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Information for Importers

05/18/2016
 

Imports from non-EU Member States

You do not need any special permission or certificates for imports from third countries, provided that the imported food products are safe and that there are no special arrangements applicable to these food products

General requirements applicable to all foodstuffs

All foodstuffs placed on the market within the EU must comply with general labelling requirements provided for in Regulation No. 1169/2011, as amended. (In the Czech Republic, general labelling requirements have been implemented into Act No. 110/1997 Coll., as subsequently amended, and Decree No. 113/2005 Coll., on the method of labelling food and tobacco products). Regulation 178/2002/EC of the European Commission and of the Council, laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, as amended, is important.

Requirements for commodities (regulated and unregulated area)

Similarly as in the case of trading within the EU, when importing food to the Czech Republic it depends on whether the foodstuff falls within regulated or unregulated area. In the case of regulated area the foodstuff must comply with requirements laid down in the relevant European legal regulation. In the case of unregulated area, requirements laid down by the national regulation of the Member State in which the foodstuff was produced or placed on the market within the EU for the first time must be complied with. (If, for example, an importer wishes to import non-chocolate sweets from Russia or the USA and to place them on the Czech market for the first time, all requirements of the Czech Decree No. 76/2003 Coll., laying down the requirements for natural sweeteners, honey, sweets, cacao powder and cacao mixtures with sugar, chocolate, and chocolate bonbons, must be complied with).

The importer is responsible for the safety of imported foodstuffs. The method of ensuring the safety is up to the importer. He can, for example, ask the supplier abroad for laboratory analysis, or have it done in any of the Czech accredited laboratories for food testing. There is not, however, any need to announce anything or to require an approval.

Legislation

EU legislation can be found at the following addresses:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/cs/index.htm
http://ccvista.taiex.be/download.asp
http://europa.eu/documentation/legislation/index_cs.htm

 

Czech legal regulations can be found on CAFIA website - www.szpi.gov.cz in the “Acts, Decrees” section.