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Enforcing EU rules for the agri-food chain

Enforcing EU rules for the agri-food chain

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) 2017/625 — official controls along the agri-food chain

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • The regulation establishes common rules for EU official controls to ensure that agri-food chain legislation for the protection of human health, animal health and welfare, and plant health, is correctly applied and enforced.
  • The regulation introduces a better harmonised and coherent approach to official controls and enforcement measures along the agri-food chain and strengthens the principle of risk-based controls.

KEY POINTS

Agri-food chain

The regulation includes rules on official controls performed on all food and feed businesses, from primary producers to retailers and caterers, but also plant/animal breeders, growers and traders.

Scope

  • The regulation covers official controls carried out by national enforcement authorities to verify compliance with agri-food chain rules on:
    • food and food safety, integrity and wholesomeness throughout production, processing and distribution;
    • the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms into the environment for food and feed production;
    • feed and feed safety throughout production, processing, distribution and use;
    • animal health and welfare;
    • organic production and labelling.
  • The regulation also covers imports of certain animals and goods from:
    • outside the EU which are subject to checks at EU border control posts;
    • goods sold via the internet.

Risk-based system

  • Sets out a risk-based control system so that national enforcement authorities carry out official controls where they are most needed.
  • In general, to ensure their effectiveness, these controls will be unannounced.

Animal welfare

  • Official controls apply to animal welfare rules, including during transport, slaughter and farming.
  • The European Commission can adopt legislation to adjust official control rules to meet the specific needs of animal welfare.
  • There will be EU reference centres for animal welfare which are designed to:
    • assist EU countries with their official controls by
      • carrying out scientific and technical studies
      • conducting training courses and
      • sharing research findings and information on technical innovations;
    • provide the scientific and technical expertise of methods to assess and improve the welfare of animals.

Cooperation between EU countries

  • Clarifies and strengthens rules on the cooperation and administrative assistance between EU countries.
  • Requires EU countries to ensure the exchange of information between national authorities and other enforcement authorities, public prosecutors and judicial authorities on possible cases of non-compliance.
  • An integrated management system for official controls will integrate all existing (and future) computer systems managed by the Commission.

Transparency

National authorities must publish annual reports.

Financing

Rules for calculating fees for official controls will ensure that EU countries properly finance their control system and that the fees do not exceed the cost of performing official controls.

COVID-19 temporary measures

  • Following the outbreak of COVID-19, many EU countries introduced considerable movement restrictions for their populations to protect human health. The Commission therefore adopted an implementing act, Regulation (EU) 2020/466, which introduces temporary measures necessary to contain widespread risks to human, animal and plant health and animal welfare resulting from the countries’ insufficient capacity to deploy suitable staff for official controls and other official activities. Such activities include clinical examinations of animals, testing of samples, and signing and issuing original paper official certificates and official attestations.
  • EU countries should take all necessary action to remedy the serious disruption in their control systems as soon as possible. The regulation applies until 1 June 2020.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 14 December 2019 for most of the articles in the regulation such as those on its scope, definitions, rules for competent authorities, financing of official controls and enforcement actions of the competent authorities.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 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 and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, pp. 1-142)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 of 30 March 2020 on temporary measures to contain risks to human, animal and plant health and animal welfare during certain serious disruptions of Member States’ control systems due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (OJ L 98, 31.3.2020, pp. 30-33)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1014 of 12 June 2019 to lay down detailed rules on minimum requirements for border control posts, including inspection centres, and for the format, categories and abbreviations to use for listing border control posts and control points (OJ L 165, 21.6.2019, pp. 10-22)

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/1012 of 12 March 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council by derogating from the rules on the designation of control points and from the minimum requirements for border control posts (OJ L 165, 21.6.2019, pp. 4-7)

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/1081 of 8 March 2019 establishing rules on specific training requirements for staff for performing certain physical checks at border control posts (OJ L 171, 26.6.2019, pp. 1-4)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/626 of 5 March 2019 concerning lists of third countries or regions thereof authorised for the entry into the European Union of certain animals and goods intended for human consumption, amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/759 as regards these lists (OJ L 131, 17.5.2019, pp. 31-50)

See consolidated version.

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/624 of 8 February 2019 concerning specific rules for the performance of official controls on the production of meat and for production and relaying areas of live bivalve molluscs in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 131, 17.5.2019, pp. 1-17)

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/631 of 7 February 2018 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing European Union reference laboratories for pests of plants (OJ L 105, 25.4.2018, pp. 1-2)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/329 of 5 March 2018 designating a European Union Reference Centre for Animal Welfare (OJ L 63, 6.3.2018, pp. 13-14)

Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (‘Animal Health Law’) (OJ L 84, 31.3.2016, pp. 1-208)

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 laying down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare, and relating to plant health and plant reproductive material, amending Council Directives 98/56/EC, 2000/29/EC and 2008/90/EC, Regulations (EC) No 178/2002, (EC) No 882/2004 and (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Decisions 66/399/EEC, 76/894/EEC and 2009/470/EC (OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, pp. 1-32)

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs (OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, pp. 1-29)

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, pp. 1-50)

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 laying down health rules as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 (Animal by-products Regulation) (OJ L 300, 14.11.2009, pp. 1-33)

See consolidated version.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing (OJ L 303, 18.11.2009, pp. 1-30)

See consolidated version.

Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs (Codified version) (OJ L 47, 18.2.2009, pp. 5-13)

See consolidated version.

Council Directive 2008/119/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves (Codified version) (OJ L 10, 15.1.2009, pp. 7-13)

See consolidated version.

Council Directive 2007/43/EC of 28 June 2007 laying down minimum rules for the protection of chickens kept for meat production (OJ L 182, 12.7.2007, pp. 19-28)

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC (OJ L 70, 16.3.2005, pp. 1-16)

See consolidated version.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97 (OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, pp. 1-44)

See consolidated version.

Council Directive 1999/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens (OJ L 203, 3.8.1999, pp. 53-57)

See consolidated version.

Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, pp. 23-27)

See consolidated version.

last update 05.05.2020

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