AFIA Assists USDA with Hosting EU Team on Feed Hygiene
Means to develop third country equivalency agreements sought
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has been asked by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to assist with a European Union team visiting in late February or early March with government agencies and industry to describe the new EU Feed Hygiene Regulation (#183) that went into effect January 1 for EU member countries. The regulation allows for development of third country equivalency agreements which do not go into effect until January 1, 2007.
The EU is offering this to the U.S. first, as it believes it has the best opportunity to be on the EU third country list. A meeting was held with AFIA, ingredient and other groups January 6 to discuss the EU visit.
AFIA VP Richard Sellers said that it’s unlikely the EU can get a declaration of equivalency from the FDA, as the new regulation is a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) approach. There are no HACCP feed regulations in the U.S. However, AFIA suggested FAS look at the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program as a potential third-party certification program for EU acceptance. This will likely be discussed with the EU at the meetings.
The EU also requests a list of firms that will ship to the EU and can qualify under the new regulations. USDA or FDA can likely develop a list, provided the EU will accept a certification or equivalency plan.
One option discussed was the development of a government certification program under the statutory provisions allowing USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to develop programs, collect fees and certify products or processes for export. There are currently programs for hormone-free beef and ractopamine-free pork for export to the EU, among others.
AFIA also suggested using state departments of agriculture as potential competent authorities (certifying bodies). There is a precedent, as the EU accepts South Carolina’s certification for one product shipped to the EU.
Another meeting will be held prior to the EU team visit to finalize logistics.
New EU regulations: europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2005/l_035/l_03520050208en00010022.pdf
For more information on the EU regulations, contact AFIA’s Richard Sellers at: email@example.com.