Official controls on feed and food

Official controls are a key pillar of the EU feed safety legislation. Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 establishes a detailed legal framework addressing among others the following key objectives:

  • To ensure that official controls on feed and food are carried out regularly, on a risk basis and with appropriate frequency;
  • To achieve harmonisation and integration of controls across the entire food and feed chain under the “farm to fork” principle;
  • To delegate to national authorities the task of defining a multi-annual national control plan to ensure effective control policy;
  • To establish appropriate control methods and techniques such as monitoring, surveillance, verification, audit, inspection, sampling and analysis.

Further to FVO inspections identifying weaknesses in the enforcement of the legislation as regards in particular the efficiency of controls, their risk orientation and their funding, the EU Commission presented in May 2013 a proposal to recast the official controls legislation with a view a.o. to take better into account the actual risk, the compliance of individual operators with feed safety requirements, to achieve more transparency as regards the outcome of official controls and to secure controls founding via full-costs recovery through fees charged to operators.

FEFAC welcomes the further steps taken in order to take into account the actual risks, while stressing the importance of a source oriented control policy which, in the feed chain, means focussing primarily on the upstream part of the chain, i.e. feed materials and feed additives. For the sake of efficiency, FEFAC supports better coordination between official controls and own-checks by companies, taking into account the implementation by the industry of feed safety assurance schemes.

FEFAC welcomes transparency as regards the publication of official controls results in an aggregated form, while warning against the risk of misperception as to the actual safety status of the feed chain. FEFAC is also concerned by potential misuse of results for individual operators if published.

FEFAC is extremely sceptical as to the contribution of a fee-based founding system to improve official controls efficiency while pointing to the impact on competitiveness of EU operators vis-à-vis third countries competitors.

Regulation (EC) 882/2004 on official feed and food controls

EU Commission proposal for a recasting of the EU official feed and food controls legislation