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Identification marking and labelling

FBOs must not place a product of animal origin handled in an establishment subject to approval on a market unless it has an identification mark applied in accordance with Annex II, Section 1 of Regulation (EC) 853/2004. The identification mark must be applied before the product leaves the establishment. However, when a product's packaging and/or wrapping is removed or it is further processed in another establishment, a new mark must be applied to the product. In such cases, the new mark must indicate the approval number of the establishment where these operations take place.

The identification mark must indicate the name of the country in which the establishment is located, which may be written out in full or shown as a two-letter code (the code for Ireland is IE). When the identification is applied in an establishment located within the EC, the mark must be oval in shape and also include the abbreviation CE, EC, EF, EG, EK,EY, ES, EÜ, EK, EB or WE' (Irish establishments would generally use EC). The mark must be legible and indelible, and the characters easily decipherable. It must be clearly displayed for the competent authorities. Article 18 of Regulation (EC) 178/2002 requires that FBOs must have systems and procedures in place to identify FBOs from whom they received and to whom they have delivered products of animal origin.

The mark may, depending on the presentation of different products of animal origin, be applied directly to the product, the wrapping or the packaging, or be printed on a label affixed to the product, the wrapping or the packaging. The mark may also be an irremovable tag made of a resistant material.

In the case of packaging containing cut meat or offal, the mark must be applied to a label fixed to the packaging, or printed on the packaging, in such a way that it is destroyed when the packaging is opened. This is not necessary, however, if the process of opening destroys the packaging. When wrapping provides the same protection as packaging, the label may be affixed to the wrapping.

For products of animal origin that are placed in transport containers or large packages and are intended for further handling, processing, wrapping or packaging in another establishment, the mark may be applied to the external surface of the container or packaging. When products of animal origin are placed in a package destined for direct supply to the final consumer, it is sufficient to apply the mark to the exterior of that package only.