Food Law News - UK - 2008

FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/08/022), 28 March 2008

IMPORTS - Guidance & Regulatory Advice on Imports Legislation (G.R.A.I.L) Database

In October last year, we sent you a booklet highlighting the enforcement responsibilities of all UK local authorities in relation to imported foods entitled “Working Together on Imported Food”. The booklet can be viewed on the Agency's website via the following link:

In order to support enforcement officers in this important area of food law enforcement, the Food Standards Agency is pleased to announce the launch on Monday 31 March 2008 of the new Guidance & Regulatory Advice on Imports Legislation (GRAIL) database.

The GRAIL database is based on a prototype version which has been piloted, since 2004, by 30 authorities responsible for the major ports in the UK . The system provides users with a searchable database of all imported food legislation and guidance, with more detailed advice for products where there are specific concerns. GRAIL provides information relating to the import of products of non-animal origin and fish and fishery products from non-European Union (EU) countries, as these are the products for which the Agency has lead responsibility.

In response to comments received during the pilot exercise, the new version is internet based, which provides for increased functionality of the system, such as password protected access, an A-Z contacts list and a ‘news' section. Hosting of the database on the internet also means that it can be updated on a daily basis and can be easily accessed by all UK enforcement authorities.

How Can I Access GRAIL?

The new GRAIL data query facility system can be accessed via the following link:

Once you have opened the weblink you will first need to register on the new system. To do this simply select "Log On" and then follow the simple on-screen instructions. Only once you have registered will you be able to access all of the areas the system has to offer.

GRAIL provides the user with support in the form of both a "Help" and an “Online training” facility; both of these functions are accessible via the "General" heading in the menu. The “Online training” facility can also be viewed using the following link:


If you require further information on the reasons behind the introduction and development of the GRAIL database please go to:

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.