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EU Food Regulations and Mutual Recognition – Helpful Organisations

EU Food Regulations and Mutual Recognition – Helpful Organisations

The Mutual Recognition scheme is designed to make the movement of goods easier for businesses. In our previous blog, we outlined the purpose and rules of the Mutual Recognition principle, shining the spotlight on the notion that each nation within the EU has its own national laws which must be considered to successfully enter these markets

In this blog, our regulatory experts share their insight into the organisations set up to support businesses in launching compliant products in the EU, and how (and if) they can provide clarity…

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Which Organisations Can Help?

Even though Regulation (EU) 2019/515 makes it easier than before to market goods not covered by EU harmonisation rules in the other Member States, economic operators still need to be aware of relevant national rules in the destination country – for example, if a product is subject to authorisation or notification.

  • Product Contact Points

Each EU country must set up a Product Contact Point, which should provide information on the Mutual Recognition principle and the application of the regulation in their own nation, as well as information on national technical rules applicable to the product.

However, many of the Product Contact Points will generally only reference or provide a link to the applicable national legislation, in the native language, and they cannot advise on the interpretation of the law. So, it can be very difficult for businesses seeking clarity to receive a definitive yes or no answer – and therefore they must spend the time reviewing and translating the various regulatory information given.

  • SOLVIT

In cases where the economic operator is still affected by national legislation which restricts or denies access to that country’s market, they may seek support from SOLVIT.  This is a network of centres launched by the Member States with the aim of offering advice and guidance to businesses when their EU rights in the single market are being denied by public authorities.

SOLVIT can get involved once a business has already been challenged by authorities (often in another language) in a Member State – something which all clients naturally want to avoid. This has, in the past, seen products removed completely from shelves and only reinstated once any issues have been resolved.

Ashbury Advice

Avoiding challenges when it comes to EU legislation and food labelling requirements is always the best course of action for any business exploring opportunities in the EU. This is why we recommend not relying solely on the Mutual Recognition principle but rather starting the compliance journey early, understanding legislation at a Member State and EU level, and seeking clarity throughout by calling on specialist support.

Caitlin Stewart, Marketing Manager

My background in Food Science and Marketing means I have a unique combination of commercial creativity and technical food manufacturing experience. My ambition is to bring clarity to the complex world of compliance through the simple and eye-catching communication of Ashbury's services.

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