Food Law News - UK - 2005

FSA Consultation Letter, 14 September 2005

LABELLING - Fish Labelling (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2005

This consultation seeks your views and comments on the draft Fish Labelling (Amendment) ( England ) Regulations 2005. The amendment regulations will update the list of commercial designations for fish species contained in the schedule to the existing 2003 regulations. Responses are requested by: 7 December 2005

Note: the following can be accessed on this site: Additions and Changes to Commercial Designations Schedule (New additions in bold, amendments shown in strikethrough and bold) and Fish Labelling Regulations (2005) Draft Statutory Instrument

Consultation details

The key proposals are:

About the regulations

European Commission (EC) Regulations 104/2000 and 2065/2001 require that certain fish and fish products are labelled at retail sale with the name of the species (e.g. cod, salmon, etc.), the production method (i.e. whether caught at sea or farmed, etc.) and the catch area or country of origin.

These regulations also require that Member States establish commercial designations for fish species that must be used in labelling of fish.

The list of agreed commercial designations for the UK is included as schedules to the UK 's Fish Labelling Regulations 2003, which are identical in the England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland regulations.

Any newly commercialised species for which no commercial designation has been given in the regulation may be marketed under a provisional commercial designation, agreed by the competent authority (in the UK this is the Food Standards Agency) of the Member State for up to five months.

Following this, a definitive commercial designation must be decided and added to the established national list.

The Agency has received a number of requests for newly commercialised species to be added to the list as well as some changes to current designations.

The list of proposed revisions has been compiled with the help of a group of experts in fish taxonomy and is based on the Food and Agriculture Organisation's database of aquatic species, which is the main source of reference used by the EC in naming fish species.

The draft amendment regulations add 41 new fish species/families to the list of commercial designations. In addition, 12 alternative commercial designations will be added to existing designations, while 7 of the existing commercial designations for fish species will be changed in light of new scientific information.

The draft amendment regulations contain a consolidated list of commercial designations, which includes the new additions and changes to the existing designations. This list will replace the schedule of commercial designations in the existing Fish Labelling ( England ) Regulations 2003.

For ease of reference and to help identify the proposed revisions, the additions and changes have been highlighted in the existing list of commercial designations.

The draft amendment regulations will also amend Regulation 4(2) of the Fish Labelling ( England ) Regulations 2003. The amendment will clarify that a commercial designation published in English, having effect in another Member State, may be used as an alternative commercial designation and these names shall be names prescribed by law in the context of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996. This is only a minor point of legal clarification that would not change the existing requirements of Regulation 4(2).

As part of our work on simplification we will seek to align the date from which proposed regulations come in to force with one of the common commencement dates for new regulatory proposals i.e. 6 April 2006 . This will help provide clarity and certainty for both consumers and industry.

Comments are sought on the proposed amendments to the list of commercial designations and to Regulation 4(2) in The Fish Labelling (Amendment) ( England ) Regulations 2005.


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