Further Memorandum from the Food Standards
2002 (S.I. 2002/334)
1. At its meeting on 11 March 2002 the Joint Committee
on Statutory Instruments considered the above Order and requested
a memorandum on the following points -
(1) In relation to article 3(1) of this instrument,
(a) who is the competent authority for the
purpose of the second sentence of article 1.2 of the Commission
Decision (Member States to ensure that importers give prior notice
to competent authorities at point of entry), and why this is not
specified in this instrument;
(b) how the obligation imposed by that sentence
is adequately implemented by merely referring to that sentence.
(2) Article 5(1) lists the provisions of the Food
Safety Act 1990 which are to apply for the purposes of this Order.
Explain why section 36 (offences by bodies corporate) is not included
in the list: compare regulation 6 of S.I. 2002/333.
2. (a) With regard to the Committee's first question,
the Imported Food Regulations 1997 (S.I. 1997/2537) impose
controls on the import of certain foods (namely foods of non-animal
origin not in free circulation within the European Community)
and provide for each "food authority" to enforce and
execute the Regulations in its area. The food authorities in question
are, in England, Port Health Authorities or, where none, the relevant
local authority. In drafting the instrument under consideration
it was assumed that it would be understood that the competent
authority for the purposes of the Commission Decision was the
food authority under the above mentioned regime.
3. (b) However, in the light of the doubts raised
by the Committee's query the Agency proposes to amend the Order
and to issue copies of the amending instrument free of charge,
specifying that the enforcement authority under article 4 of the
Order is to be the competent authority for the purpose of the
second sentence of Article 1.2 of the Commission Decision. That
enforcement authority is the same as the food authority for the
purposes of the Imported Food Regulations 1997.
4. With regard to the Committee's second question,
the Agency accepts the desirability of including a reference to
section 36 of the Food Safety Act 1990 and it is proposed that
the Order also be amended to this effect. This will ensure that
the ability to prosecute directors and managers of companies,
as well as the company, is the same as in relation to other areas
of food law.
18 March 2002