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The Official Feed and Food Controls Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007

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PART 3OFFICIAL CONTROLS ON FEED AND FOOD OF NON-ANIMAL ORIGIN FROM THIRD COUNTRIES

Interpretation of this Part

21.  In this Part—

“authorised officer”, in relation to an enforcement authority, means any person (whether or not an officer of the authority) who is authorised by it in writing, either generally or specially, to act in matters arising under the Import Provisions;

“the Commissioners” means the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs;

“enforcement authority” means the feed authority or a district council;

“feed” does not include additives of a type mentioned in Article 6(1)(e) of or paragraph 4(d) of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No. 1831/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on additives for use in animal nutrition(1) or any premixture consisting solely of a combination of such additives;

“outside Northern Ireland enforcement authority” means the body responsible for enforcing the legislation in operation with respect to imported products in any part of the United Kingdom except Northern Ireland;

“product” means feed or food whose import is regulated by Article 15 of Regulation 882/2004 (official controls on feed and food of non–animal origin not included in the scope of Council Directive 97/78/EC laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries(2)) and includes those composite products and foodstuffs which are not required to be subject to veterinary checks as provided in Commission Decision 2007/275/EC concerning lists of animals and products to be subject to controls at border inspection posts under Council Directives 91/496/EEC and 97/78/EC(3); and

“the relevant territories” means the territories referred to in Annex I to Regulation 882/2004.

Feed enforcement responsibilities

22.  It shall be the responsibility of the feed authority to execute and enforce the Import Provisions in relation to feed.

Food enforcement responsibilities

23.  It shall be the responsibility of each district council to execute and enforce the Import Provisions in its district in relation to food.

Functions of the Commissioners

24.  The Commissioners shall carry out the functions given to customs services under Article 24 of Regulation 882/2004 in relation to feed and food.

Deferred execution and enforcement

25.  (1)  Where —

(a)a product from a third country has entered Northern Ireland;

(b)customs examination of that product has been completed or has been deferred until it reaches its place of destination elsewhere in the United Kingdom;

(c)an authorised officer of the enforcement authority for the place of entry has on reasonable grounds issued an authorisation confirming that —

(i)examination of the product for the purposes of the Import Provisions should be deferred until the product arrives at its destination elsewhere in Northern Ireland, or

(ii)such examination should take place when the product arrives at its destination elsewhere in the United Kingdom under legislation with respect to imported products in force there; and

(d)a person importing the product gives that authorised officer an undertaking in writing as to the matters specified in paragraph (2),

the enforcement authority for the place in which the destination is located, if in Northern Ireland, shall become responsible for enforcing and executing the Import Provisions with respect to that product once it arrives there.

(2) The undertaking shall —

(a)state the destination of the product; and

(b)confirm that —

(i)the container containing the product has been sealed and will not be opened until it has reached that destination,

(ii)the opening of the container has been authorised by the enforcement authority for the place in which the destination is located, if it is in Northern Ireland or the outside Northern Ireland enforcement authority if the destination is not in Northern Ireland, and

(iii)the container will be available at that destination for examination under the Import Provisions or, as the case may be, legislation with respect to imported products in force elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

(3) Where an authorised officer of an enforcement authority issues an authorisation pursuant to paragraph (1)(c), he shall —

(a)(if the product’s place of destination is within Northern Ireland) notify the enforcement authority for that place or (if the product’s place of destination is in any other part of the United Kingdom) notify the outside Northern Ireland enforcement authority —

(i)that the product (so described as to enable it to be identified) has not been examined under the Import Provisions, and

(ii)if customs examination of the product has been deferred, of that fact; and

(b)send the relevant authority a copy of any undertaking given pursuant to paragraph (1)(d).

(4) Where a product has been sent to a destination in Northern Ireland from another part of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and examination of that product has been deferred under legislation with respect to imported products in force there, the enforcement authority for the place of destination shall become responsible for enforcing and executing the Import Provisions with respect to that product once it arrives in Northern Ireland.

(5) A person shall not breach an undertaking given under paragraph (1)(d).

Prohibition on introduction of certain feed and food

26.  (1)  The following are prohibited —

(a)the introduction into Northern Ireland from a third country of specified feed that fails to comply with feed safety requirements;

(b)the introduction into Northern Ireland from elsewhere in the relevant territories of specified feed that originates in a third country and fails to comply with feed safety requirements;

(c)the introduction into Northern Ireland from a third country of specified food that fails to comply with —

(i)food safety requirements, or

(ii)the requirements of Articles 3 to 6 of Regulation 852/2004; and

(d)the introduction into Northern Ireland from elsewhere in the relevant territories of specified food that originates in a third country and fails to comply with —

(i)food safety requirements, or

(ii)the requirements of Articles 3 to 6 of Regulation 852/2004.

(2) In this regulation —

(a)“specified feed” means feed that is a product; and

(b)“specified food” means food that is a product.

Checks on products

27.  (1)  The person responsible for introducing any product into Northern Ireland shall permit an authorised officer of an enforcement authority to carry out checks in relation to the product pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation 882/2004.

(2) When an authorised officer is carrying out checks in relation to a product pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation 882/2004, the person introducing the product shall provide the facilities and assistance which the authorised officer reasonably requires to carry them out.

(3) When an authorised officer of an enforcement authority is carrying out an identity check or a physical check on a product in accordance with Article 16 of Regulation 882/2004 he shall be entitled to require that the check takes place at a specified place.

Detention, destruction, special treatment, re–dispatch and other appropriate measures and costs

28.  (1)  An enforcement authority shall have the power to do anything that a competent authority may do under Articles 18 to 21 and 24(3) of Regulation 882/2004 if the conditions set out in those Articles are fulfilled.

(2) The enforcement authority shall be the competent authority for the purposes of Article 22 of Regulation 882/2004.

Notices pursuant to Articles 18 and 19 of Regulation 882/2004 (imports of feed and food from third countries)

29.  (1)  If an authorised officer of an enforcement authority proposes to place a consignment of feed or food under official detention under Article 18 or 19(1) of Regulation 882/2004 he shall serve a notice to that effect on the feed or food business operator, as the case may be, responsible for it.

(2) If an authorised officer of an enforcement authority proposes to take any of the measures referred to in Article 19(1)(a) or (b) of Regulation 882/2004 in respect of feed or food he shall serve a notice to that effect on the feed or food business operator, as the case may be, responsible for it after he has heard that feed or food business operator as provided in Article 19.

(3) If an authorised officer of an enforcement authority proposes to take any action referred to in Article 19(2) of Regulation 882/2004 in respect of feed or food he shall serve a notice to that effect on the feed or food business operator, as the case may be, responsible for it.

Right of appeal in respect of notices served under regulation 29

30.  (1)  Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of an authorised officer of an enforcement authority to serve a notice under regulation 29 may appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction.

(2) The procedure on an appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction under paragraph (1) shall be by way of notice under Part VII of the Magistrates Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(4).

(3) The period within which an appeal under paragraph (1) may be brought shall be one month from the date on which the notice was served on the person desiring to appeal for an order shall be deemed for the purposes of this paragraph to be the bringing of the appeal.

(4) Where on an appeal under paragraph (1) a court of summary jurisdiction determines that the decision of the authorised officer of the enforcement authority is incorrect, the authority shall give effect to the determination of the court.

Serious risk to animal or public health

31.  (1)  Where the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development or the Agency learns or has reasonable grounds to suspect that any food or feed that has been or may be introduced into Northern Ireland from a third country is likely to constitute a serious risk to animal or public health, they each have the power to issue a written declaration suspending or imposing conditions on the introduction into Northern Ireland of any product from the whole or any part of that third country.

(2) Such a declaration shall be published in such manner as the person who issued it thinks fit and shall specify the product and the third country or part thereof concerned.

(3) A declaration which imposes conditions on the introduction of any product from a third country or part thereof shall specify those conditions.

(4) Where a declaration is in force suspending the introduction of any product, a person shall not introduce that product into Northern Ireland if it originates in the third country or part thereof specified in the declaration.

(5) Where a declaration is in force imposing conditions on the introduction of any product, a person shall not introduce that product into Northern Ireland if it originates in the third country or part thereof specified in the declaration unless the product complies with conditions specified in the declaration.

(6) A declaration may be modified, suspended or revoked by a further written declaration published, so far as is practicable, in the same manner and to the same extent as the original declaration.

Costs

32.  The costs incurred by the enforcement authority for which the feed or food business operator or its representative is liable under Article 22 of Regulation 882/2004 shall be payable by the feed or food business operator or its representative on the written demand of the enforcement authority.

Procurement by authorised officers of samples with regard to food

33.  An authorised officer of a district council may, for the purposes of the execution and enforcement by that authority of the Import Provisions —

(a)purchase a sample of any food, or any substance capable of being used in the preparation of food;

(b)take a sample of any food, or any such substance, which —

(i)appears to him to be intended for placing on the market or to have been placed on the market, for human consumption, or

(ii)is found by him on or in any premises which he is authorised to enter by or under regulation 35;

(c)take a sample from any food source, or a sample of any contact material, which is found by him on or in any such premises; and

(d)take a sample of any article or substance which is found by him on or in any such premises and which he has reason to believe may be required as evidence in proceedings under any of the provisions of the Import Provisions.

Analysis etc. of samples

34.  (1)  An authorised officer of a district council who has procured a sample under regulation 35 shall —

(a)if he considers that the sample should be analysed, submit it to be analysed by a public analyst;

(b)if he considers that the sample should be examined, submit it to be examined by a food examiner.

(2) A person, other than such an officer, who has purchased any food, or any substance capable of being used in the preparation of food, may submit a sample of it —

(a)to be analysed by the public analyst for the district in which the purchase was made; or

(b)to be examined by a food examiner.

(3) If, in any case where a sample is proposed to be submitted for analysis under this regulation, the office of public analyst for the district in question is vacant, the sample shall be submitted to the public analyst for some other district.

(4) If, in any case where a sample is proposed to be or is submitted for analysis or examination under this regulation, the food analyst or examiner determines that he is for any reason unable to perform the analysis or examination, the sample shall be submitted or, as the case may be, sent by him to such other food analyst or examiner as he may determine.

(5) A food analyst or examiner shall analyse or examine as soon as practicable any sample submitted or sent to him under this regulation, but may, except where —

(a)he is the public analyst for the district in question; and

(b)the sample is submitted to him for analysis by an authorised officer of a district council,

demand in advance the payment of such reasonable fee as he may require.

(6) Any food analyst or examiner who has analysed or examined a sample shall give to the person by whom it was submitted a certificate specifying the result of the analysis or examination.

(7) Any certificate given by a food analyst or examiner under paragraph (6) shall be signed by him, but the analysis or examination may be made by any person acting under his direction.

(8) In any proceedings under the Import Provisions, the production by one of the parties —

(a)of a document purporting to be a certificate given by a food analyst or examiner under paragraph (6); or

(b)of a document supplied to him by the other party as being a copy of such a certificate,

shall be sufficient evidence of the facts stated in it unless, in a case falling within sub–paragraph (a), the other party requires that the food analyst or examiner shall be called as a witness.

(9) Any reference in this regulation to a public analyst for a given district shall, where two or more public analysts have been appointed for that district, be construed as a reference to either or any of them.

(10) The Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1991(5) shall apply in relation to a sample procured by an authorised officer of a district council under regulation 33 as if it were a sample procured by an authorised officer under Article 29 of the Order.

(11) The certificate given by a food analyst or examiner under paragraph (6) shall be in the form set out in Schedule 3 to the Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1991.

Powers of entry of authorised officers of a district council

35.  (1)  An authorised officer of a district council shall, on producing, if so required, some duly authenticated document showing his authority, have a right at all reasonable hours —

(a)to enter any premises within the district for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is or has been on the premises any contravention of the provisions of the Import Provisions in relation to food;

(b)to enter any premises, whether within or outside the district, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is on the premises any evidence of any such contravention within that district; and

(c)to enter any premises for the purpose of the performance by the authority of its functions under the Import Provisions,

but admission to any premises used only as a private dwelling–house shall not be demanded as of right unless 24 hours’ notice of the intended entry has been given to the occupier.

(2) If a lay magistrate, on sworn complaint in writing, is satisfied that there is reasonable ground for entry onto any premises for any such purpose as is mentioned in paragraph (1) and either —

(a)that admission to the premises has been refused, or a refusal is apprehended, and that notice of the intention to apply for a warrant has been given to the occupier; or

(b)that an application for admission, or the giving of such a notice, would defeat the object of the entry, or that the case is one of urgency, or that the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent,

the lay magistrate may by warrant signed by him authorise the authorised officer to enter the premises, if need be by reasonable force.

(3) Every warrant granted under this regulation shall continue in force for a period of one month.

(4) An authorised officer entering any premises by virtue of this regulation, or of a warrant issued under it, may take with him such other persons as he considers necessary, and on leaving any unoccupied premises which he has entered by virtue of such a warrant shall leave them as effectively secured against unauthorised entry as he found them.

(5) An authorised officer entering premises by virtue of this regulation, or of a warrant issued under it, may inspect any records (in whatever form they are held) relating to a food business and, where any such records are stored in any electronic form —

(a)may have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any computer and any associated apparatus or material which is or has been in use in connection with the records; and

(b)may require any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of, the computer, apparatus or material to afford him such assistance as he may reasonably require.

(6) Any officer exercising any power conferred by paragraph (5) may —

(a)seize and detain any records which he has reason to believe may be required as evidence in proceedings under any of the provisions of the Import Provisions; and

(b)where the records are stored in any electronic form, require the records to be produced in a form in which they may be taken away.

(7) If any person who enters any premises by virtue of this regulation, or of a warrant issued under it, discloses to any person any information obtained by him on the premises with regard to any trade secret, he shall, unless the disclosure was made in the performance of his duty, be guilty of an offence.

(8) Nothing in this regulation authorises any person, except with the permission of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development under the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, to enter any premises —

(a)on which an animal or bird affected with any disease to which that Order applies is kept; and

(b)which is situated in a place declared under that Order to be infected with such a disease.

Obstruction etc. of officers (imports)

36.  (1)  Any person who —

(a)intentionally obstructs any person acting in the execution of the Import Provisions; or

(b)without reasonable cause, fails to give to any person acting in the execution of the Import Provisions any assistance or information which that person may reasonably require of him for the performance of his functions under the Import Provisions,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Any person who, in purported compliance with any such requirement as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(b)—

(a)furnishes information which he knows to be false or misleading in a material particular; or

(b)recklessly furnishes information which is false or misleading in a material particular,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Nothing in paragraph (1)(b) shall be construed as requiring any person to answer any question or give any information if to do so might incriminate him.

Offences and penalties

37.  (1)  Any person who —

(a)contravenes paragraph (5) of regulation 25 or paragraph (4) or (5) of regulation 31;

(b)contravenes any of the prohibitions in paragraph (1) of regulation 26;

(c)to the extent that contravention of regulation 27 does not constitute an offence under regulation 36, contravenes regulation 27; or

(d)fails to comply with a notice served upon him under the Import Provisions,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a person guilty of an offence under this Part shall be liable —

(a)on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or

(b)on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, to a fine or to both.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under regulation 36 shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both.

Time limit for prosecutions (imports)

38.  A prosecution for an offence under this Part of these Regulations which is punishable under regulation 37(2) shall not be begun after the expiry of —

(a)three years from the commission of the offence; or

(b)one year from its discovery by the prosecution,

whichever is the earlier.

(1)

OJ No. L268, 18.10.2003, p.29, amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 378/2005 on detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No. 1831/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the duties and tasks of the Community Reference Laboratory concerning applications for authorisations of feed additives (OJ No. L59, 5.3.2005, p.8)

(2)

OJ No. L24, 30.1.98, p.9, as last amended by Council Directive 2006/104/EC adapting certain Directives in the field of agriculture (veterinary and phytosanitary legislation), by reason of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania (OJ No. L363, 20.12.2006, p.352)

(3)

OJ No. L116, 4.5.2007, p.9

(5)

S.R. 1991 No. 198, to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations

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