FSA Consultation Letter, 26 October 2005
The Food Standards Agency is seeking your views on some proposed amendments to the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations 2005. Responses are requested by: 13 December 2005
These minor changes are needed to reflect the adoption of a number of new Commission regulations made under the EU food hygiene and EU official control legislation, and the possible adoption of Commission Decisions providing guidance on the audit of competent authorities and the preparation of national control plans.
They also reflect the making of the Food Hygiene (England) (No 2) Regulations 2005, the Feeding Stuffs (England) Regulations 2005 and the Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005.
Parallel measures are being taken forward in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and these will be subject to separate consultation.
We are also proposing to make some amendments to the definition of 'feed' and 'relevant feed law' that are used in the regulations and your views on these are also welcome.
The updated regulations must apply from 1 January 2006.
These regulations were made on 21 September 2005.
These apply the feed and food elements of EU Regulation 882/2004 on official controls and were subject to full public consultation from 31 March to 30 June 2005.
Details of this consultation and a summary of the responses received are available here
New Community legislation
A number of Commission Regulations have recently been adopted at EU level that contain implementing and transitional provisions for some of the measures included in the new EU food hygiene legislation 3, 4, 5 and, to a lesser extent, EU Regulation 882/2004.
A list of the Commission Regulations is given at the link below.
The Agency launched a consultation on application of these measures at national level on 20 September 2005.
This consultation highlights that, as a consequence of the adoption of these Commission Regulations, it is necessary to refer to them in the definitions of Community legislation that are used in the Official Feed and Food Controls ( England) Regulations 2005.
The European Commission is also proposing to adopt guidelines for Member States on meeting the requirements in EU Regulation 882/2004 for auditing of those authorities that undertake enforcement checks and for preparing the national control plans.
The two sets of guidelines are expected to be adopted in the form of Commission decisions.
If this is the case, it will as a consequence, be necessary to refer to these in the definitions of Community legislation that are used in the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations 2005.
We are also planning to launch a consultation on the national control plan guidelines during November 2005.
New national legislation
Other national legislation that is referred to in the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations is imminently to be updated or superseded.
These legislative developments need to be reflected in the SI.
The definition of 'feed' for the purposes of Part 3 of the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations, which is concerned with controls of imported feed and food of non-animal origin from outside the Community, derives from the EU General Food Law Regulation (178/2002)6, where the term can include feed additives.
There is, however, a small group of feed additives that are regulated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and not the Agency. The current Official Control Regulations do not exclude these additives from their scope such that there will be a small overlap with legislation for which the VMD is responsible and this needs to be corrected.
The schedule of legal provisions that come within the definition of 'relevant feed law' needs to be amended to take account of recent changes in domestic feed legislation and to reflect the full extent of the feed legislation for which the Agency has responsibility.
Your views are also sought on the following proposed changes to the Official Feed and Food Controls ( England) Regulations 2005 which will be consolidated by making the Official Feed and Food Controls ( England) (No 2) Regulations 2005.
APPENDIX 1 - COMMISSION REGULATIONS AND POSSIBLE COMMISSION DECISIONS
Note - Most of these Regulations have not yet been published in the Official Journal but copies of the text are available from the FSA website at: http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/regulation/europeleg/eufoodhygieneleg/#h_5
Possible Commission Decisions
Note - it is not yet certain if these guidelines will be published as Decisions. If they are not, the amendments will not be necessary.