Food Law News - EU - 2007


FSA Consultation, 11 April 2007

OFFICIAL CONTROL - Update on EU Regulation 882/2004 on official controls implementing rules for import controls for 'high risk' feed and food of non-animal origin

[Note: for previous related news item, see:
1 March 2007 OFFICIAL CONTROL - Import controls for 'high-risk' feed and food of non-animal origin]

Introduction

On 1 March 2007, the Agency launched a full public consultation on the above proposed implementing rules. We are now updating stakeholders on the on-going EU level discussions and seeking any further comments that they may have on the latest version of the Commission's draft Working Document,

Note: A copy of this update including the draft working document is available: Official Control Update.

The next EU level meeting is scheduled for 7 May so any responses are requested by 3 May 2007 - see above.

EU discussions

A Commission Working Group meeting was held on 19 March 2007 and the outcome of the discussions is summarised below.

Standard documentation for prior notification

There was general agreement among the Member States (MSs) that prior notification should be facilitated using standard documentation and that the Common Entry Document (CED) included in the Working Document appears to be appropriate for this. Several Member States, including the UK , have strong reservations about making it a legal and mandatory requirement to complete and issue the CED through TRACES at this stage as the system has yet to be shown to be working effectively and efficiently in respect of checks on products of animal origin (POAO) at Border Inspection Posts.

Designated points at which checks should be undertaken

Most (but not all) MSs appear to support the flexible approach that requires documentary checks to be carried out at the first point of arrival on Community territory but permits MSs, if they wish, to also designate points inland to which consignments may be transported under official control and where identity and physical checks can be carried out and consignments released for free circulation. There is as yet no firm agreement on what these designated points will be called or on what facilities must be available at the designated points where identity and physical check must be carried out.

List of 'high risk' products

Several MSs, including the UK, believe that before identifying particular products with a known or emerging risk, there must be discussion and agreement of the criteria that will be used to determine when products should be included in, or removed from, the list at Annex I of the Working Document. The Commission is to consider this further in advance of the meeting in May.

Fees

Most MSs, including the UK , agree that fees for import controls for products that are included in Annex I of the Working Document should be mandatory. The current version of the Working document proposes an approach similar to that which already operates for POAO import controls where a minimum fee is set but with flexibility such that up to full costs may be recovered. As yet, however, there has been no detailed discussion on the level at which minimum fees should be set and no firm conclusions have been drawn.

Reporting to Commission

There has been some discussion as regards the frequency of reporting of results of controls of Annex I products by the MSs to the Commission. The Working Document has been amended such that reporting would be required only annually (rather than quarterly as was originally proposed). However, the UK and some other MSs suggested that more frequent reporting was more appropriate given the need to ensure that Annex I remains dynamic and that no unnecessary barriers to trade are created.

Latest version of Working Document

A revised draft of the Working Document has now been issued by the Commission and any further views you may have are welcome. As before, please note that the draft may not necessarily represent the views of the Commission and the document that is presented for formal adoption may differ.

 


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