Official Controls Regulation

The new Official Controls Regulation regarding safer food and plant health entered into application on the 14th of December 2019. All business operators are subject to official controls irrespective of their size.

These controls consist of checks performed by the competent authorities in EU (and EFTA) countries to verify that businesses comply with agri-food chain rules. These rules cover the safety and quality of food and feed, and also plant health, animal health and animal welfare. Apart from animals, plants and goods on the EU market, they also apply to animals and agri-food chain products entering the EU from third countries and being exported to third countries.

Comprehensive risk-based controls along the agri-food chain will allow the authorities to better target their controls and to put their resources where they are most needed. In particular, a more integrated IT system will allow control authorities to track problematic trade practices in a more efficient manner.

Among the main novelties are an extended scope to also cover plants, an increased transparency, reinforced tools to fight against food fraud, and an integrated system of border controls of animals, plants, food and feed, and new rules for wood packaging material.

Operators at all stages of production, processing, and distribution that handle animals, plants, food, feed, as well as certain goods, substances, materials or equipment are governed by the new rules.

For more information, please see:

Official controls: Stronger rules along the agri-food chain in the EU. Questions and answers, 12 December 2019

Questions & Answers on Commission Regulation (EC) No 2017/625 (Official Controls Regulation), 7 April 2017