The letter now encloses a copy of draft regulations which will amend the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995, in order to implement this Directive. Member States have until 4 May 2000 to introduce the new rules where they are deregulatory, but it planned to permit compliance in Great Britain in these instances as soon as is practical so that consumers and industry can benefit from them at the earliest possible date. The provisions on additive use which are more restrictive than at present will not, however, become effective until the deadline laid down in the Directive i.e. 4 November 2000.
In addition, the draft Regulations will implement the provisions of a new European Commission Directive, agreed in April 1998, to amend Commission Directive 96/77/EC by laying down new specific purity criteria for certain classes of miscellaneous additives (mainly emulsifiers and stabilisers). Member States will have until 1 July 1999 to implement these new criteria into national law.
The restrictions on the use of additives in plain pasteurised cream and the reduction in the level of sulphur dioxide in certain sugars are understood to reflect current industry practice, as are most of the new purity criteria, and are therefore not expected to impose additional costs on industry. In addition, the long transitional period for non-complying products will permit the continued use of chlorine and chlorine dioxide as flour treatment agents pending the outcome of the necessary EC safety evaluations, and, if approval is not forthcoming, give industry time to adapt accordingly. All the other provisions are deregulatory.
The Government's Guidance Notes on food additives legislation will, of course, be updated in due course.
Comments on the draft amending Regulations are required by 18 February 1999.