Feed Authorisation & Labelling 

This proposal would establish clear rules for the labelling and market authorisation of feed. It would simplify the authorisation procedure for placing feed on the market and specify the information that must be displayed on labels.

Aims of the Proposal

This proposal is part of the Commission’s programme of simplifying legislation. The main objectives are to:

•     create risk proportionate authorisation procedures so that feed materials are adequately specified

•     reduce unnecessary labelling requirements

•     achieve legal clarity and harmonise implementation by simplifying technical requirements

Market Authorisation for Feed

A simplified system for the market placement of feed will be introduced. Feed will only be allowed to be placed on the market if it fulfils the following conditions:

•     it is genuine, fit for purpose and of saleable quality

•     has no adverse effects on the environment or animal welfare

•     is labelled, packaged and presented conforming to EU law

•     complies with technical requirements on impurities and chemical determinants

The Commission will have 6 months to grant or deny authorisation after it receives an application. If the Commission finds that a specific feed product does not meet the requirements, based on scientific analysis, it must request an assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) within 3 months. The EFSA must give its opinion within 6 months.

Responsibility for Labelling and Monitoring

The manufacturer will be responsible for labelling. Operators cannot supply feed that they know, or should have known, does not comply with the requirements. The labelling of feed must not mislead the user on the following points:

•     intended use or characteristics of the feed

•     method of manufacture

•     identity and properties

•     composition, quantity and durability

•     species or categories of animals intended

•     possession of feed effects or characteristics that it does not possess

Member States will be responsible for monitoring feed labelling and will have to lay down ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’ penalties for infringements.

Mandatory Labelling Requirements

Feed labels must only make objective, verifiable claims. They cannot claim that the product will prevent, treat, or cure a disease, or falsely claim that it has particular nutritional purposes and characteristics. Labelling should be easily identifiable and not obscured, prominently placed, clearly legible and indelible in at least one of the Member States languages. Mandatory labelling must appear on all sales material including mail and internet orders. The labelling must contain the following information:

•     type of feed

•     name of the feed business operator

•     the approval number and batch or lot reference

•     net quantity expressed in units of mass or volume

•     list of feed additives preceded by the name and content

•     moisture content

Limited derogations from mandatory labelling requirements are provided for in the proposal.

Specific Labelling Requirements

Labelling will be required for specific types of feed, namely, compound feed (a mixture of different feed types), dietetic feed (feed with specific nutritional value), and contaminated feed (feed with levels of undesirable substances that must be detoxified). As well as complying with the mandatory requirements these feed products must provide additional information, such as, the species or category of animal for which it is intended, instructions on proper use, and specific compositional information or in the case of contaminated feed a warning on use and preparation.

Voluntary Labelling

Manufacturers will be allowed to voluntarily provide further information, but this will be limited to information on:

•     country of production

•     description or trade name of the product

•     physical condition of feed or the specific processing it has undergone

•     moisture content

•     date of manufacture and price of the product

•     special storage conditions

Packaging Requirements

Feed can normally only be marketed in sealed packages or containers. Exceptions to this rule are:

•     feed materials including compound feed exclusively obtained by mixing grain or whole fruit

•     deliveries between producers of compound feed

•     deliveries of compound feed directly to the feed user

•     deliveries from producers of compound feed to packaging firms

•     compound feed not exceeding 50kg intended for the final user and taken from a sealed package or container

•     blocks or licks

All feed sold in bulk or in unsealed packages must have a document containing all the mandatory labelling.

EU Catalogue

The proposal will introduce an EU Catalogue of approved feed materials. It will cover all feed materials and include the following reference information:

•     name

•     identification number

•     description of the feed material and manufacturing process

•     specific particulars concerning nutritional composition

•     glossary with the definition of the different processes and technical expressions

Annexes

All the technical provisions on the permitted levels for impurities in feed, details on the tolerances for the labelling of the composition of feed materials as well as, mandatory labelling requirements for feed intended for food producing animals and non-food producing animals are contained in a series of annexes. The proposal will enter into force from the end of 2010.