texts.

The Commission indicated that the three new texts would be circulated at the end of August 2005 with the intention of taking a vote (presumably indicative) at the SCoFCAH meeting on 20 and 21 September 2005 .

Allowing for clearance and translation, it seems likely that the regulations would appear in the EU Official Journal in early December 2005. The new texts would be spilt by the following subject areas:

[As described above, copies of the revised documents (SANCO/2535/2005, SANCO/2536/2005 and SANCO/2537/2005) can be found below.]

The UK noted the difficulty this timeframe could cause in putting in place the necessary legal and administrative measures necessary to apply the legislation effectively by 1 January 2006 .

The Commission asked Member States to provide comments on the rev.6 document by 5 August at the latest. The Agency therefore invites comments from stakeholders on the proposal at the earliest opportunity before that date, in order that consideration can be given to those comments in the light of the UK 's response to the Commission.

Salmonella additional guarantees for Sweden and Finland (SANCO/3307/2004 rev. 2)

There was brief discussion of a revised text for this proposal that had been changed to reflect discussions at the SCoFCAH meeting on 21/22 June. The only further changes agreed were of a textual and editorial nature and did not affect the substance. The Commission put the proposal to a vote and it was agreed unanimously.

Technical specifications in relation to the master list of lists and the lists of approved food establishments (SANCO/2179/2005)

At the meeting the Commission circulated a working document on the technical specifications in relation to the master list of lists and the lists of approved food establishments.

This document sets out the format of the master list, the categories of food establishments and the layout of lists of food establishments. It also provides codes and legends.

Member States have been asked to submit comments on the technical specifications document by 5 August 2005 .

As with the implementing measures and transitional arrangements, the Agency therefore invites comments from stakeholders on the proposal at the earliest opportunity before that date, in order that consideration can be given to those comments in the light of the UK 's response to the Commission.

Further consultation on the Commission Implementing Measures and Transitional Arrangements

The Commission has now divided the Implementing Measures and Transitional Arrangements into three draft documents. These can be found below:

Stakeholder comments are welcome on these three draft documents. A letter sent to stakeholders on 31 August 2005 providing all of the information relevant to the consultation can also be found below.

For doucments, use these links:

Further consultation on the draft EU Commission implementing measures and transitional arrangements to facilitate application of the new EU food hygiene and official feed and food controls legislation.

Responses are required by 13th September 2005 .

Background

A formal FSA consultation was carried out on an early draft of a possible Commission Regulation laying down implementing measures and transitional arrangements for certain products of animal origin, and the organisation of official controls on those products, to facilitate application of the new EU food hygiene legislation. The consultation concluded in May this year and a summary of the consultation responses and an FSA response will be published shortly. The consultation also enclosed a RIA analysing the costs and benefits of the proposals. Further details can be found on the FSA website at the attached link : http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/Consultations/completed_consultations/completeduk/implement

This letter is to update you on recent developments regarding the above legislation. At a meeting of the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) on 19 and 20 July 2005 , the Commission announced its intention to split the above measures into three separate proposals. The three proposals are intended to cover permanent measures (amendments, implementing and traditional measures), Trichinella and transitional arrangements respectively. We have just received the three draft proposals from the Commission. Copies of the proposals and further background can be found at the following weblink :http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/regulation/europeleg/eufoodhygieneleg/scofcahstandingjuly

Timing

The Commission's intention is to discuss these proposals on 14th September and put them to indicative vote at SCOFCAH on 23 September. The consultation period has had to be shortened to less than the normal 12 weeks because of the timetable to which the Commission is working. Stakeholders have therefore been asked to comment by 13 September. The FSA will continue to ask stakeholders for their views and input during the remainder of the negotiation period and will post updates on its website.

Specific provisions where stakeholder comments are sought

We would welcome comments on all the provisions contained within the new proposals. However, stakeholders are particularly asked to comment on provisions concerning MSM with regard to Annex IV (calcium content of mechanically separated meat) of document r2535. Two options are proposed and will be discussed at SCOFCAH on 14th September after which, the Commission will formulate a proposal for vote on 23 September.

Option 1

Retain the current version of Annex IV as in the attached draft Regulation independent of the animal species used for preparing the MSM.

Option 2

Change Annex IV point 1 to:

1a shall not exceed 0.1% (= 100mg/100g or 1000 ppm) of fresh product when the raw material is derived from porcine carcasses (or carcasses from other animal species);

1b shall not exceed 0.05% (= 50mg/100g or 500 ppm) of fresh product when the raw material is derived from poultry (or lagomorph) carcasses;

Document SANCO/2179/2005 concerning standardisation of lists of approved establishments (also attached to the scofcahstandingjuly weblink above) will be discussed on 14th September but will not be but will not be submitted for a vote on 23 September, only published on the SANCO website. The FSA welcomes comments from stakeholders however.


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