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Changes to Food and Feed Law Monitoring Across Europe

18 October 2013

EU - The European Commission has put forward plans to change the regulation on official controls for feed and food law.

The Commission is aiming to make the regulation that sets out how businesses comply with the law should be monitored and enforced

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.

Now in the UK, the Food Standards Agency has launched a consultation on European Commission proposals to replace EU regulation 882/2004 on official controls for feed and food law to help inform the UK Government response.

The FSA said that the 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 €2 million.

The reforms also call for procedures and management of import controls across the plant, animal, feed and food chains to be simplified and harmonised under the changes.

New rules regarding the level of information that government and local authorities will be expected to make available to businesses and the general public about official controls have also been proposed.

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