Requirements for products of animal origin
Procedures for carrying out veterinary checks on products of animal origin, inspection procedures, the economic operator`s obligations and the requirements of the border inspection posts are laid down in Directive 97/78/EC.
EU hygiene legislation
The so-called “hygiene package” consists of 5 regulations:
- Regulation No. (EC) 178/2002 - the EU “Food Law” – which lays down the principles for production and distribution of food, the procedure for dealing with emergencies and alerts, and states the responsibilities of the food business operators and the authorities respectively. It states as a general principle that food imported to the EU must fulfil the relevant requirements of the EU food legislation (art. 11)
- Regulation No.(EC) 852/2004 – the “hygiene regulation” – which sets the hygiene provisions for food production and distribution in general
- Regulation No. (EC) 853/2004 – the “hygiene regulation on food of animal origin” – which sets the hygiene provisions for the production of food of animal origin. Specific production provisions for each food category are stated in annex III, sections I – XV.
The package includes 2 regulations on official control:
- Regulation No. (EC) 854/2004 – the “control regulation on food of animal origin” – which describes the specific official control with food of animal origin
- Regulation No. (EC) 882/2004 – the “control regulation” – which describes the general official food control.
Other important hygiene provisions, which may have to be considered, include the regulation on microbiological criteria (No. 2073/2005), the directive on residues (No. 96/23), the regulation on chemical contaminants (No. 1881/2006) etc.
Each year all countries which export animal products to the EU must send their plans for analyses for residues of veterinary drugs to the EU Commission for approval along with reports of the previous year’s residue program.
If the residue plan (Decision 2011/163/EC) is not accepted for a specific product, the country cannot export that product, even though it is on the list of approved third countries and there are approved establishments for that product!
- More information on Veterinary border control available in the European Commission home page