Imported food and enforcement

Local authorities and port health authorities are responsible for the enforcement of food safety and food standard controls on food products. The Horticultural Marketing inspectorate of the Rural Payments agency are responsible for enforcing Community Marketing rules on fresh fruit and vegetables. Guidance and resources for these and other enforcement authorities are available.

Port health authorities are local authority bodies at seaports set up under (DH legislation) the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984. At UK airports and some seaports, the local authority in whose area the port is located is responsible for enforcing the food import controls.

Outside of port areas, local authorities ('inland' local authorities) are responsible for enforcing food safety controls on foodstuffs including imported food.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) took over responsibility, in April 2003, for anti-smuggling activity in Customs-controlled areas in seaports, airports, and Customs' licensed warehouses. Customs also carry out checks on personal imports for illegal foodstuffs.

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