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Ensuring proper checks on food and animal feed

This summary has been archived and will not be updated. See 'Enforcing EU rules for the agri-food chain' for an updated information about the subject.

Ensuring proper checks on food and animal feed



Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules


The regulation aims to ensure that high standards in human food and animal feed are respected in the European Union (EU). Official controls take place to check that the various pieces of legislation are being fully implemented.

The regulation fills in loopholes in the existing legislation by reorganising official controls so that these are integrated at all production stages and in all sectors. It sets out the responsibilities of both national and EU inspectors. It aims to prevent, eliminate or reduce to acceptable levels the risks to humans and animals, to guarantee fair practices in food and feed trade and to protect the public.


  • National authorities must carry out official controls, regularly and without warning, based on any identified risks, a business owner’s past compliance record and any information which might indicate non-compliance.
  • Controls can be carried out at any stage of production, processing or distribution.
  • Each EU government must appoint a national authority to be responsible for the effectiveness and independence of the controls.
  • Governments must ensure that adequate finance is available to provide the necessary staff and other resources required.
  • National contingency plans must be in place and operable if an emergency arises and the food or feed is found to pose a serious risk to humans or animals.
  • Multiannual national control plans contain general details on the structure and organisation of the control systems in place. These are reported on annually to the Commission.
  • The general public should have access to information on the controls carried out, apart from that covered by professional secrecy, such as confidential material and personal data.
  • Specific laboratories are designated to analyse the samples taken during the controls.
  • Controls also apply to food and feed imports into the EU.
  • The European Commission carries out general and specific audits in EU countries to verify the multiannual national control plans are being implemented.
  • Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 provides for funds from the EU budget to help cover the costs incurred by national authorities, non-EU countries and international organisations. The sum for 2014-2020 is €1.891.936.000.


The Regulation is repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2017/625 (see summary Enforcing EU rules for the agri-food chain) as of 14 December 2019.


It has applied since 20 May 2004.


For more information, see:


Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (OJ L 165, 30.4.2004, pp. 1-141). Text republished in corrigendum (OJ L 191, 28.5.2004, pp. 1-52)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 19.06.2015