Food labelling e-learning course
Enforcement provisions

Enforcement provisions

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The EU legislation requires Member States to carry out official controls to verify compliance with the protected food names schemes.

Member States must designate authorities to carry out these official controls. This must cover verification that a product complies with the corresponding product specification, and monitoring of the use of registered names in the marketplace to ensure that misuse and imitation are not taking place.

For products originating in the EU, competent authorities or accredited control bodies can verify compliance with the product specification before the product is placed on the market. For products originating in third countries, pre-market verification is done by local public authorities and/or one or more product-certification bodies. The names and addresses of these authorities and bodies are to be made publicly available.

Producer groups can also be involved in enforcement activity by monitoring the use of names and reporting back to the competent authorities. They are entitled to develop activities that ensure compliance of a product with its specification. Names and addresses of producer groups must be reported to the Commission and are made public.

In the UK countries, controls take place at two stages: at producer level to verify compliance against the relevant specification and at retailer level to ensure protection of the registered PDO, PGI or TSG name.

There is no specific legislation enforcing the protected food names scheme in the UK countries. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Food Safety Act 1990 or the Fraud Act may be used to impose fines or imprisonment on those found to have breached the rules.