Food Law News - UK - 1996

14 June 1996: IMPORTED FOOD - Proposed New Imported Food Regulations

DH letter, 14 June 1996

Proposed New Imported Food Regulations to replace the Imported Food Regulations 1984

The Government proposes to replace the general provisions of the Imported Food Regulations 1984 and the Imported Food (Scotland) Regulations 1985 with a new set of provisions for the whole of Great Britain which will cover all imports of foodstuffs from third countries other than foodstuffs of animal origin. The letter indicates that the proposed regulations are deregulatory in their intention.

The provisions of the proposed new Regulations are broadly similar to those in the Imported Food Regulations 1984 in so far as they continue to provide for public health inspections, at ports and airports, of imports from outside the European Community of foodstuffs other than those covered by the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations 1992. Schedule 1 of the draft Regulations lists the products of animal origin exempt for the new Regulations.

The single offence contained within the Regulations is that "No person shall import into Great Britain from a third country any food which is intended for sale for human consumption and which fails to comply with food safety requirements". It should be noted that this means that the offence in the present Regulations (relating to "unsound and unwholesome" food) has been dropped. Consideration is still be given to whether foods containing pesticide residues above the MRL would be covered by the new offence.

Schedule 2 of the Regulations implements a change to the Transport Chapter IV para 2.2 of the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 following a recently agreed amendment to the General Hygiene Directive 93/43. It provides a derogation for oils and fats transported in bulk in sea going vessels from the original requirement for dedicated transport for the bulk transport of foods in liquid. powder and granulate form.

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