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CAFIA Control Activities

During control activities, cases have occurred when the lot number assigned by the manufacturer to a bottle of spirits was missing, or when this lot number had been mechanically removed, and the product was assigned to distributor or importer as part of a "new lot", which did not necessarily correspond to the definition of the lot in § 2. Point t) of Act No. 110/1997 on Foodstuffs.
Due to uncertainties in the procedures for inspection of such newly designated lots, CAFIA sought advice from the Directorate General of the European Commission - DG SANCO (Directorate General for Health and Safety), which states that it is not possible for a food business operator to retrospectively label products with a missing lot number as part of the newly assigned lot, unless they are able to demonstrate how the original lot was created to the inspectors.
In its opinion, DG SANCO pointed to the wording of Article 3 of Directive 89/396/EEC on Indications or Marks Identifying the Lot to which a Foodstuff Belongs, which states that: "The lot shall be determined in each case by the producer of the food, the manufacturer or packager or the first seller established within the Community". This wording suggests, that once the lot has been marked, this should not be changed. However, changes to the lot can be made, and one of the reasons could be that the lot has been divided, which can be regarded as establishing a new lot. However, in such cases the food business operator must keep a record of the original lot, in order to fulfill the requirements for labelling lots and also in connection with the requirements of Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002.
Undocumented changes to a previously marked lot, i.e. changes which do not permit the identification of the original lot, by any entity other than the food business, which is primarily responsible for the activity of labelling in the meaning of § 6, Paragraph 1 of Act No. 110/1997 Coll., as amended, is unacceptable for the European Commission, as it also contradicts the purpose of the requirements of Directive 89/396/EEC and Act No. 110/1997 Coll., and is also against the principles of traceability according to Regulation No. 178/2002.