Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2016

Commission Draft Implementing Act (Ares(2016)3185555), 4 July 2016

HYGIENE - Commission Draft Regulation: Regulation laying down transitional measures for the application of certain provisions of Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council

A draft Regulation is currently open for comment.  The full draft is available on this site – see Draft Regulation providing prolongation of transitional measures on food hygiene.  The following are the introductory recitals contained in the draft.

(1) Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 provide for significant changes to the rules and procedures to be complied with by food business operators and the competent authorities of the Member States. Since the application of a number of those rules and procedures with immediate effect would have presented practical difficulties in certain cases, it was necessary to adopt transitional measures,

(2) The Report of 28 July 2009 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the experience gained from the application of the hygiene Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 ("the report") presents a fact-based outline of the experience gained, including the difficulties encountered, in 2006, 2007 and 2008 by all parties involved in the implementation of those Regulations.

(3) The report includes feedback on the experience of the transitional measures laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2076/2005. The report also refers to difficulties noted in relation to the local supply of small quantities of certain food, and mentions that further clarification of importation conditions is necessary where national import rules apply in the absence of rules laid down at Union level and that crises due to imported food containing both products of plant origin and processed products of animal origin (composite products) have confirmed the need for a greater control of such products.

(4) Commission Regulation (EC) No 1079/2013 laid down transitional measures for a transitional period ending on 31 December 2016, in order to permit a smooth transition to the full implementation of the new rules and procedures. The duration of the transitional period was fixed taking into account the review of the regulatory framework on hygiene provided for in Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004.

(5) In addition, based on the information gathered during recent audits carried out by inspectors of the Health and Food Safety Directorate General of the Commission from the competent authorities in the Member States and from the relevant food business sectors in the Union, it is necessary that certain transitional measures laid down in Regulation (EU) No 1079/2013 should be maintained pending the introduction of permanent requirements indicated in the next recitals.

(6) Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 excludes from its scope of application the direct supply, by the producer, of small quantities of meat from poultry and lagomorphs slaughtered on the farm to the final consumer or to local retail establishments supplying directly the final consumer as fresh meat. Limiting that provision to fresh meat would impose an additional burden on small producers. Accordingly, Regulation (EU) No 1079/2013 provides for a derogation from the application of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 for the direct supply of such commodities under certain conditions, without limiting it to fresh meat. That exclusion should be maintained during a further transitional period provided for in this Regulation, while the possibility for a permanent derogation is considered.

(7) Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 lay down certain rules for the import of products of animal origin and composite products into the Union. Regulation (EU) No 1079/2013 provides for transitional measures derogating from a number of those rules for certain composite products for which the public health import requirements for importing into the Union have not yet been laid down at Union level e.g. for composite products other than those referred to in Article 3(1) and (3) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 28/2012 of 11 January 2012 laying down requirements for the certification for imports and transit through the Union of certain composite products and amending Decision 2007/275/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1162/2009.

(8) A Commission proposal for a Regulation on official controls in the agri-food chain is currently being close to adoption in ordinary legislative procedure. Once adopted and applicable, that Regulation is going to provide for a legal basis for a risk-adapted approach to control composite products at importation. It is therefore necessary to provide for derogations during a further transitional period of four years until this Regulation applies.

(9) In accordance with Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004, products of animal origin from establishments handling such products for which Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 does not set out any specific requirements. is allowed if a list of authorised third countries has been established and a model import certificate laid down. The variety of such products require more time to consult stakeholders and competent authorities of Member States and third countries taking into account the possible impact on the import of such food by establishing such a list, and to lay down the model import certificate.

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