Last year Ukraine should have introduced equivalent to the European system of state control over the food market operators. This requirement is stipulated by the EU Association Agreement. It is essential for export of the Ukrainian animal products to the markets of not only the EU but also other countries in the world. And still it has not been implemented due to lack of necessary legislation. The relevant draft law is to be considered in the second reading in Parliament this week. This new version, in contrast to the previous, which was approved in the first reading finally takes into consideration the interests of business. What is it referred to and what does businesses need to know?
What innovations are waiting for the food market operators?
First - exemption from liability for insignificant violations. If the market operator has made minor mistakes and corrected them by the end of inspection, the risk of fine shall be considerably reduced.
The violator receives notice or instruction to remedy his defaults. For example, in case of violation of registration requirements for production facilities for the first time in three years, he shall obtain operational permit or ensure traceability.
Thus, with regard to the issues of responsibility food market operators receive tools to protect their interests about which market operators in other areas of economy, e.g. in the construction industry, can only dream.
Second - reduction of corruption during inspections. For this purpose, it is foreseen to rotate inspectors carrying out audit at the facilities. Therefore, the same inspector won’t have the right to carry out checks, if he has performed audit or inspection at the same facility for two years until the next audit.
Third – solving of the problem which concerns mandatory availability of international certificate for imported freights. Today in Ukraine, in contradiction to the European approaches, each freight regardless of the product type shall be accompanied by the international certificate. It is issued in the country of product origin by the relevant authority.
In the EU such certificate is required for the products of animal origin, i.e. meat, milk and fish. The products of non-animal origin are not to be accompanied by the international certificate in Europe. Therefore, the rule existing in Ukraine presses upon business.
If the draft law is approved, only products of animal origin will be accompanied by the international certificate.
Fourth - simplification of state border control of goods which are not marked in Ukrainian. To admit freights in the EU, they shall be marked its official language - the one known by the inspector.
Since the European market is large, the EU is in position to put forward such demand. With regard to the Ukrainian market, unfortunately, it is not very interesting for the European and other foreign producers. Therefore, due to the additional expenses for marking before their entry to Ukraine importers can withdraw from their presence at the Ukrainian market.
The new bill on state control will allow to import food products of non-animal origin without marking in Ukrainian. With reference to the products of animal origin, in order to release them into circulation they shall also be accompanied by the translation of their marking in Ukrainian performed by the certified translator.
Fifth – reduction of the relative number of laboratory tests of freights at the border. Samples for laboratory tests are taken among the large percentage of freights often causing a delay of freight transportation.
Moreover, laboratory tests are paid by the entrepreneurs themselves. Accordingly, the more samples are taken, the greater expenses are incurred by importers. The draft law defines exhaustive list of the grounds when the samples can be taken and sent to the laboratory. It is expected that the total extent of sampling will be reduced.
Sixth – obtaining of operational permit for transportation of food products is simplified. There is an ongoing issue: some inspectors require to obtain operational permit for each vehicle. The draft law also stipulates that when it refers to food transportation, the operational permit is not necessary as it is foreseen in Europe.
In addition, if the entrepreneur providing food transportation services owns several means of transport, he shall register them all together and not each vehicle separately.
Hence, introduction of the European system of state control over the food market operators will not only contribute to the expansion of export, but also help save proceeds and time for business.
Burden of the unnecessary regulatory restrictions related to the control of food safety will be reduced as well. But without adopting necessary legislation, the issue concerning introduction of the equivalent to European system of state control will not be shifted off the ground.
Text has been drawn up specially for Ekonomichna Pravda