Food Law News - UK - 2009

FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/09/038, IFB/E/09/016), 10 September 2009

OFFICIAL CONTROLS - Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009: Designated Points of Entry

 On the 25 July 2009 Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 regarding the increased level of official controls on imports of certain feed and food of non-animal origin and, amending Decision 2006/504/EC was published in the European Commission’s Official Journal. See:

This Regulation was introduced to implement the requirements of Article 15 (5) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004, concerning feed and food originating from certain third countries which will be subject to increased levels of official controls on the basis of known or emerging risks. This EC Regulation will be implemented in England by The Official Feed and Food Control (England) Regulations 2009, which are expected to come into force on 25 January 2010 and, revoke the 2007 Regulations. The Agency will shortly undertake a public consultation on the aforementioned Regulations.

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 requires Member States to designate particular points of entry, that have access to appropriate control facilities, for the different types of feed and food which appear in Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009.

Designation of Points of Entry

Authorities responsible for official controls on imported food will be aware that Commission Decision 2006/504/EC covers the special conditions governing certain foodstuffs imported from certain third countries due to the contamination risks of these products by aflatoxins. Article 4 of this Decision requires that the relevant foodstuffs may only be imported into the Community through one of the designated points of import listed in Annex II of this Decision. For the UK the designated points of import are: Belfast, Dover, Felixstowe, Gatwick Airport, Goole, Harwich, Heathrow Airport, Hull, Ipswich, Liverpool, London (including Tilbury, Thamesport and Sheerness), Manchester Airport, Manchester Container Base, Manchester International Freight Terminal, Manchester (Ellesmere Port only), Southampton and, Teesport. In addition, the Agency requested that the following ports be added to the list of designated points of import for the purpose of Commission Decision 2006/504/EC: Grimsby, Immingham and Bristol (Avonmouth and Royal Portbury).

We understand that the Authorities currently responsible for these points of import have liaised with Port Operators to ensure that the facilities necessary for them to undertake their official control functions under Commission Decision 2006/504/EC are adequate and meet the requirements of this Decision. It is also the Agency’s understanding that the minimum requirements for facilities and equipment in the Decision are similar to those in Regulation (EC) No 669/2009.

In accordance with Article 17 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004, the Agency has decided to extend the existing designation as points of import under Decision 2006/504/EC to include them as designated points of entry for the purpose of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 for both feed and food of non animal origin, so as not to hamper trade or cause unnecessary problems for enforcement officers relating to the need for these control facilities. This will include Grimsby, Immingham and Bristol (Avonmouth and Royal Portbury). Such designated points of entry shall be listed on the Agency’s website as required by Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009. The Agency intends to publish this list during November 2009.

Although, Decision 2006/504/EC only covers foodstuffs, Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 includes both feed and food. Hence, those Authorities responsible for feed and food should liaise to ensure that the necessary systems are in place to enable official controls, required under Commission Decision 2006/504/EC and Regulation (EC) No 669/2009, to be undertaken, including the shared use of existing facilities and equipment. The Authorities for feed and food should jointly inform the Port Operator of the new arrangements and how they will be implemented locally.

Authorities responsible for carrying out official controls under Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 should note that the Regulation places certain obligations on importers of feed and food, e.g. providing appropriate equipment for sampling (if the special characteristics of a consignment require it) and, they will be responsible for the payment of fees to Authorities in accordance with Article 27(4) and Annex VI of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 to cover the costs of undertaking official controls under Regulation (EC) No 669/2009. These costs must not be higher than the costs actually borne by the Authority in relation to the items listed in Annex VI of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004.

The Agency is preparing Guidance documents on Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 for both industry and enforcement officers to explain, among other things, documentary requirements. These individual documents for industry and enforcers will be subject to public consultation and published before the Regulation comes into force. However, they will be dependent on Commission Guidance expected later this year.

The Agency will be writing to industry stakeholders affected by this new Regulation informing them of our intention to extend the existing designations and requesting that apart from those Designated Points of Import listed above, if there are any other Ports that wish to apply for a designated point of entry status, they should contact the Agency, but in the first instance should discuss the requirements for the minimum facilities and equipment with the relevant local authority.

Local Authorities may also register for the Agency’s on-line Guidance and Regulatory Advice on Import Legislation system (GRAIL) by following this link:

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