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I would like to import foodstuffs into the Czech Republic. What are my obligations? Do I need an authorisation?

Trading with EU countries

Foodstuffs originating in another EU country are not regarded as imported. When trading within EU Member States, so-called free movement of goods is applied. There is neither specific authorisation nor certificates required. Naturally, foodstuffs shall be safe, appropriately labelled and they have to comply with relevant generally binding legislation.

Trading with third countries, i.e outside the EU territory

Import of foodstuffs of animal origin
CAFIA carries out inspection of import only as regards foodstuffs of different than animal origin. Import of foodstuffs of animal origin falls fully under responsibility of the State Veterinary Administration of the Czech Republic (SVA). Contacts are available here:
Import of foodstuffs of plant origin
Import from a so-called third country, thus a country which is not a member of the EU, is regarded as import. To import foodstuffs from a third country, there is neither specific authorisation nor certificates required if they are safe and they are not foodstuffs at which directly applicable legislation laying down specific conditions for import applies. For more information on import of foodstuffs from third countries, go to our websites here.
Responsibility for safety of imported foodstuffs is always born by the food business operator. Ensuring of this responsibility is the business of the operator. He can for example request the foreign supplier to carry out laboratory analyses or have them carried out in a Czech accredited laboratory. He does not have to notify somebody or ask somebody for approval. The overview of accredited laboratories is available for example at Contacts for some accredited laboratories which are used by CAFIA are also available at our websites under this link.
All foodstuffs placed on the market within the EU shall comply with general labelling requirements laid down by Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011, as amended. As regards the Czech Republic, the requirements related to labelling were incorporated into Act No. 110/1997 Coll., as amended and Decree No. 113/2005 Coll., as amended (this Decree will be replace by a new Decree in the course of the first half of 2015). It is also important whether the foodstuff falls under harmonised or non-harmonised sphere. In case harmonised sphere is concerned, the foodstuff shall comply with requirements laid down by relevant European legislation. In case the foodstuff falls under non-harmonised sphere, requirements of the national legislation of the country where the foodstuff was produced or where the importer first placed it on the market within the EU (so-called mutual recognition principle).