FSA News item, 31 March 2006
An update on the progress since January 2006 on the measures being taken to apply EU Regulation 882/2004 on official controls in the UK has been published by the Agency.
The sixth update in January 2006, provided details of the revisions being made to the national legislation applying the feed and food elements of EU Regulation 882/2004. This latest update provides further information on this. It also provides more details of work being taken forward to develop the UK multi-annual national control plan. In addition, it provides an update on developments at EU level on establishing detailed implementing measures for imported feed and food of non-animal origin (non-POAO).
The sixth update highlighted that revisions to the national legislation applying the feed and food elements of Regulation 882/2004 were required and gave details of the new legal instruments for England , Northern Ireland and Scotland . Since then, revised Regulations have also been introduced in Wales . These are the Official Feed and Food Controls ( Wales ) Regulations 2006, (2006 No. 590 (W.66)) which came into force on 8 March 2006 . See the new Regulations for Wales on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website.
The sixth update also highlighted that the associated guidance material was being updated to reflect the changes in legislation. The following revised guidance is now available on the Agency's website:
A Welsh language version of the Q&A Notes for enforcement authorities on the requirements of Regulation 882/2004 is now available. See the Welsh language version of the Q&A Notes.
UK National Control Plan
Regulation 882/2004 requires that each Member State produce a national control plan (NCP). This should provide a description of the arrangements for official controls within the Member State and set out the national strategic objectives for ensuring effective enforcement and the priorities for control activities. The NCP will provide the basis of assessments of the performance of the national control system by the European Commission's Inspection Services (the Food and Veterinary Office). Each Member State must have its NCP in place by 1 January 2007 and will be required to report on its implementation thereafter on an annual basis.
In developing an NCP, Member States are required to take account of Commission guidelines on their preparation. The Agency has previously consulted stakeholders on a draft of these guidelines (see the sixth update) and the responses received were taken into account in developing the UK position during on-going discussions at EU level. A summary of responses to the consultation will be published on the Agency's website in due course. See the current draft of the guidelines (http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/ncpguidelines.pdf) but this does not differ significantly from the version on which we consulted. It is anticipated that the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health will adopt the guidelines in May 2006.
The Agency, working closely with the UK Agriculture Departments, is now taking forward work to produce the UK 's NCP and expects to launch a full consultation on a draft of this in summer 2006.
Guidelines on annual reports on implementation of national control plans
The Commission is to develop guidelines on the content of the annual reports that Member States must submit on implementation of their NCPs. It is anticipated that an initial draft of these will be issued after Easter and stakeholders will be consulted in due course.
Implementing measures for import controls of 'High-risk' non-POAO feed and food
The Commission has also started to take forward work on developing implementing rules for import controls for 'high risk' feed and food of non-animal origin and discussions are expected to commence shortly. This is an important element of the EU Regulation and the Agency will consult stakeholders on any formal proposals once these are issued.