Food Law News - UK - 2013

FSA News Item, 17 October 2013

OFFICIAL CONTROLS - Regulation 882/2004: we want your views

The FSA has launched a consultation on European Commission proposals to replace EU regulation 882/2004 on official controls for feed and food law, which sets out how businesses’ compliance with the law should be monitored and enforced. We want your views to help inform the UK Government response.

The proposed changes to EU Regulation 882/2004 would potentially affect all organisations involved in the production, manufacture, supply and regulation of food, feed, live animals, plants and plant reproductive material.

The Commission’s aim is to ensure a more consistent approach to official controls, such as inspection and approvals, throughout the food and agriculture sectors. The proposed changes are also intended to support more sustainable and effective control systems across European Union member states.

Industry will be particularly interested in the proposed change to the way official controls are funded. Under the Commission’s proposed plans, member states would be expected to recover the full cost of official controls from industry. At present, each member state decides how much they wish to recover from industry, with certain exceptions where minimum charges are set in legislation.

There would also be a major increase in the number of controls subject to mandatory charging, detailed measures for the calculation of fees.

This means that businesses that are currently charged for controls could see them increase or decrease, while businesses that are not currently charged may have to start paying for controls.

It is proposed, however, that there will be a mandatory exemption for micro-businesses. A micro-business is a business that employs less than 10 people, with a balance sheet or turnover of less than €2m.

More details about the proposals, including proposed changes to the management of import controls, can be found via the link below.

How to get involved

The FSA is calling for views from interested parties to ensure that the UK Government response to the proposals takes into account the views of all affected sectors, including the potential for different impacts in different parts of the UK.

The consultation documents can be found at the link below. They have been developed in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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