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Overview of the milk and dairy products legislation in the European Union

European Union

Jan 23, 2023

European Union legislation laying down rules for the dairy sector. The legislation defines the conditions under which milk and milk products intended for human consumption can be imported into the EU. Milk and milk products must come only from third countries that appear on the list of authorized countries. Establishments, where milk and milk products are produced, must be approved for export. The TRACES system is used on imports and the consignment must be accompanied by a certificate. This system ensures product traceability and prevents the introduction of diseases. An important role is delegated to the designated border control posts (BCPs) where the appropriate customs and veterinary inspections are performed by government institutions of the country. The European Union has adopted legislation to ensure the safety of food placed on the market in EU member countries. This legislation sets general hygienic requirements for food production based on the good manufacturing practice and the HACCP system. The criteria for microorganisms, chemicals, and applicable food additives are set. Also, the legislation contains requirements for product labeling. Part of the legislation concerns the common organization of the market in milk and milk products. These regulations contain rules for direct payments, subsidies, define the school milk system, etc. Specific legislation creates rules for organic bio food production, for production and labeling of products with the Protected Geographical Indication, Protected Designation of Origin, and Traditional Specialty Guaranteed. There is also legislation that defines the labeling of products intended for specific populations, e.g. gluten-free foods, lactose-free foods, etc. Areas not regulated by the legislation include the labeling of products with certification marks designed to highlight the suitability of food for religious purposes or quality certification.

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