New EU Official Controls implemented

07 January 2020

Article: 54/105

New EU Official Control regulations came into force across the UK on 14 December 2019. The regulations aim to strengthen public health protection and the integrity of the food and feed chain in the UK.

The EU Official Controls Regulation (OCR) Regulation (EU) 2017/625 is part of the EU Commission’s Smarter Rules for Safer Food initiative, which aims to modernise, simplify and strengthen official controls across the food chain, including plant and animal production, food manufacturing and supply, and processing and distribution.

The OCR will repeal and replace existing legislation which is integral to the activities of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) as the national authority responsible for the delivery of official food and feed controls in Scotland, and other food and feed enforcement bodies such as local authorities.

While the OCR introduces more prescriptive controls in certain areas, greater flexibility is provided in others, and the overall impacts on the existing food and feed official control regime in Scotland are expected to be broadly policy neutral.

The Official Feed and Food Controls (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 will provide for the execution and enforcement of the OCR in relation to FSS’s areas of responsibility for food and feed law. Most of the changes update legislative references and remove references to requirements which no longer have effect.

The Official Controls (Agriculture etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 make provision in respect of official controls and other official activities at border control posts; genetically modified organisms for the purposes of feed and food production; animal health requirements; prevention and minimisation of risks to human and animal health from animal by-products and derived products and welfare requirements for animals.

Source: FSS, 14 December 2019