Major changes with the new Control Regulation

Published in Vleesmagazine Industry Special 2 - 2018

On 7 April 2018, the new Control Regulation 2017/625 was published which is going to bring major changes to the supervision of legislation in the agri-food chain.

For example, automation of control data, a risk risk-based approach, the prevention of fraud and misrepresentation, and the monitoring of internet sales on internet sales provide a whole new approach. The aim is modern, efficient and effective supervision. The new Control Regulation shall apply on 14 December 2019.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Changes to the new Control Regulation

Firstly, the current Regulations 854/2004 and 882/2004 will expire, as well as Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC. The new control regulation covers the entire agro-food chain (food, feed, animals, etc.). food chain (food, feed, animals, plants) and should make monitoring more modern efficient and effective.

What is new is the risk-based approach to supervision. The more risks the company is found to have in The more risks a company is found to have with its products, processes, materials and substances that influence the safety of food, animal health, animal welfare GMOs, plant protection products, fraud and deception, the more extensive and frequent the supervision will be. more frequent the supervision will be. And supervision costs (a lot of) money.

Fraud and deception are risks that will soon have to be included as standard in quality systems. HACCP alone is therefore no longer enough. Complete and properly functioning quality systems will become more important than ever with the new risk-based than ever.

Quality systems accepted by NVWA

A good guarantee of quality in the quality in the chain can have an effect on supervision. The quality systems accepted by the NVWA Quality systems accepted by the NVWA are published by the Chain Assurance Foundation (with a board from the business community) on business community) published on These include BRC, IFS and FSSC22000. The NVWA can adjust its supervision accordingly. From a lower frequency to no longer standardly assessing certain components because these are already because they are already safeguarded by the quality system. This can save costs! be saved!

Also new are controls and activities in the field of organic production and quality schemes such as PDO, PGS and traditional products in order to prevent deception and fraud.

Authenticity and integrity are central

Authenticity and integrity are central to the European agri-food chain. That is why an IT system has been developed especially for food fraud (AAC) and new European centres for knowledge & research, methods for detection and the identification of of sensitive components. The horsemeat scandal was partly responsible for this development. 

Further harmonisation and automation of official controls and activities are laid down in a new information management system (IMSOC). This This new digital system can, in addition to the mutual exchange of control data, it can also track the identification and registration of animals, among other things, certificates and customs checks. Big brother is watching you!

In the case of online food sales, the new new regulation, samples can be taken through anonymously placed orders (mystery shopping). These are then analysed, tested and/or checked for compliance with the law. Previously, there were no clear guidelines for this.

Meat sector supervision changes

Even in the supervision of slaughterhouses, cutting plants and meat processing plants, there have been changes, albeit only minimal ones. Traditionally, the veterinarian has played a prominent role in the supervision of businesses producing products of animal origin. Article 18 of the new control regulation states that the AM inspection (health inspection of slaughter animals) must still be carried out by the official veterinarian. But he may soon be assisted by an official auxiliary that preselects the animals. The PM inspection (quality of carcass and organs) must be carried out by the veterinarian or can be under the supervision of the veterinarian or under the responsibility of the official auxiliary. Definitions are provided for these different possibilities.

Under the Under the responsibility of the official veterinarian" means that the official veterinarian entrusts the execution of an action to an official auxiliary. For example, in the Netherlands, the PM examination was carried out by CDB, an external service provider of which it was said that the 'butcher inspects his own meat'. This is now a government service again. The former CDB employees have thus become 'official assistants'.

Under the supervision of the official veterinarian" is an action carried out by an official auxiliary under the assistant under the responsibility of the official veterinarian where the official official veterinarian is on site. This therefore occurs, for example, during the permanent supervision of the veterinarian in large slaughterhouses.

A new feature is that slaughterhouse staff may assist with official controls official controls such as sampling and testing. This can be authorised on the basis of This may be permitted on the basis of a risk analysis. However, staff must be independent, have received adequate be independent, have received adequate training and work according to the instructions of the veterinarian or official auxiliary. instruction of the veterinarian or official auxiliary.

The new control regulation therefore offers a little more flexibility and opportunities for cost reduction, as long as you as long as it is done safely!

Yvon Bemelman - Condor Consultancy