Feeding Stuffs (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2006
Monday 27 March 2006
The draft Feeding Stuffs (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 reintroduce one of the provisions of Directive 2002/2/EC relating to the percentage ingredient declaration of compound feed.
All comments and views should be sent to:
Food Standards Agency Wales
11th Floor, Southgate House
Tel: 02920 678959
Fax: 02920 678918
Responses are requested by: 19 June 2006
The provisions of the directive were suspended by order of the High Court in October 2003 pending a determination of the Directive's validity by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ handed down its ruling on 6 December 2005, upholding the Directive's requirement for compound feed manufacturers to declare the percentage of each ingredient within a tolerance of +/-15%. However, the Directive's requirement for manufacturers to disclose exact percentages to customers on request was rejected by the ECJ on the grounds that it was disproportionate to the aim of protecting public health.
These provisions were originally inserted into the Feeding Stuffs (Wales) Regulations 2001 (as amended) by the Feeding Stuffs, the Feeding Stuffs (Sampling and Analysis) and the Feeding Stuffs (Enforcement) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2003. The 2001 Regulations have since been further amended and consolidated as the Feeding Stuffs (Wales) Regulations 2006, which came into force on 25 January 2006. However, the provisions on percentage ingredient declaration were omitted from the consolidation because they were under suspension by order of the High Court. The intention is therefore to revoke the suspended provisions and insert into the Feeding Stuffs (Wales) Regulations 2006 a provision to implement only those parts of Directive 2002/2/EC that have been upheld by the ECJ.
The percentage ingredient declaration of compound animal feed was originally proposed by the Commission in the wake of the Belgian dioxin crisis of 1999, as a measure that it was claimed would improve feed safety and traceability. Some Member States, including the UK, argued against the proposal on the grounds that there had been no calls for it from feed purchasers, that it was not required for human food, and that it would not add to the nutritional and analytical information already required to appear on the label, nor assist feed traceability. Many feed manufacturers, in the UK and elsewhere, also opposed the proposal on the grounds that full declaration of feed ingredients would compromise commercially sensitive research and recipe information.
The European Parliament supported full percentage declaration and continued to argue for it after the Commission had abandoned it. The measure was then deadlocked between the Council, the Commission and the Parliament for over a year until the then Presidency revived a previous compromise proposal for full percentage listing with a tolerance of +/-15% to allow for variations in declared analyses. The UK voted against this proposal, although it gained qualified majority support in Council and was subsequently adopted as Directive 2002/2/EC.
The UK consulted on draft Regulations to implement the measure in domestic law, and the Feeding Stuffs, the Feeding Stuffs (Sampling and Analysis) and the Feeding Stuffs (Enforcement) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2003 were made on 16 July 2003. However, the UK feed industry then applied to the High Court to have the relevant provisions suspended and the Directive referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a determination of its validity. The High Court (and equivalent courts for Scotland and Northern Ireland) ruled in the industry's favour, ordering the suspension of the relevant provisions of the Regulations in England and Wales pending the outcome of the reference to the ECJ.
The ECJ hearing took place on 30 November 2004 and the full judgment was handed down on 6 December 2005, partially upholding the validity of the Directive. Member States are therefore under a legal duty to give effect to the ECJ's ruling, commensurate with their obligations under Article 10 of the Treaty establishing the European Communities. This obligation exists independently of any timetable that may be adopted by the Commission for the introduction of an amendment to Directive 2002/2/EC to remove the requirement to disclose exact percentages to customers on request.
At the same time, however, the UK has a duty to introduce legislation in a manner that provides stakeholders – business, consumers and enforcement bodies – with an opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation and allows them time to adapt to any new requirements. Because new amending legislation is needed to give effect to the ECJ�s ruling, it has therefore been decided to follow the normal 12 week consultation process. In the unlikely event that the Commission come forward with a proposal to amend Directive 2002/2/EC within the timeframe of this consultation the FSA will reconsider its position accordingly.
How to respond
We would be particularly interested to have stakeholder views on the following points:
- the economic, environmental and social costs or benefits that may flow from the implementation of percentage ingredient declaration
- the potential impact on small businesses of the implementation of percentage ingredient declaration
- the potential impact of percentage ingredient declaration on business competition in the feed industry
- the implications of percentage ingredient declaration for enforcement authorities
The partial RA contains further details of the percentage ingredient declaration measure, as determined by the ECJ, and our understanding of its implications for the feed industry and enforcement authorities, including a preliminary assessment of its possible costs and benefits.
This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.
Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses
In accordance with the FSA principle of openness our Information Centre at Aviation House will hold a copy of the completed consultation. The FSA will publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name. Disclosure of any other personal data would be made only upon request for the full consultation responses. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.
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Publication of response summary
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