Food Law News - UK - 2002
FSA Consultation Letter, 12 February 2002
LABELLING - The Fish Labelling (England) Regulations 2002
The European Commission has recently agreed Regulation 2065/2001 on the labelling of fish sold at retail. The Regulation lays down detailed rules for the provision of the labelling information required by Article 4 of Council Regulation 104/2000. The new provisions require that certain fish and fish products must, when offered for retail sale to the final consumer, be labelled with the species name, method of production (i.e., whether caught at sea or in inland waters or farmed) and the catch area. The new Regulations also include traceability provisions requiring that the labelling information, as well as the scientific name of the species, is available at all stages of the marketing chain.
National legislation is required to provide for the enforcement of the new rules. To this end, the Agency has produced the following documents:
The Fish Labelling (England) Regulations 2002: This draft Statutory Instrument (SI) provides for the enforcement of the new requirements, creating offences and providing penalties in respect of non-compliance with the new labelling requirements. Further, the draft SI also makes provision for specific authorisations at draft Regulations 5 and 7. The SI will apply in England only (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be making their own separate, but similar, legislation). The draft SI also includes the list of commercial names for fish species. The list has been based on the list currently included in Schedule 1 of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 (FLR), which it will replace. For ease of reference for this consultation exercise, the attached list is annotated to indicate where it differs from the FLR list. New text is shown underlined, deleted text is shown crossed through.
Comments on the documents are required by 7 May 2002 at the latest.
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA): A draft Regulatory Impact Assessment to accompany the new domestic Regulations has been prepared. The purpose of the RIA is to assess and record the likely costs and benefits of the forthcoming provisions for businesses, consumers and enforcement bodies.
Guidance Notes: The Guidance sets out and attempts to clarify the requirements of the new Regulations. It aims to provide practical advice for businesses and enforcement bodies, with the aim of achieving consistent application and enforcement of the new provisions. It is important to note that the Guidance Notes are non-statutory, providing advice on best practice and should be read in conjunction with the relevant legislation. They should not be taken as an authoritative statement or interpretation of the law as only the courts have this power. Copies of relevant excerpts from Regulation 104/2000 and Regulation 2065/2001 are attached to the Guidance at Annexes V and VI respectively.
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