Notification Detail

Draft amending Act XLVI of 2008 on the food chain and the official supervision thereof

Notification Number: 2017/199/HU (Hungary)
Date received: 19/05/2017
End of Standstill: Closed

Issue of comments by: Commission,Denmark,Sweden
Issue of detailed opinion by: Austria,Commission,Germany,Italy,Poland
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Message 002

Communication from the Commission - TRIS/(2017) 01267
Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Translation of the message 001
Notification: 2017/0199/HU

No abre el plazo - Nezahajuje odklady - Fristerne indledes ikke - Kein Fristbeginn - Viivituste perioodi ei avata - Καμμία έναρξη προθεσμίας - Does not open the delays - N'ouvre pas de délais - Non fa decorrere la mora - Neietekmē atlikšanu - Atidėjimai nepradedami - Nem nyitja meg a késéseket - Ma’ jiftaħx il-perijodi ta’ dawmien - Geen termijnbegin - Nie otwiera opóźnień - Não inicia o prazo - Neotvorí oneskorenia - Ne uvaja zamud - Määräaika ei ala tästä - Inleder ingen frist - Не се предвижда период на прекъсване - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare.

(MSG: 201701267.EN)

1. Structured Information Line
MSG 002 IND 2017 0199 HU EN 19-05-2017 HU NOTIF


2. Member State
HU


3. Department Responsible
Igazságügyi Minisztérium
EU Jogi Megfelelésvizsgálati Főosztály
Műszaki Notifikációs Központ

Budapest
Kossuth tér 2-4.
H-1055
Tel. : (36-1)795-5733,
E-mail: technicalnotification@im.gov.hu


3. Originating Department
Földművelésügyi Minisztérium
Jogalkotási Főosztály

Budapest, V.
Kossuth Lajos tér 11.
H-1055
Tel: (36 1) 795-2000
Fax: (36-1) 795-0200
E-mail cím: kszo@fm.gov.hu
Levélcím: 1860 Budapest, Pf.: 1.


4. Notification Number
2017/0199/HU - C60A


5. Title
Draft amending Act XLVI of 2008 on the food chain and the official supervision thereof


6. Products Concerned
The draft act concerns dual use (food or feed) food chain products (placed on the market in Hungary with different ingredients or with a different ratio of ingredients than in countries outside Hungary but with the same name and appearance) in relation to their official control, determining further labelling rules for these products.


7. Notification Under Another Act
-


8. Main Content
The draft prescribes a labelling obligation for dual use food chain products and a related official controlling power.


9. Brief Statement of Grounds
The draft was drawn up in order to regulate the labelling of products placed on the market in Hungary with different ingredients (or with a different ratio of ingredients) than in countries outside Hungary but with the same name and appearance as well as to prescribe a related official controlling power.


10. Reference Documents - Basic Texts
Reference(s) to basic text(s): Act XLVI of 2008 on the food chain and the official supervision thereof


11. Invocation of the Emergency Procedure
No


12. Grounds for the Emergency
-


13. Confidentiality
No


14. Fiscal measures
No


15. Impact assessment
-


16. TBT and SPS aspects
TBT aspect

No - the project has no significant impact on international trade.

SPS aspect

No - the draft is neither a sanitary nor phytosanitary measure.

**********
European Commission

Contact point Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Fax: +32 229 98043
email: grow-dir83-189-central@ec.europa.eu

Stakeholders Contributions

The TRIS website makes it easy for you or your organization to contribute with your opinion on any given notification.


en
  Czech Association for Branded Products (CSZV) on 04-08-2017
Click to expand

 

Prague, 4 August 2017

 

No. 144/ 2017-CSZV

 

 

 

 

 

To all it may concern,

 

 

 

The Czech Association for Branded Products (CSZV) which represents major brand manufacturers and distributors operating on the Czech market would like to comment on the Hungarian draft amending Act XLVI of 2008 on the food chain and the official supervision thereof (TRIS notification 2017/199/HU).

 

 

 

CSZV members consider the safety and quality of branded products, as well as consumer trust and satisfaction, to be the top priorities for the food and drink manufacturers. They take very seriously the recent debate on ‘dual quality’. They strongly regret that conclusions of benchmark tests in some countries were publicly misinterpreted before the companies concerned had any chance to clarify why the composition of their products may differ in various EU countries.

 

 

 

The CSZV members are ready to co-operate with local authorities and other stakeholders and provide further transparency on a case-by-case basis. At the June Sherpa meeting of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning of the Food Supply Chain the European Commission stated that “the evidence provided by 21 EU member states does not, for the time being, reveal any serious market anomalies, [such as] the existence of structural differentiation of products towards inferior quality or lower nutritional content across European markets, particularly the Eastern European countries which have raised this.”

 

 

 

In this connection we consider unacceptable the unilateral action from the Hungarian government to introduce a “warning label” obligation on foods, lawfully placed on the Hungarian market. In our opinion such action represents a breach of EU law and international free trade agreements. We strongly encourage the European Commission to reject this national initiative. We insist that the sensitive and complicated issue of ‘dual quality’ should be dealt on basis of objective facts and strong evidence.

 

 

 

Below please find our detailed comments on the mentioned Hungarian draft:

 

 

 

  • The draft breaches the EU law, especially Article 34 TFEU and Articles 38 and 39 of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.

  • The requirement for a “distinctive warning” would create confusion among consumers and give rise to doubts about the safety and nutritional adequacy of other food products sold under the same brand.

  • The proposed measure constitutes a barrier to the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market. The mandatory labelling requirement would generate additional re-labelling costs for manufacturers selling their products in more than one country and discriminate the international companies producing in Hungary versus local companies producing their brands only for the Hungarian market.  The “distinctive warning” could have influence on consumers, affecting their purchasing behaviour.

  • As far as consumer protection is concerned, the information on product ingredients is already conveyed to the consumer by the list of ingredients on the packaging under Regulation (EU) 1169/2011.  The EU food legislation does not impose the composition of food products.

  • The draft may be considered also as a violation of Articles 2.1. and 2.2. of the WTO Agreement of Technical Barriers to Trade as it creates obstacle to international trade.

  • The draft refers to the information to be provided as a warning message. The CAC/GL 1-1979 CODEX General Guidelines on Claims define claims as “any representation which states, suggest or implies that a food has particular characteristics related to its origin, nutritional properties, nature, production, processing composition or any other quality”. The proposed “distinctive warning” would violate section 3.5. of the mentioned guidelines that prohibits claims which “could give rise to doubt about the safety of similar food or which could arouse or exploit fear in the consumer.”

  • The draft would create legal uncertainty and could lead to a very broad interpretation by the authorities. It gives no definitions or explanations regarding the terms “given products”, “same brand” or “same appearance”.

  • It is unclear against which criteria the products would be compared and how these benchmarks would be established. It is also unclear who would be responsible for indicating the warning statement and the particular modalities thereof. The draft does not specify the modalities of implementation related to the sampling and control methods.

  • The draft states the law shall apply 8 days after its adoption. Should the law be adopted, the industry would not be able to adapt to the new requirements within such a short period.

     

     

    With kind regards

     

    Jan Levora

    CSZV Executive Director

     

    Czech Association for Branded Products (CSZV)

    Tesnov 5

    110 00 Prague 1

    Czech Republic