Food Law News - UK - 2005

FSA News Item, 2 March 2004

IMPORTED FOOD - Trade seminar on imported food

The Food Standards Agency has held a seminar on imported food. The seminar, held on 1 February 2005 at the Agency's headquarters in London , aimed to:

Participants included a wide range of organisations representing exporters to the UK , freight handlers, ports, importers, producers and retailers, enforcement bodies and other Government Departments. A full list of participating organisations can be found below with copies of the presentations provided.


David Statham, Director of Enforcement at the Agency, introduced the seminar and welcomed delegates.

FSA's work on improving the effectiveness of imported food controls

Speaker: Gillian Asbury, Imported Food Division, FSA

An overview was given of the Agency's work to deliver a step change improvement in local authority enforcement of imported food controls. Recent activities include capacity-building for local authorities; checks carried out by the Agency; local authority controls and co-ordination of government, enforcement and industry.

The prototype GRAIL (Guidance and Regulatory Advice on Imports Legislation) database was demonstrated. The database was developed primarily as a resource for ports and allows searches by product and country for import controls.

Implications of changes arising from the EU Food Hygiene Regulations

Speaker: Catherine Bowles, Head of the Food Hygiene Regulations Implementation Project, FSA

The ways in which the EU Food Hygiene Regulations apply to imported food were described. The public consultation on national Statutory Instruments to apply the Regulations, and associated guidance for industry and enforcers can be found below.

Implications of changes arising from the EU Regulation on Official Feed and Food Controls

Speaker: Catriona Stewart, Head of the Official Feed and Food Control Regulation (OFFC) Implementation Team, FSA

An overview of the background, aims and scope of the OFFC Regulation were given. Part of the Regulation applies to imports and has potential impacts on businesses. A series of consultations are planned on application of the Regulation in the UK . Application measures will include to domestic legislation, accompanying guidance, and also administrative processes.

How the FSA works with other Government Departments

Speakers: Mark Ball, Port Health Officer on secondment to the Imported Food Division, FSA; Nick Coulson, Head of International Animal Health, DEFRA

The Agency meets regularly with a range of central Government Departments and agencies, local government and relevant professional bodies. Close liaison has been particularly important for the development of the training and providing guidance and information to stakeholders.

Directive 97/78/EC on Veterinary Checks may be reviewed in future. The key areas of concern for government and enforcement were summarised, with a view to discussion with the trade.


The key points raised during the discussion sessions are summarised below:

FSA's work on improving the effectiveness of imported food controls

Implications of changes arising from the EU legislation on Hygiene

Implications of changes arising from the EU Regulation on Official Feed and Food Controls

Veterinary Checks Directive review

General discussion

More details, including links to the PowerPoint presentations, can be found on the FSA web site at:

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