Proposal for a new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health, plant reproductive material, plant protection products to replace Regulation (EC) No 882/2004
On the 6 May 2013, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a draft regulation on official controls and other official activities performed which aims to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards across the “agri-food chain”.
Some of the main issues in the proposal are as follows:
- Broadened scope to include the whole agri-food chain. The new areas included are plant health, plant reproductive material and animal by products.
- Financing of official controls – it is proposed that mandatory inspection fees would be charged to cover all official controls performed for agri-food business operators covering all aspects of the “agri-food chain” with the exemption of enterprises employing fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover or balance sheet does not exceed EUR 2 million (micro-businesses).
- New provisons aimed at improving the transparency on how the competent authorities carry out official controls and the outcome of these controls.
- New requirements for competent authorities to perform specific official controls to identify possible intentional violations (i.e. fraud). Financial penalties applicable to violations must at least offset the economic advantage sought through the violation.
- Changes to the rules for official sampling and analyses
- Common set of rules for controls on imports into the EU
- Provisions allowing the Commission to adopt detailed rules across a range of areas of official controls via delegated and implementing Acts.
- New rules to facilitate official controls for on-line sales.
The Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) invite you to submit your comments in respect of the above issues or any aspect of the proposed Regulation.
All correspondence should be submitted to the FSAI.
A copy of the proposed Regulation together with further details of the proposal and the consultation process can be viewed at: www.fsai.ie/legislation/consultations/consultations_2013.html