FSA Interested Parties Letter (OCR 005), 3 August, 2009
Further to the letter of 1 April [See EU Food Law News, 1 April, 2009], I am writing to let you know that the above Regulation has now been published in the Official Journal of European Union and will apply from 25 January 2010.
This letter also provides an update on discussions at EU level to develop guidelines on the principles and criteria for deciding which products should be subject to the provisions in the Regulation and on the technical application of the Regulation. I shall be grateful to receive any views on the issues arising from these discussions, set out below, by 21 August. My contact details are given below.
In addition, this letter updates stakeholders on the measures being developed by the Agency to give effect to the Regulation at a national level.
Publication in the Official Journal of the European Union
The Commission Regulation (EC) 669/2009 was published in the Official Journal on 25 July and will apply from 25 January 2010. This available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:194:0011:0021:EN:PDF
A Commission Working Group meeting was held on 12 June to discuss the development of criteria and principles for deciding which products should be subject to the provisions in the Regulation, and on guidelines for businesses and enforcers on this and on the operation of the Regulation. A number of issues and questions arose on which the Commission is seeking the views of Member States before the next meeting of the Group in September. These are set out below.
Listing and delisting of products included in Annex I
In addition to the sources of information set out at Article 2 of the Commission Regulation (notifications through the rapid alert system, reports and information from the Food and Veterinary Office, reports received from third countries, information from the European Food Safety Authority, and scientific assessments where appropriate), the Commission proposed that further information is taken into account. This relates to volumes of imports, seasonal patterns of trade and levels of consumption, the incidence and severity of non-compliance recorded, the results of national monitoring carried out by Member States, and information on control systems in exporting third countries. Your views on the Commission's proposals and suggestions for other sources of information that may be considered are welcome.
Reporting to the Commission
The Commission is currently developing an electronic data collection form to enable Member States to report the outcome of controls carried out under the Regulation. The Agency will seek the views of enforcement stakeholders on this when a prototype is available but any preliminary views are welcome.
Technical guidance document
In setting out its plans to provide a technical guidance document for feed and food business operators and enforcement authorities, the Commission suggested a number of topics that may be covered. These include how the controls will be applied to bulk commodities, mixed containers and perishable products and the arrangements for prior notification, documentary checks, transhipment of consignments, and the communication of laboratory results. It is also proposed that the guidance covers the role of customs authorities, listing of designated points of entry and fees. Any comments on this list or suggestions for other aspects of the Regulation where guidance will be helpful are welcome.
UK application measures
Although the Regulation is directly applicable, domestic legislation is needed to give effect to certain elements of it. National legislation is, therefore, being amended to provide powers to the UK competent authorities for the enforcement of the new rules together with associated guidance on the new measures for enforcers and for feed and food businesses. These measures will be subject to stakeholder consultation in due course. In addition, work is progressing on the action that is needed to establish arrangements for the Agency to designate points of entry in the UK.
Next Steps and further information
A further meeting of the Working Group to discuss the Commission guidelines is scheduled for September. We will keep stakeholders informed about this and also about the development of the national application measures mentioned above.
See also related EU News Item: