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Competent authorities and their tasks at central, regional and local level, in Ireland

Art 110 of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 requires that MANCPs contain general information on, among other things, the designation of competent authorities and their tasks at central, regional and local level, and on resources available to those authorities.

In Ireland, the designation of competent authorities can occur through various mechanisms including primary and secondary legislation, as well as instruments issued under these statutes.

For example, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) derives its role as the central competent authority for food safety through the The FSAI Act 1998. Under this legislation the FSAI can enter into statutory agreement with other organisations for them to act as competent authorities in defined functional or geographic areas.

These agreements are known as “service contracts” and are underpinned by Section 48 of the FSAI Act 1998. Organisations entering into such service contracts are referred to as “official agencies.” An official agency, carrying out functions under a service contract, is deemed to be acting on behalf of, and as an agent for, the FSAI, and its service contract defines the food legislation for which it will be responsible.

Competent authorities may have tasks designated to it from a combination of sources. For example, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority have agreed service contracts with the FSAI, but also derive their statutory competencies from a range of other legislation.

Details of the service contracts agreed by the FSAI are published on its website. Where a competent authority relies on other legislation this is, typically, described on their website or as part of corporate publications.

As part of this MANCP, a summary for each competent authority has been prepared where details of its competencies (including scope), tasks and resources are provided.

The following Competent Authorities are also "Official Agencies" of the FSAI and have agreed a service contract:

Official Agencies of the FSAI carry out official controls in the area of food safety, under a service contract. They may also carry out official controls in other areas covered by this MANCP.