Food Law News - EU - 2009

Midday Express, 29 October 2009

ADMINISTRATION - Commission refers Greece to the ECJ over violation of the Community's legislation on official food safety controls in relation to imported cereals

The Commission decided today to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice because the Member State has implemented national rules on food safety controls which are incompatible, in the Commission's view, with existing Community legislation.

The national rules relate to food safety controls on cereals imported from third countries and from Bulgaria and Romania. Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls harmonises food safety controls within the EU and establishes a risk-based control regime, which enables the authorities of the Member States to respond to risks effectively while not impeding trade unnecessarily. Greece has not demonstrated that these national rules are justified by genuine food safety concerns and has provided no explanation for discriminating against Bulgaria and Romania. The referral of the infringement case to the Court may lead to a declaration that the Member State concerned has failed to fulfil an obligation under the EC Treaty and, at a later stage, if the infringement persists, to condemning the Member State to pay a lump sum and/or financial penalty.

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