Council Press Release, 20 February 2006
The following is an extract from the Press Release covering the Agriculture and Fisheries Council Meeting held on 20 February 2006
Commissioner Fischer-Boel informed the Council of the Commission's intention to issue guidance to the Member States on the scope of application of the "hygiene package" (Regulations (EC) Nos 852/2004, 853/2004 and 183/2005) when implementing the cross-compliance requirements. She stressed that the scope of application of the hygiene package was limited to the primary production and did not extend to the food processing. She indicated then that a document issued by her services giving guidance in this area would be presented in the management committee in March.
The German delegation thanked the Commission for this explanation as well as for the guidance document.
The Presidency concluded that the explanations provided as well as the document mentioned would facilitate the understanding by farmers of the cross-compliance rules.
This request had been previously raised by the German delegation at the December Council (see 15479/05) where this delegation expressed in particular its concerns (15536/05) as regards the possibility of a heavy administrative burden should Member States be required to carry out systematic checks with regard to the "hygiene package" (Regulations (EC) Nos 852/2004, 853/2004 and 183/2005). In reference to Regulation (EC) No 178/20021, the rules laid down by the "hygiene package" for primary agricultural production are setting cross-compliance requirements. The German delegation warned of the risk of setting a precedent by extending the initial scope of the cross-compliance requirements foreseen by Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 1782/20032, which cites some articles of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.