FSA Consultation Document, 21 July 2010
A copy of the full consultation document is available on this site. See: FSA Consultation - Flavourings Enforcement Regs.
Enforcement in England of the new and revised EU legislation controlling the use of flavourings in food. Responses are requested by: 14 October 2010
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Manufacturers of food flavourings, suppliers of herbs and spices and food manufacturers using these products and enforcement authorities.
What is the subject of this consultation?
Enforcement in England of the new and revised EU legislation controlling the use of flavourings in food.
What is the purpose of this consultation?
To offer stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the draft enforcement provisions for the new EU Regulation on food flavourings and the accompanying Impact Assessment (IA).
In July 2006, the European Commission published proposals for European Parliament and Council Regulations aimed at clarifying and updating the existing legislation on food additives and flavourings and introducing new, EU-wide rules on food enzymes, together with a proposal for common authorisation procedures for all three.
As European Parliament and Council Regulations, they are directly applicable to the UK, however statutory instruments (SIs) are required to enforce them and to identify penalties for failure to comply. Enforcement SIs are now in place for additives and enzymes (which applied from 20 January 2010). However, as the regulation on flavourings applies 12 months later (20 January 2011), we are consulting on the enforcement provisions for this regulation now.
The purpose of this written consultation is to seek stakeholders’ views on:
Separate, corresponding, SIs will be made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will be consulted on separately.
The enforcement provisions of EU Regulation 1334/2008 come into effect from 20 January 2011, although some provisions of this EU Regulation applied from 20 January 2009. Amendments to Annexes II to V are permitted under Article 22. However, foods that are lawfully placed on the market prior to 20 January 2011 that do not comply with Regulation 1334/2008 can be marketed until their date of minimum durability or use-by-date in accordance with Article 30.
Regulation 3(1) of the Flavourings in Food (England) Regulations 2010 makes it an offence to fail to comply with the specified provisions of the new EU Regulation. Regulation 3(2) sets out the provisions in Regulation 1334/2008 which are enforced by making it an offence to fail to comply with them. Regulation 3(2)(h) in particular is an enforcement measure on which we seek the views of consultees; it enforces Article 19(2) and (3) respectively of Regulation 1334/2008. Article 19(2) relates to an approved flavouring which can be modified via different production methods or by using different starting materials, and therefore require another evaluation. Article 19(3) requires food business operators to inform the Commission immediately of any new information that might affect the safety assessment of an approved flavouring.
Enforcement measures have not been applied to Article 19(1) however, where the Commission requests food business operators to supply them with information regarding the categories and levels for flavourings used in foods. In the event that a food business operator declines to provide the Commission with the requested information, it may result in the suspension of the use of the flavouring in question because an appropriate review cannot be conducted. We believe this would in practice render Article 19(1) a self-enforcing measure and would welcome your views as to whether enforcement measures are/are not required for Article 19(1).
Consequential and other amendments
Article 29 of EU Regulation 1334/2008 amends the Food Labelling Directive, (Directive 2000/13/EC), and as a consequence, changes are also required to the UK Food Labelling Regulations. Principal changes achieved by EU Regulation 1334/2008 can be found at Annexe A.
Two options are being considered:
The FSA launched a 12-week consultation on the original Commission proposals in September 2006. Approximately 450 stakeholders were consulted across the UK and the proposals received general support with issues being raised on specific points. A summary of the 22 replies can be found via the link below.
Responses helped inform the UK negotiating position and further contact was maintained with a number of industry and consumer groups during Council negotiations. The UK supports the new Regulation on flavourings and this new consultation seeks your views on provisions for its enforcement in England. An Impact Assessment and draft England enforcement SI for the EC Regulation can be found at Annexe C and D of this consultation document. After this consultation closes, the FSA will reflect on your responses before deciding how to proceed.
Questions asked in this consultation.
For the Impact Assessment at Annexe C, we would particularly welcome contributions, with supporting evidence on:
The FSA also welcomes views on the assessment given in the Specific Impact Test Annex at the end of the Impact Assessment and on the draft enforcement SI at Annexe D of this document.
For the draft Regulation at Annexe D, we would welcome your views on:
Other relevant documents
European Parliament and Council Regulation on Flavourings. See: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:354:0034:0050:EN:PDF
Responses are required by close 14 October 2010.