Food of non-animal origin
In addition to complying with the general food safety requirements set out in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, imports of food of non animal origin must comply with the food hygiene requirements of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. Further details on general hygiene requirements can be viewed here. Such imports will be subject to official control procedures carried out in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. Further details on official controls for foods of non animal origin can be accessed here. When importing food into the EU responsibility rests with the importer to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements of food law or with conditions recognised as ‘equivalent’ by the EU.
For certain products of non-animal origin which are considered “high risk” by the EU, legislation which harmonises controls has been introduced to control their importation from specific non-EU countries and/or which requires specified foodstuffs to be subject to an increased level of controls. Article 15 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 , provides for a list to be drawn up of food of non-animal origin which is subject to an increased level of official controls at the point of entry into EU Member because of a known or emerging risk.
This list is contained in Annex I to Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 of 24 July 2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the increased level of official controls on imports of certain feed and food of non-animal origin and amending Decision 2006/504/EC. This Regulation has been amended on numerous occasions and further information can be viewed on the content of the that legislation on this page.
The EU have published a consolidated version of Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009
Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 requires that Member States designate particular points of entry (DPE) for the organisation of the increased level of controls. These DPEs which have access to the appropriate control facilities for the different types of food ensure a degree of uniformity in the effectiveness of the controls across the EU. The controls required by Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 cover documentary, identity and physical checks.
View list of Irish DPEs View EU list of DPEs
The release for free circulation of consignments is subject to the presentation by the food business operator or their representative to the custom authorities of a common entry document or its electronic equivalent duly completed by the competent authority once all controls required in accordance with Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 have been carried out and favourable results from physical checks, where such checks are required, are known.
Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 requires that food business operators or their representatives must give adequate prior notification of the estimated date and time of physical arrival of the consignment at the designated point of entry and of the nature of the consignment. They must complete Part I of the common entry document (CED) and transmit that document to the competent authority at the designated point of entry, at least one working day prior to the physical arrival of the consignment. Annex II to Regulation no 669/2009 sets out the format of the CED.
Non-compliance of food subject to an increased level of controls
If the official controls establish non-compliance, the responsible official of the competent authority must complete Part III of the common entry document and action shall be taken pursuant to Articles 19, 20 and 21 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004.
Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 allows for emergency measures to be put in place for food imported from a Third Country. Under this Regulation where it is evident that food imported from a Third Country is likely to constitute a serious risk to human health, animal health or the environment, and that such risk cannot be contained satisfactorily by means of measures taken by the Member State(s) concerned, the European Commission, can immediately adopt one or more of the following measures, depending on the gravity of the situation:
- suspension of imports of the food in question from all or part of the third country concerned and, where applicable, from the third country of transit;
- laying down special conditions for the food in question from all or part of the third country concerned;
- any other appropriate interim measure
Further information for food businesses who wish to import foods which are subject to additional controls is available here.
Last reviewed: 13/12/2018