[UK] New law allows fees on non-compliant imports

Companies will be charged for expenses arising from additional controls if imports of non-animal origin do not comply with food and feed laws – at least, if proposed legislation is enacted.

Based on new EU requirements, EU member states must ensure that companies comply with safety regulations when importing foods and feeds, and that non-compliance be charged with a fee. At the end of April, the UK Food Safety Authority (FSA) presented draft regulations for the implementation of the EU requirement and to replace the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) 2006.

If passed, the amended regulation would allow the FSA to charge businesses for expenses caused by "additional official controls". According to the regulation, these are comprised of checks that are carried out following the detection of non-compliant foods and feed and which exceed the authority's “normal” control activities.

An example is the import of maize containing non-approved GMOs. Costs include those incurred by the detention or destruction of the shipment, those related to any need to seek assistance from other member states, or those of administrative actions required to inform the European Commission to ensure the unsafe imports do not pose a public health problem. The law would also demand that importers provide adequate facilities for customs inspectors to carry out checks.

Comments on the draft regulations can be made until July 20th.

United Kingdom

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