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Food Safety: The Authority reacts to failure by Iceland to provide information



The EFTA Surveillance Authority has issued a reasoned opinion to Iceland for its failure to respond to the Authority's requests for information in two cases concerning food safety and veterinary matters. This is the first time that the Authority takes the step of delivering a reasoned opinion due to lack of cooperation in such a situation by one of the EFTA states.

In May 2014, the Authority discussed several issues in meetings with the Icelandic authorities. For the two cases at hand, Iceland had failed to reply to letters requesting information prior to the meetings. Following the meetings Iceland was again invited to submit the requested information.

The first case concerns measures taken by Iceland to ensure that EEA legislation listed by so-called “simplified procedure” is made part of its national legal order in a timely manner, i.e. simultaneously with the EU Member States. These acts often concern urgent measures related to emerging food hazards, outbreaks of animal diseases etc., and it is therefore important that all states take swift action. Iceland has been invited to explain how it foresees to reduce the delays observed by the Authority with the incorporation of these acts.

The other case concerns the fact that Iceland has not designated all relevant National Reference Laboratories as required by EEA legislation. Iceland has been invited to explain whether and when these laboratories will be designated, and to provide the reasons for its decisions.

The Authority did not receive any response from the Icelandic Government on these issues, and issued in December 2014 a letter of formal notice to Iceland for failure to provide information. However, the Authority has still not received responses from Iceland.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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