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Third country representation for animal feed businesses

The measures that must be taken by animal feed businesses to legally trade feed between the UK and EU, and UK with third countries (non-EU).
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Introduction

Under EU law, businesses in third countries (non-EU countries) which export feed products to the EU must have a representative established in the Community.

Previously, the requirement for a non-EU country establishment to have a representative in the EU depended on the activity being carried out. However, the European Commission communicated a revised interpretation of Regulation (EC) 183/2005, Article 24 in February 2018 that all feed products exported to the EU from a non-EU country requires representation and not only for certain feed establishments carrying out specific activities.

Although the FSA has sought clarity on this interpretation, companies should prepare for this revised interpretation. It is therefore advised that businesses exporting to the EU assume that third country representation is needed for all feed and check the requirements with the member state of destination.

UK-EU import/export requirements for animal feed businesses after 31 January 2020

UK-EU trade arrangements during the transition period essentially remain unchanged under the existing EU single market rules. UK feed businesses will not need third country representation in the EU to export feed products to the EU during this period.

We would encourage UK businesses wishing to export feed products to the EU to ensure that they have third country representation in the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) in place by 1 January 2021. 

UK businesses acting as EU representatives for non-EU businesses could continue to do so during the transition period but after 31 December 2020 this arrangement will cease.  UK businesses will therefore need to advise the non-EU businesses they represent that they will need to find a new representative that is based in a member state or EEA country by 1 January 2021.

Some EU member states have specific rules on the requirements of having a representative for importing feed into the EU. Therefore, businesses should consult with the relevant authority in the specific EU country to which they want to export for further advice on gaining recognition for their representative, and to ensure they are compliant with any national rules.

Further details of competent authorities in member states can be found via the Commission’s website or through the ‘control systems’ tab of the country profiles for each member state.

You could also seek clarification with your third country representative who could approach the relevant competent authority in the member state.

Establishments carrying out specific activities that require a representative for non-EU third countries exporting feed products to the UK remain unchanged as listed below.

Non-EU country animal feed establishments

The requirement for representation covers the following types of establishment:

  • manufacturers of certain feed additives
  • manufacturers of certain novel protein source products
  • manufacturers of premixtures containing certain feed additives
  • compound feed manufacturers that incorporate the products mentioned above

Feed additives and protein sources

Feed additives typically include:

  • trace elements
  • vitamins
  • carotenoids and xanthophylls
  • micro-organisms and enzymes
  • antioxidants with a maximum permitted level
  • other additives with a maximum permitted level, not included in the above categories
  • coccidiostats, histomonostats and growth promoters

A full list of authorised feed additives is available from the Register of Feed Additives.

Certain novel protein sources include:

  • proteins obtained from micro-organisms belonging to the group of bacteria
  • yeasts (except yeasts cultivated on substrates of animal or vegetable origin), algae and lower fungi
  • co-products of the manufacture of amino acids by fermentation
  • amino acids and their salts
  • hydroxy analogues of amino acids

Representatives for non-EU establishments

The representative must ensure that the non-EU establishment complies with requirements, at least equivalent to those laid down in retained EU law, relevant to the activity.

This includes certain conditions relating to quality standards: 

  • equipment
  • facilities
  • storage
  • personnel
  • record keeping

Representatives should make their application to the member state authority where they are based. 

If a UK business owns several manufacturing plants, then the declaration will need to cover each of these specifically. However, the same representative can cover each premises.

Information required from the EU representative to make a declaration

The member state Competent Authority is likely to request the following details from the EU representative:

  • the name or business name, and address of the person making the declaration
  • the name and address of the UK establishment in respect of which the declaration is made
  • details of each establishment activity that the UK establishment is exercising or intends to exercise on that establishment
  • details of the products being/to be exported to an EU member state, i.e. product data sheets, ingredients labels
  • a statement that the UK establishment complies, and an undertaking that when the establishment activity is exercised, it will comply. For example, it will provide details of feed hygiene certificates
  • a statement that the EU representative understands the obligations
  • the submission of evidence to demonstrate how the EU representative ensures compliance – for example, frequency of inspections of premises covered by the representation or checks of feed hygiene certificates
  • a signature by or on behalf of the person making the declaration

Applicants should also note the following requirements subject to the above guidance on member states national rules:

  • For the purposes of the legislation, only one Community representative for each non-EU country establishment is required and they should make the declaration to the Member State in which they are located. For example, if a representative of a non-EU manufacturer based in France has made a declaration in France, an application to the UK is not required.
  • Declarations should be made on a UK basis.
  • Declarations relate to premises where an activity is carried out and not to a company as a whole.
  • If a non-EU company owns several manufacturing plants, then the declaration will need to cover each of these specifically. However, the same representative can cover each set of premises.

Declarations

For feed additives, compound feeds and premixtures not consisting of or not containing coccidiostats, histomonostats and growth promoters you should complete the model declaration and email to feeddelivery@food.gov.uk

For feed additives, compound feeds and premixtures that contain coccidiostats, histomonostats and growth promoters, feed businesses should contact the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) who will provide you with their model declaration form.

If the declaration is accepted, the FSA or VMD will provide the declarant with an acknowledgement confirming that the declaration has been accepted. This will include a unique identifying number for the third country establishment for which the declaration has been accepted to use on documentation.

The name of the representative and details of the non-EU establishment are placed on list of registered and approved representatives and third country establishments, which is updated regularly.

Conditions for Non-EU establishments

These are the conditions that relate to those set out in retained EU law and relate mainly to standards of equipment, storage facilities, personnel and record keeping.

Further Information can be found with your Local Authority Trading Standards OfficeFood Standards Scotland and DAERA.

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