Collagen regs in NI
(Intra-Community Trade) Regulations for Northern Ireland 2003.
Comments are particularly welcome regarding the impact on business,
identification of additional costs and number of collagen
producers, collection centres and tanneries in Northern Ireland
affected by these proposals.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is inviting comment on the draft Collagen and Gelatine (Intra-Community Trade) Regulations for Northern Ireland 2003. Comments are particularly welcome regarding the impact on business, identification of additional costs and the number of collagen producers, collection centres and tanneries in Northern Ireland that will be affected by the proposals.
The background to these draft proposals dates back to May 2001, when the EU Scientific Steering Committee published a report and opinion on the safety, with respect to transmissable spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), on the risks of collagen produced from ruminant hides.
This was followed in late 2001 by the Commission's proposed draft Decision setting out the conditions for intra-Community trade and imports from third countries of collagen for human consumption and associated raw materials, the negotiation of which the UK was fully involved in.
A parallel Commission Decision (1999/724/EC) setting out the conditions for intra-Community trade and imports from third countries of raw materials and gelatine for human consumption came into operation on 1st June 2000. This decision was implemented by the Gelatine (Intra-Community Trade) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (S.R. 2001 No. 226), the format of which, according to the FSA, has largely been followed in the 2003 regulations.
The FSA says the draft Regulations implement the requirements of the Commission decision that collagen intended for human consumption may be traded with EU Member States only if specified hygiene requirements applicable to the production, storage and transport of collagen and the raw materials for its production are complied with.
The hygienic manufacture of collagen for the national market only will continue to be covered by the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995, as amended. Responsibility for the implementation of the third country import controls laid down in the decision falls to DARD. Collagen for pharmaceutical use, cosmetics, medical devices or other technical use is not covered by this decision.
The remainder of the regulations sets out the specific requirements for the authorisation and so on of collection centres and tanneries supplying raw materials for use in the manufacture of collagen for human consumption.
According to the FSA district councils will be responsible for enforcing the collagen regulations. However the FSA will be required to maintain a register of authorised premises. The agency says it will issue general guidance to facilitate the consistent application and enforcement of the regulations.
All comments should be submitted to Joan Hardy by 23 May 2003. Full contact details and details of the regulations can be found on the FSA website, Annex A - Statutory rules for Collagen and Gelatine (Intra-Community Trade) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 .