Draft FSA guidance notes on general food law regulation (EC) 178/2002
Thursday 2 November 2006
The Agency is seeking views and comments on new draft FSA Guidance Notes on Article 14-16 and 18-20 of the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002
All comments and views should be sent to:
Food Law Policy Branch
Food Standards Agency
Room 115B, Aviation House
London WC2B 6NH
Responses are requested by: 26 January 2007
New draft Food Standards Agency (FSA) Guidance Notes on Articles 14-16 and 18-20 of the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 have been developed.
The notes provide advice on compliance with legal requirements covering food and feed safety, traceability provisions and the need to notify, withdraw and/or recall products not conforming with the food and feed safety requirements applying under the Regulation.
These new Guidance Notes have been written to address responses to the public consultation exercise on the EC Guidance for the Regulation, held between July and October 2005.
The purpose of this consultation is to obtain views on:
- the content and form of the FSA guidance notes
- our opinion that they will result in no additional administrative costs to business beyond those incurred during the normal course of business
- the costings in the attached partial Regulatory Impact Assessment
- whether you consider that these draft FSA Guidance Notes provide a more user-friendly guide than the EC Guidance
Articles 14-16 and 18-20 of the General Food Regulation (EC) 178/2002 cover food and feed safety, traceability and the need to notify, withdraw and/or recall products not conforming with the food and feed safety requirements applying under the Regulation.
Agency Guidance Notes on the legislative requirements were issued on 31 December 2004. The EC Guidance was issued on 20 January 2005. The Agency Guidance was subsequently revised to take account of the EC Guidance and reissued on 10 March.
The Agency consulted in July 2005 on how well the EC Guidance had been working to inform a review of the Guidance by the European Commission. The reaction from business was that the EC Guidance was resulting in disproportionate costs to the food industry. The EC Guidance classifies traceability information in two categories, the first to meet the legal requirements and the second to be followed as best practice. Responses from food businesses to the consultation exercise indicated that following such best practice guidance could result in additional costs.
The Agency has reviewed the results of this consultation and has redrafted the FSA Guidance Notes, which now focus primarily on the legal requirements.
The principal changes in the new FSA Guidance Notes compared with the EC Guidance are:
- a greater discretion to food businesses over time requirements for keeping traceability records
- changing the need for immediate production of traceability records in certain cases to a need to produce these within 'a short timescale'
- concentrating on the requirements of the legislation and providing minimal advice on good practice
The Agency view is that these new FSA Guidance Notes are more appropriate for food businesses in the UK. This approach has been discussed with the European Commission.
Comments on any aspect of the FSA Guidance Notes are welcome. We would particularly welcome comments on the partial Regulatory Impact Assessment, which seeks to identify key issues and potential costs. In particular we would welcome your views on whether the focus on the requirements of legislation rather than best practice is more helpful to businesses and if this will remove the additional administrative costs businesses thought were contained in the EC Guidance. We would also welcome views on whether there is a need for any additional guidance.
For stakeholders in Wales, a Welsh language version of the consultation documents can be requested from:
Food Standards Agency Wales
11th Floor, Southgate House
Cardiff CF10 1EW
Tel: 029 2067 8913
Please contact us for alternative versions of the consultation documents in Braille, other languages or audiocassette.
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.
Data protection form (Word)
Data protection form (pdf)
Publication of response summary
Within three months of a consultation ending we aim to publish a summary of responses received and provide a link to it from this page.
If, after three months, the summary is still not showing, please contact the person who was responsible for the original consultation. Alternatively, you can contact the FSA Consultation Co-ordinator by email: firstname.lastname@example.org