FSA Letter (OCR 005), 19 February, 2009
The last letter (27 January 2009) [See news item of 27 January 2009] invited views on Rev 23 of the above draft Regulation and to let you know of the Commission's intention to present this for vote at the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) on 12 February. This letter reports the outcome of the SCoFCAH meeting.
Outcome of SCoFCAH meeting
At the meeting, we highlighted that the UK still has a number of serious reservations about the draft Regulation. We emphasised the need for greater transparency on the criteria for identifying products to be added to (and removed from) Annex I and for determining the frequency of identity and physical checks to be undertaken. We stressed the need for greater clarity on the rules concerning consignments awaiting the outcome of physical checks. We expressed concern that there had been insufficient consideration given to the impact of the proposed measures on industry and the competent authorities, and reminded the Commission that any control measures must be proportionate. We pressed the Commission to take the draft back to the Expert Group and for that Group to focus first on reaching agreement on the general principles, i.e. the control framework and the criteria for adding/removing products from Annex I, before detailed discussions on individual products take place. The majority of other Member States also had serious reservations and agreed with the UK that further work was needed before a vote could take place. In the light this, the Commission postponed the vote and a further meeting of the Expert Group will be convened.
Next steps and further information
We will let you know when the Expert Group meeting is scheduled and will circulate for comment any further revisions of the text that are made available.