FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
Since 1970, the EU has adopted a series of directives and regulations which directly impact the production and marketing of pet food. All pet food imported from the U.S. has to comply with EU rules on labeling, hygiene, animal health, certification, use of additives, etc. Although these requirements are generally harmonized throughout the 27 EU Member States, it is recommended that U.S. exporters verify the importing country’s requirements with their foreign customer.
Pet food is regulated by two sets of specific legislation: legislation on the marketing of feedingstuffs and veterinary legislation. Main legislation applicable to the production and marketing of pet food includes:
On March 4, 2008, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new framework regulation on the labeling and marketing of feed and pet food. The draft regulation sets out general rules for the labeling of feed and specific labeling requirements for feed materials, compound feed (including pet food) and dietetic feed. If adopted, one single regulation will replace several directives (79/373/EEC, 80/511/EEC, 82/471/EEC, 93/74/EEC, 93/113/EC and 96/25/EC) and implement feed marketing rules in a more uniform way. For more information see GAIN report E48035.
Following the implementation of the EU animal by-products regulation 1774/2002, each individual pet food shipment containing product of animal origin must be accompanied by health certificates signed by APHIS officials. APHIS veterinary services will endorse certificates after facilities have been officially approved as compliant with Regulation 1774/2002 (see “Pet Food Ingredient Requirements” for more detailed information. A statement guaranteeing that SRM’s (specified risk materials) have been removed needs to be added to the certificate.
The APHIS website provides specimen health certificates for:
Additional information can be obtained from APHIS:
PET FOOD INGREDIENT REQUIREMENTS
A. Authorized Ingredients and Additives
In the EU, there is no positive list of ingredients that can be used in pet food. All additives authorized for use in pet food are included in the Community Register for Feed Additives.
B. Prohibited Waste
Decision 2004/217/EC lists ingredients such as industry and household waste that are prohibited in feed.
C. Animal By-Products
European Parliament and Council Regulation 1774/2002 establishes health rules concerning animal by –products not intended for human consumption. This regulation as well as the TSE regulation was developed in response to the BSE crisis and is part of the EU’s strategy to eradicate food-borne crises. The animal by-products regulation covers all animal products not intended for human consumption, and as such covers both products for technical uses and animal by-products used in the production of feed and pet food.
Animal by-products used in the production of feed and pet food must be derived from carcasses of animals declared fit for human consumption following veterinary inspection (Category 3 products in the regulation). Provisions include a ban on intra-species recycling and fallen stock and restrictions on the use of yellow grease. Certain categories of pet food have to be denatured with specified substances. Pet food plants must be registered and approved by APHIS and must be dedicated to the production of products fit for human consumption. Pet food containing animal by-products must be labeled “not fit for human consumption” and raw pet food must be labeled “pet food only”. For more information see http://useu.usmission.gov/agri/by-products.html.
PET FOOD LABELING REQUIREMENTS
Directive 79/373/EEC defines pet food as follows:
General labeling requirements for pet food are established in Council Directive 79/373/EEC. Article 16 of the otherwise repealed Directive 70/524/EEC lays down labeling requirements for pet food containing additives. Article 16 will remain in force until the adoption of a new framework regulation on the marketing of feed. For more information see GAIN report E48035 “Proposal for a new EU Feed Labeling Regulation”. Regulation 1831/2003 sets out rules for the authorization, marketing and labeling of feed additives. More information on http://useu.usmission.gov/agri/feed.html.
The general rules allow multi-language labels but at the same time requires that the label be at least in the language of the country in which the product is sold.
The following information is compulsory on the packaging, on the container or on a label attached to it:
In addition to the compulsory information mentioned above, only the following information may be put in the space on the packaging, on the container or on a label attached to it:
- Identification mark or trade mark of the person responsible for the information on the label
- The name or business name and the address or registered place of business of the manufacturer, if this is not the person responsible for the information on the label
- The country of production or manufacture
- The price of the product
- The description or trade name of the product
- An indication of the processing the pet food has undergone
- In pet foods for which the compulsory analytical constituent declaration does not apply, an analytical declaration of ingredients is optional
- The date of manufacture to be indicated as follows: "manufactured... (days, months or year(s)) before the minimum storage life expiry date indicated"
PET FOOD FOR PARTICULAR NUTRITIONAL PURPOSES
Council Directive 93/74/EEC lays down labeling requirements for pet food for particular nutritional purposes and covers food for cats and dogs with insufficient renal or liver functions. Commission Directive 2008/38/EC establishes a positive list of intended uses of animal feedingstuffs for particular nutritional purposes. Pet foods for particular nutritional uses may be marketed only if their intended use is listed in Part B of Annex I to Directive 2008/3//EC.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FEED
Regulation 1829/2003 and Regulation 1830/2003 on genetically modified food and feed set out labeling requirements for GM feed and establish an authorization procedure for GMOs in feed. For more information see our webpage on GMOs: http://useu.usmission.gov/agri/GMOs.html.
HYGIENE & TRACEABILITY
Traceability for all food and feeds produced and imported in the EU became mandatory on January 1, 2005 (Regulation 178/2002). New rules on Feed Hygiene (Regulation 183/2005) entered into force on January 1, 2006, and also cover vegetable origin feed (for more information see our webpage on Food & Feed Safety http://useu.usmission.gov/agri/foodsafe.html). For operators in the EU, this legislation introduces compulsory registration. Operators in the EU dealing with more sensitive substances such as certain additives need to be approved. EU Member States must keep updated lists of such establishments. The Commission compiles the Member States’ lists and makes them available to the public. For that purpose, the Commission has created a single, central and easy access to the different lists of feed establishments published by each Member State.
ADDITIONAL MEMBER STATE REQUIREMENTS
The current EU legislation
requirements apply in the 27 EU Member States. However, Member States may
also demand that additional requirements be met or may have their own
requirements in areas where EU harmonization has not been concluded. For
Member State specific information, please contact our
Offices of Agricultural Affairs in the individual EU countries.