Food and feed safety

 

The EFTA Surveillance Authority is responsible for monitoring the implementation and application by Iceland and Norway of EEA legislation on food and feed safety.

In the aftermath of various food scandals, the EEA revised its food policy, focusing on pro-active, science-based approach:

  • a framework regulation covering the whole spectrum of food safety
  • establishment of an independent body providing scientific advice to the legislator
  • development of specific food and feed safety legislation with a risk-based approach
  • creation of a framework for harmonized food control

This is known as the “Farm to Fork” approach and covers all sectors of the food and feed chain, including production, marketing and import controls of food, seeds, animal feed, animal health and welfare, animal by-products, residues of veterinary medicinal products, pesticides and contaminants. The legislation is based on the following principles:

  • responsibility of food and feed producers for the safety of their products:
    Food and feed producers bear primary responsibility for the safety of the food they produce. Safety is assessed using a “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” system (HACCP).
  • traceability throughout the food and feed chain;
    Traceability is an essential element in ensuring food and feed safety. Certain food and feed establishments must be registered or approved by the competent national authorities. This is the Icelandic list and Norwegian list of establishments. List of approved establishments in the EU member states can be found on the European Commission's website.
  • risk-based, suitable, proportionate and effective official controls
    EEA legislation establishes a harmonized food and feed check system which sets out the responsibilities of the competent authorities. It aims at a high level of consumer protection without unnecessary burdens on food and feed business operators.

Import controls – products of animal origin

Products of animal origin imported to Iceland and Norway from outside EEA should undergo veterinary checks at the border. The list of approved Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in Iceland and Norway is adopted by the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Lists of approved BIPs in the EU Member States can be found on the European Commission's website.

Import controls – products of non-animal origin

Legislation has been adopted which requires increased levels of official controls for certain high risk feed and food of non-animal origin imported into the EEA. Norway and Iceland have designated points of entry (DPEs) through which consignments of these products may enter. Lists of DPEs for the EU Member States can be found on the European Commission's website.

 




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