STC Number - 175

Notification on food and feed controls

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by: Canada
First date raised: October 2003 G/SPS/R/31, paras. 39-41
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/EEC/191 and Add.1
Products covered: 2309 Preparations of a kind used in animal feeding.
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures; Equivalence; Food safety; Human health
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

The United States stated that the notified measure would establish an extensive series of official controls on feed and food to be implemented by 1 January 2005. EC member States' control systems would be harmonized, integrating specific controls at all stages of production in all food and feed sectors. "Control plans" from exporting countries would have to be submitted annually to the European Communities. All exporting countries would have to demonstrate compliance or equivalence to the EC food safety measures for all products to be exported as a precondition for market access. Control plans required information on all legislation, organization of competent authorities, training of staff, resources available and assurance of equivalence of domestic safety measures. While the United States agreed this approach was appropriate for high risk products such as meat and poultry, it felt that this level of risk management was not appropriate for other types of food for which any identified risks were generally quite low.
Canada shared the concerns raised by the United States and noted that it had recently submitted comments to the European Communities. Canada sought more information regarding the requirements for non-EC countries.
The European Communities explained that the regulation should facilitate conformity of imported food with EC health standards and principles for checking food stuffs. Written comments received by the 27 July 2003 deadline would be considered by the EC Enquiry Point and Council of Ministers. As for the control plans, much of the requested information was already available on internet sites, i.e., USDA and FDA. The regulation, which was based on Codex recommendations, would facilitate trade through more transparency and the exchange of information on controls or checks for third countries.