Slovakia-Food and Agricultural Import Regulations

An Expert's View about Trade Regulations in Slovakia

Posted on: 23 Jan 2013

Report contains updates to the food laws in Slovakia.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 12/31/2012 GAIN Report Number: LO1205 Slovakia Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative FAIRS Country Report Approved By: Michael Henney, Agricultural Attaché Prepared By: Jana Mikulasova, Agricultural Specialist Report Highlights: Sections I. – VIII. and the appendix of the report were updated. Slovakia applies EU directives and regulations. Having become an EU member in 2004, vast majority of Slovak legislation has been harmonized. The EU Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards report for European Union (EU-27 FAIRS report), prepared by the US Mission to the EU in Brussels, should be reviewed prior this report, since it provides complete framework and overview of food laws currently in force in the EU. Section I. Food Laws Disclaimer: This report was prepared by the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service in Prague, Czech Republic, for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with the respective FSIS or APHIS Inspection offices or their foreign importer, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPORTING COUNTRY’S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT ENTRY. The framework regulation laying down the general principles and requirements of EU food law is Regulation 178/2002. A framework for harmonized food controls is set by Regulation 882/2004. The Slovak Republic (SR) food, nutrition and “food health harmlessness” legislation consists of the Food Act (Act no. 152/1995 Coll. amended by Act no. 349/2011) and Act no. 355/2007 Coll., on Protection, Support and Development of Public Health and on Amendments and Supplements to Certain Acts and the Food Codex, including implementing regulations, ordinances, decrees to the Food Act, issued by the Government of the SR, the Ministry of Agriculture of the SR (MoA SR), the Ministry of Health of the SR (MH SR). Food Codex can be found on website of the Slovak State veterinary and Food Administration. Imported food products have the same status as domestically produced products with respect to the provisions of the Food Act and Food Codex. Imports from third countries must comply with national legislation, if no EU regulation exists. One of the main requirements of the Slovak accession to the EU was approximation and harmonization of Slovak legislation to that of the EU. National food legislation must comply with the White book, focused on the proceedings for creating and maintaining an internal EU market; the set of directives, which have to be fully and precisely incorporated into the national legislation of member states; the set of regulations, which have direct effect (meaning member states have the obligation to undertake them directly by translation). In order to make Slovak legislation compatible, many amendments were made to existing veterinary, phytosanitary, feed, and food legislation within the past few years in Slovakia. Since May 1st 2004, many new regulations came into force. Therefore, importers have to verify import requirements according to the latest legal acts. Approved legal regulations can be found on the following web pages: The Ministry of Justice of the SR: http://jaspi.justice.gov.sk www.zbierka.sk The Ministry of Agriculture (Decrees and legislation under commentary judgment available): www.mpsr.sk; The Ministry of Environment: www.enviro.gov.sk ; The Slovak Veterinary and Food Administration: www.svssr.sk; The Industrial Property Office of the SR (English version): www.indprop.gov.sk. Food Act The Food Act no. 152/1995 Coll., amended by Act no. 349/2011, is intended to protect the health of consumers and to provide for good nutrition of the population. The 1995 Food Act with the wording of later regulations provides a framework for basic rules and determines the conditions under which food and tobacco products are produced, manipulated, and introduced in accordance to the requirements on the support and protection of human health and consumer protection in the food products market. The Food Act also defines the organization and role of the food supervision bodies. According to the Food Act, all food products produced, imported and introduced into circulation in the Slovak Republic must be in compliance with the requirements determined by the Food Act, Food Codex, and other specific regulations. In accordance with the Food Act, it is forbidden to introduce food products inadequately packed or insufficiently labeled, not meeting requirements for quality and health harmlessness, falsified, spoiled, or products with deceptive labeling, or deceptive advertising for consumption, with unknown origin, or after the date of the last consumption or minimal preservation period. Food products identified as hazardous to human health, falsified, or wrongly identified, cannot be distributed. The Food Act constitutes the legal basis for the issuance of a number of ordinances and decrees that spell out the specific requirements. Food Codex Food Codex represents decisive part of food legislation. Food Codex includes guidelines on definitions, composition, tests, evaluations, and directives on the distribution of products governed by the food law. Individual chapters of the Food Codex were approved separately, and in the case of many chapters several amendments were done afterwards and recently; therefore it is necessary to verify import information with its latest amended version, which can be found in decrees, published in Bulletins of the MoA SR (www.mpsr.sk). In accordance with the Food Act, the Food Codex in 3 parts and many chapters spells out the requirements on health harmlessness, hygiene, content and quality of food, ingredients, as well as technological processes used for their production, further requirements on packaging of food products, their groups or all food products, scope and way of their labeling, their storing, transportation, manipulation with them, their circulation, rules for sampling and sample investigation, hygiene. The Food Codex jurisdictional scope extends to a variety of non-food items. They include tobacco, cosmetics, food related raw materials, additives, and technological auxiliary matters. Section II. Labeling Requirements European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/13/EC provides general rules for labeling of prepackaged food products for sale to consumers, as well as certain aspects relating to promotion and advertising. The directive also applies to food products intended for restaurants, hospitals, canteens, and other similar mass caterers. Special label rules contained in the directive on specific food products (vertical directives) supplement these general rules or deviate from them. Food labeling requirements are defined in MoA Decree no. 127/2012. The decree requires following information must be on the label: a. Name under which the product is sold b. Trade name and residence of producer, packer, distributor or importer c. Quantity without packaging; except for total weight--net weight of solid food products must be stated in metric units; for liquids: liter, centiliter, or milliliter; for solid: kilogram or gram d. Date of latest consumption; in case of perishable goods (due to microbiological activity) and goods defined in relevant chapters of Food Codex, date of consumption e. Quantities of components or groups of components f. Identification of production batch g. Place of origin (or region) h. Special storage and usage requirements i. Instruction for use if its absence could cause incorrect use j. Quantity of certain components or group of components k. Actual ethanol content expressed in percentage of the volume, in case of drinks containing more than 1.2 percent of ethanol If the food product requires special conditions for handling, or if the consumer needs to be informed about food product properties, the label needs to include the following: a. determination of food product for special nutritional purpose, or special use b. presence of GMOs, their parts, derivatives and metabolites or their products c. treatment of food products or their components by ionizing radiation d. actual nutritional value of food product, package of which contains the nutritional claims e. possible unfavorable influence on human health Labeling of novelty food including GMOs was excluded from the Food Codex as EU regulations are directly applied. There is also an ordinance in place by the MoA and MH (SR no. 608/1/2004-100) that lists the requirements for novelty foods. In case of new types of food products (including GMOs), the following must be stated: a. content, nutritional value or nutritional influences if food products contain new characteristics different from the common food product with the same name b. presence of matter, which common food products do not contain and which should have an influence on the health of certain groups of consumers c. information about food products containing GMOs, their parts, derivatives and metabolites or their products, if this is stated by Food Codex d. presence of new matter, which is not present in common food product General Requirements on labeling 1. Food product must be labeled in a way not misleading consumers, especially in relation to the characteristics, nature, place of origin, content, quantity, shelf live, and way of processing. Graphical representation on the label must not be in contradiction to the structure of the food product. The label can contain other written, graphical or pictured information if those are not in contradiction to obligatory labeling and do not mislead consumers. Additional information must not decrease legibility of text. 2. If natural ingredients or matter made from it is used in the production process (e.g. aroma), name of food product, or graphical representation can contain this ingredient directly, unless the Food Codex states otherwise. 3. Labeling by sellers is obligatory for wrapped and unwrapped food products 4. Any false identification in labeling, cleaning, overwriting or removing the information is qualified as falsification of food product. Labeling requirements in product specific chapters of the Food codex have to be fulfilled as well. 1. According to the Food Codex, the text on labels of distributed food products must be in Slovak language. The text in other languages is not forbidden, however it must not be an obstacle to the legibility of the information in the Slovak language. 2. Food products can enter the country with standard U.S. labels or unlabeled. 3. Stick on-labels meeting local requirements are permitted. Food products introduced into circulation must be labeled on packages for final consumers, on external packages, or on its integral parts. 4. Imports can enter the country with foreign labels or without labels. However, products before their placement on the market must be labeled according to the Food Codex chapter on labeling and labeling regulations in relevant commodity chapters. 5. Food samples do not have to be labeled. If samples are distributed, they must be labeled. Regulations related to the sample requirements are under preparation. Wrapped food products or food intended for further processing, dividing or supplying of catering services are subject to exceptions to the labeling requirements listed in Food Codex, chapter two, part two. 6. The recommended food intake for the Slovak population was published by the Ministry of Health (MH), by the chief health officer in the Bulletin of the MH SR 1997, part 7-8, p. 58. Maximum limits and recommended intake of vitamins and minerals in special food products are presented in 7th chapter of the Food Codex. Recommended intake of several items are lower in SR compared to recommended intake in the United States. Therefore, there is certain awareness, that standard U.S. labeling might be misleading. 7. There is no special shelf life or country-of-origin requirements. 8. Slovak authorities do not grant exceptions to their labeling regulations. Exceptions to the labeling regulation are listed in Food Codex, part two, novelized chapter two. Exceptions are related to glass bottles of multiply use; wrapped food products or food intended for further processing, dividing or supplying of catering services or food offered to final consumers in decorative packages (pieces, or seasonal candies). Requirements Specific to Nutritional Labeling Designations for nutritional value are regulated by the Food Codex. Nutritional labeling for consumers is optional. However, if the description of the food product or advertisement contains nutritional claims, the nutritional value must be stated. Nutrition claims can only be related to the energy values and nutrients, if they are present in food products in significant quantities. Decree of MoA no. 1482/2009- 100 defines scope of nutritional claims, way of declaration of nutritional value of food product and methods of their calculations. According to the Food Act and Food Codex, labeling and ways of labeling must not mislead the consumer. Certain claims are forbidden. For instance claims for which truthfulness is not possible to verify are forbidden. It is also forbidden to introduce into circulation the food products labeled with illusory way of supply. Illusory way of supply is written or oral information provided to consumer, which is false, deceptive and /or misrepresented. Illusory labeling according to special directive is considered a. If misleading to consumers in the sense of 1. Food characteristics such as identity, content, quantity, durability, origin or place of origin, way of producing or processing, 2. Attribution to food product of such characteristics or effects which do not pertain 3. Indicating that food product has special characteristics, while in fact those characteristics pertain all similar food products b. If assign to food product preventive, therapeutic or curative characteristics, or refer to characteristics that absented, apart from natural medicinal waters and food products designated for special nutrition defined by Food Codex. Use of supplementary claims in food names as “domaci" - "homemade”, "cerstvy"- "fresh”, "prirodny" - "natural", "dietny" - "diet" is forbidden, if special requirements for use of this type of claims according the relevant chapters of Food Codex are not fulfilled. If the label contains nutritional claims, or if relevant chapter of Food Codex requires it, the label must state nutritional value of food product. Health claims are subject to strict procedures. Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations European Parliament and Council Regulation 1935/2004 specifies the main requirements for materials that come into contact with foodstuffs. In Slovakia, requirements on objects (especially packages and packing materials) coming into contact with foodstuffs, are defined in the 2nd part, 5th Chapter of the Food Codex, amended by decree of the MoA Sr and the MH SR decree no. 1799/2003-100 novelized by no. 14911/2004-OAP, no. 28576/2004-SL, no. 13760/2006-SL, no. 08704/2007-OL, no. 06913/2008- OL, no. 05761/2009-OLn and no. 01887-OL-2011. Chapter 4 contains requirements on microbiological requirements on packing materials. New types of packages and packaging materials have to be approved by the Ministry of Health (the Office of Public Health). Information for approval can be found in Food Codex, part 2, Chapter 5. Generally, higher demand is for smaller size packing. Decree no. 207/2000 Coll. and decree no. 420/2001 Coll. of the Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing defines the requirements for labeled consumer packages, expressing types of products and defining requirements on their weight, volume and container sizes. The Act no. 119/2010 about packaging and Decree of Ministry of Environment of the SR No. 283/2001 regulate issues related to composition, characteristics and labeling of packaging, their collection and recycling. This legislation also states rights and obligations physical and legal persons of usage of containers, their collection, waste disposal and responsibility in case of violations of obligations. Importers have to be registered in the Recycling fund and contribute quarterly to it, depending on import. When applying for approval of a new type of package or packaging materials the “way of ecological disposal” must also be stated. Restrictions and limitations on the use of all approved packaging materials for food products are defined in detail in Part 2 of the 5th chapter of Food Codex amended by the Decree o the MoA SR and the MH SR no. 1799/2003 – 100 amended by no. 28576/2004. Namely PVC limitations are listed in appendix 3, part C. Individual commodity chapters of the Food Codex contain specific information related to the commodity package material requirements. Section IV. Food Additives Regulations: EU legislation related to food additives is called the “Package on Food Improvement Agents” and includes four Regulations: Regulation 1331/2008 establishing a common authorization procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavorings, Regulation 1332/2008 on food enzymes, Regulation 1333/2008 on food additives and Regulation 1334/2008 on flavorings. Application of additives in food products is determined by Decrees no. 04650/2008-OL Coll. Amended by no. 08936/2010-OL, no. 18764/2010-OL, and no. 02374-OL-2011 about food products in the wording of later regulations and by the Food Codex, in the amended chapter 12. The Food Codex specifies terms, regulates requirements for foreign substances, their maximum content in food products and usage. Lists of food colors, sweeteners, other additives and technological supportive matters, extractional dissolving substances, food enzymes and flavorings are positive. Additives in food and preparations for nurslings and small children are regulated separately. Amended chapter 2 of the 2nd part of Food Codex also defines separately labeling of additives on food products determined and not determined to final consumers. Since April 15, 2004 structure of the Food Codex has changed. Additives are regulated by Chapter 12 (Decree of the MoA SR and the MH SR no. 04650/2008 - OL), extactional dissolving substances by Chapter 13th (Decree of the MoA SR and the MH SR no. 608/6/2004 –100), and special additives (enzymes, quinine, etc.) by chapter 15th. Usage of additives and technological auxiliary matters not listed in annex 2, the chapter 3, 2nd part of Food Codex is forbidden. Annex 2 consists of the list and maximal quantities of the additives; annex 3 defines requirements of pureness and identity of additives. Requirements on permitted sweeteners, conditions of their use, labeling and packing are defined in Decree no. 37/2012 on sweeteners. Full list of additives can be found in Decree of the MoA of the SR and MH of the SR amending the Chapter 12 of Food Codex (in print), which is available on the MoA SR web page www.mpsr.sk: Dokumenty, Vestníky MoA SR in Slovak language. Food Codex chapters are available on the Slovak Veterinary and Food Administration (SVPS SR) website (www.svssr.sk). Food Codex, amended chapter 12 on additives provides required information in application for approval of new additives. According to the article 23 of the Act no. 23/2002 Coll., application for approval has to be submitted to the Ministry of Health of the SR, namely to the Office for Public Health Service in Bratislava: Ustav verejneho zdravotnictva Obor hygieny vyzivy Trnavska ul. č. 52, 826 45 Bratislava Phone: (00421)2-492-84-340 URL: www.uvzsr.sk New additive matter is approved for a maximum of two years, if the products are introduced to the circulation only in Slovak Republic. Marking and monitoring of this matter is assured during this period. In accordance with the results of monitoring, this additive matter and its documentation can be approved by other member states of the EU. Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants EU Regulation no. 1107/2009 sets out rules for the authorization of plant protection products. In Slovak legislation, pesticide residues maximum content in food products are determined in Food Act. No. 152/1995 and Decrees no. 26682/2007-OL amended by 07902/2008-OL and no. 16525/2008-OL. Lists of contaminants, including pesticide residues are positive. Maximum limits or directional limits of contaminants in food products are expressed in mg.kg-1 or mg.l-1 under condition of meeting good manufacturing, geotechnical practice or good practice of veterinary medicine application. If a substance is not listed or if a food product is not listed then there is a zero tolerance. New types of pesticides have to be registered in the Central Control and Testing Institute of Agriculture in Bratislava. According to the Act no. 136/2000 Coll. (amended by Act no. 555/2004 and no. 202/2008) and decree 577/2005 on fertilizers, the Central Control and Testing Institute of Agriculture decides about the registration of fertilizers and their introduction to the market. The list of approved pesticides is regularly published in the Bulletin of the MoA SR http://www.mpsr.sr in Vestniky MoA. Information about allowed pesticides are provided by Pesticide Registration Office of Central control and testing institute of agriculture in Bratislava (www.uksup.sk) Ustredny kontrolny a skusobny ustav polnohospodarsky Odbor registracie pesticidov Matuskova 21 833 16 Bratislava Phone: (00421)2-598-80-328 Fax: (00421)2-598-80-327 E-mail: pesticidy@uksup.sk URL: www.uksup.sk Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements Obligatory Registration Of Introduction Of Food Products To The Circulation was abolished since May 1st 2004. According the Act no. 472/2003 Coll. Ameded by Act no. 45/2009, since May 1st 2004 new producers of food products and importers of food products are obliged to report only the business of their entrepreneurship to the District veterinary and food administration offices. Producers, importers and exporters of plants and plant products are registered at the Control and Testing Institute according to the Act no. 193/2005 Coll. on Plant Protection amended by Act no. 45/2009. Requirements on the registration are defined and the list of plants and plant product which production and import must be controlled (appendix 1,2,5,and 10) in the Decree of MoA SR no. 41/2002 which determines details of plant health care performance. Applications have to be sent or delivered personally to the Central Controlling and Testing Institute in Agriculture www.uksup.sk. Importers of special food products have to be registered at the Office of Public Health Service of the SR. Urad verejneho zdravotnictva Odbor hygieny vyzivy head: MUDr. Iveta Truskova E-mail: truskova@szusr.sk Phone: (00421)2-492-84-392 URL: www.uvzsr.sk Importers and exporters of licensed products have to be registered at the Agricultural Payment Agency (see in appendix) responsible for trade licenses. Obligatory laboratory testing is required in case of food for special nutritional purposes and food products of a new type. Permission to import is granted by the Office of Public Health Service in Bratislava (see in appendix). Only authorized and accredited laboratories by the MH SR can carry out testing of samples of products taken according the legislation (see in appendix). Regulation of the Slovak government no. 307/2003 and amending regulation no. 495/2003 present requirements on animal health for exchange and import of animal origin products (including product samples), which are not subject to other veterinary requirements. In general, samples sent by express mail or parcel post to testing institutes are not subject to import regulations. Food supervision bodies in the SR are: The Ministry of Health, the Office for Public Health Service, the State Veterinary and Food Administration, regional and districts veterinary and food administrations, testing and certification authorities. Perishable food products are monitored at the retail /wholesale distribution levels by inspectors from health authorities (regional and districts branches of the Office of Public Health Service). Inspectors of regional and district branches of the State Veterinary and Food Administration monitor other food products. At the retail and wholesale level, food storage and foods are inspected on a random sample basis or if an event requires it. According to the legislation the food product can be withdrawn from the circulation if a hazard exists, in order to protect health of the consumers, even if there are not enough scientific approvals (dioxins case). According to the Act no. 152/1995 in the wording of later directives, Slovakia applies the EU Rapid Alert System for announcement information about harmful or hazard food and feed products. The state veterinary and food administration was designated as national contact point. SVFA collects announcements from their regional branches, from border inspection stations, Central control and testing institute for agriculture and regional branches of the Office of Public Health Service and provides them to the DG SANCO of the EC. The Slovak Commercial Inspection (SCI) also has competencies to ban the supply and sale of products or services; to give orders for effective and immediate removal of products from the market and if it is inevitable, also their disposal on the inspected persons costs; to give orders for the announcement of risk awareness from the product in case of life, health or property emergencies. The conditions of the internal market state control and SCI competencies are defined in the Act no. 128/2002 Coll. (about state control of the internal market in matters of consumer protection and about changes and supplements other acts). Certification is obligatory for import of fresh fruits and vegetable, live animals and animal products, fish, milk products, plants, plant products. In the case of harmonized products, the EU certification templates have to be used, for non-harmonized products--national certification templates were approved. The Certificate of Conformity for other imported food products is not obligatory. The import of live animals is regulated by the Act no. 39/2007 Coll., amended by Act no. 242/2012 Coll. related to the veterinary care of live animals, embryonic products, products of animal origin, waste of animal origin and pathogens, secondary animal products. Veterinary control and import requirements are set by approximately 15 decrees that can be found at the website of the State Veterinary Administration of the Slovak Republic. Import of live animals, embryonic products, animal products, products of animal waste origin, animal waste products, pathogens and selected products of plant origin (Act no. 488/2002 Coll. in later wordings) from 3rd countries is allowed only if: originate from 3rd countries which are approved in the EU; originate from plants approved for import into the EU; originate from breeding, organizations, collecting centers approved for import to the EU; accompanied by certificate issued by relevant body in the country of origin and certificate meets pattern according to the EU legislation or in case of non-harmonized goods according to the form designed by SVPA SR. An importer is obliged to provide to the foreign producers from 3rd countries with relevant certificate templates. Certificate templates and the list of products which are subject to veterinary control, are available on the SVPA SR web page: www.svpssr.sk. The veterinary certificate has to be in language of country of origin, so as the person who signed it, fully understand it, and in Slovak language. Forms available at the SVFA web page are bilingual, Slovak and English. The Slovak veterinary and food inspection of the SR (SVPS SR) is responsible for conformity judgment. Certification of conformity (based on satisfactory sample inspection findings) states if the commodity or commodities involved are in conformity with the provisions to be spelled out in Food Codex and relevant ordinances. The control of the conformity in case of fresh fruits and vegetables import is regulated by Directive of the SR government no. 554/2002 and the Act no. 405/2011 on Phytosanitary Care. If delivery of fresh fruits and vegetable is not accompanied by certificate of conformity from the appointed body of the country of origin (the USA – USDA/AMS), the importer is obliged to ask Slovak control body for control of conformity of shipment before it releasing to the circulation. Shipment of fresh fruits and vegetables must be declared by the importer to the Regional veterinary and food administration body at least 24 hours in advance (by fax, or e-mail). Required information: 1. date and destination of import, 2. quantity and type of product, 3. country of origin, 4. request for quality control, in case of certificate of quality absence; time and place of unloading of goods. Control of conformity is done by State veterinary and food administration of the SR by their inspectors. Certificates are required also for food products of a new type, special nutritional food products and products treated by ionizing radiation. Import licenses from the Agricultural Payment Agency are required for: rice, cereals, beef, wine, oils and fats, seeds, milk and dairy products, flax, hemp, pork, sugar, beef, fresh fruits and vegetables, bananas, processed fruits and vegetables. Section VII. Other Specific Standards Fortification of food products with vitamins and minerals is permitted (regulated by Decree no. 1519/02-100). Information about vitamins and minerals content must be indicated on the label if presence of vitamin is significant (more than 15% of daily recommended intake in 100 g or in 100 ml of food or in one package, or single portion of food) according to appendix 1 of above mentioned Decree). Information about fortification is indicated in relevant product chapter of the Food Codex. For instance enrichment of milk and milk product by vitamins, minerals, trace elements, essential substances and other components is subject of approval of the Ministry of Health of the SR on the basis of application of producer or importer of milk. Conditions for use of genetically modified technologies and GMOs are spelled out in the Act no. 117/2010 amending Act 151/2002 Coll. on use of genetic technologies and genetically modified organisms and Decree no. 399/2005 of the Ministry of Environment of the SR administering the Act on GMOs. Decree of MoA SR and MH SR no. 608/1/2004 – 100 presents 3rd chapter of the 2nd part of Food Codex on products of a new type and defines requirements on food products of new type, their production, import, manipulation and introduction to the market. Import of GM food products must be approved by Ministry of health of the SR - the Office of Public Health Service in Bratislava. Ministry of Environment of the SR issues the decisions on import of seeds and feed crop. Legal acts, forms and other information related to the GMO are provided by Ministry of Environment website or at www.gmo.sk. Novelty foods are labeled according to regulations ES 1829/2003 and 1830/2003 that are mentioned in the Food Codex in 2nd part, 3rd chapter. Requirements on dietetic and special use foods are specified in Food Codex, 2nd part, novelized chapter 7 (Decree of the MoA SR and the MH SR no. 16826/2007-OL about requirements on food products for special nutritional purposes and nutritional complements). According to the Act no 23/2002 amending Food Act, an importer can introduce only packed food products for special purposes on the market. The Office for Public Health Service, The Section of Hygiene of Nutrition is responsible for approval of special nutritional complement import. Importers of special use food products from third countries have to announce their first introduction on the market (sending of sample and pattern of label is required) to the Office of Public Health Service. There are no special application forms. The application has to state all relevant information related to special use food product (including potential risk). Procedure can last up to 30 days. For more information importers can directly contact the Office for Public Health Service, The Section of Hygiene of Nutrition. Methods of the preservation are listed directly in chapters of the Food Codex according to the relevant products. Chapter 27th of the Food Codex is devoted to thermo-sterilization food products. Also certain chemical preservatives are permitted in certain processed foods – (List of allowed additives in Food Codex 2nd part, novelized chapter 15). Chapter 6th of the Food Codex is devoted to ionize radiation treated food products. This chapter was amended by the Decree of the MoA SR and the MH SR no. 3757/2003-100. Annex 1 to this chapter contains a list of groups of products and medium dose of the ionizing radiation. The Ministry of Health must approve import of such food products. Food Codex, 3rd part, Chapter 4 is devoted to fishing products including marine products. This chapter defines requirements on labeling, packing, storing, transportation and quality of fresh, frozen, salted, smoked, marinated, fried, dried, semi-finished products. Slovak government directive no. 1903/2008- 100 Coll. defines conditions of fishing products and live clams introduction to the market. Since May 1, 2004 only approved EU ports of entry can be used for the import of specified food products from 3rd countries. Live animals and animal products are subject to the veterinary control on the outer border of the EU according to the current EU legislation. Imported live animals are separated in approved quarantine. Importer has to apply for approval of quarantine to State veterinary and food inspection prior to expected import. Quarantine usually lasts four weeks. In certain extraordinary cases it can be more or less. Requirements on quarantine conditions are determined by the Decree of the MoA SR no. 467/2001-100 for determination of animal health protection details. Wine is regulated by the wine legislation: Act no. 313/2009 on viniculture and viticulture amended by Act no. 198/2010 and Decree of Ministry of Agriculture no. 350/2009. Food Codex, 3rd part, Chapter 30 regulates spirit and distillates. Food Codex, 3rd part, Chapter 25, is devoted to beverages in general. According to the Act no. 421/2004 Coll. about ecological agriculture and biofood (organic) products production, production, import and export of such product have to be registered to the Central Control and Testing Institute in Bratislava (www.uksup.sk). Labeling of biofood products is allowed only with certification issued in SR or the country of origin. Label has to show “bio” or “eko”, pictogram ordered by this act, words “vyprodukovane v ekologickom polnohospodarstve” - “produced in ecological agriculture” and numerical code of certification body. Product samples intended for importers have to be in compliance with the Slovak food legislation. After submission of application, product samples are duty free. Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws Trademarks, appellation of origin and geographical names are legally protected in Slovakia. Legislation related to trademarks: The Act No. 55/1997 Coll. on Trademarks in the wording of the Act no. 14/2002 and Act No. 577/2001 Coll.; Decree No. 117/1997 Coll. implementing the Act No. 55/1997 Coll. on trademarks in the wording of later regulations. The application for the registration of a trademark may be filed by the legal entity or physical person carrying out permitted economic activity in the corresponding field. The term of the registration of a trademark shall be 10 years from the filing date of the application for a trademark. Upon the request of the owner of a trademark it is possible to extend the term of protection by the renewal of the registration indefinitely by ten-year periods, if the requirements for the payment of administrative fees have been met. Legislation related to appellation of origin: Act No. 469/2003 Coll. amended by Act no. 395/2009 on appellation of origin and geographical indications, Decree of the MoA SR no. 21/2004 about requirements for certification of special character of agricultural and food products. Announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the SR about WTO, TRIPS. Act No. 145/1995 Coll. in the wording of later regulations about administrative charges In order to protect the appellation of origin and geographical names, applicant has to apply for certificate of special character of agricultural and food products to the Ministry of Agriculture (Decree of the MoA SR no. 21/2004). Afterwards appellation of origin and geographical name can be registered at the Office of industrial property of the SR if applicant in time of applying is the only producer or processor or preparatory body in the Slovak Republic. The term of protection, which shall begin upon the registration of the appellation of origin or the registration of another user of appellation of origin into the Register, shall not be time-limited. Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic Svermova 43 974 04 Banska Bystrica 4 Slovak Republic Registry: (00421)48-430-0327 E-mail: urad@indprop.gov.sk URL: www.indprop.gov.sk Section IX. Import Procedures Imports from third countries can currently enter directly the Slovak Republic only through two EC approved border ports with the Ukraine (Cierna nad Tisou for railway transport and Vysne Nemecke for ground transport) and Bratislava airport. Generally, products that are subject to veterinary or phytosanitary control can enter only through border ports with veterinary and phytosanitary border inspection stations respectively. Since May 1, 2004, customs procedures have changed according to new customs Act no. 199/2004, Decree no .227/2004 and the EU legislation: Customs Codex (Council Ordinance EEC 2913/1992), Implementing regulation EEC no. 2454/1993, Council Ordinance about duty exemption no. 918/1983. Customs procedure has to comply with the Ordinance of Council (EEC) no. 339/93 on control of conformity of imported goods from the 3rd countries Incoming goods go either to customs storage (type A, B, C, D, E) or to destination if all requirements for introduction to the market were fulfilled. Storing and removal from customs storage is carried out under the supervision of a customs officer who compares the documents with the commodities. Later, the invoice for import duty is issued. All shipments, which are subject to phytosanitary control, have to be accompanied with phytosanitary certificate from 3rd country. Phytosanitary control consists of accompanying documents control and physical inspection. Full list of plants, plant products and other goods, which are subject to the phytosanitary control, can be found in Appendix 5 of the SR government regulation no. 75/2004 Coll. If goods can be released to the free circulation, an inspector will certify the results of control on all documents. In the case of goods listed in Appendix 5 of the Government regulation no. 75/2004 Coll., an inspector will issue a plant passport. If goods are subject to the transit regime, the inspector will issue a new phytosanitary certificate valid within the EU. After phytosanitary inspection, the customs officer (based on the documents) will approve releasing the goods for free circulation. The same procedure is carried out in inland customs storages. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and certain food products of plant origin are subject to control of conformity with requirements on quality. If a shipment is not accompanied by certificate, the customs officer will announce this to authorized regional inspectors of the State Veterinary and Food Administration, responsible for control of conformity. Imported live animals, embryonic products, animal products, products of animal waste origin, animal waste products, pathogens and selected products of plant origin (Act 488/2002 Coll., The Slovak Government Ordinance no. 301/2002 Coll, Ordinance no. 321/2003 Coll. and the Act no. 199/2004) from 3rd countries are subject to border veterinary control (Decision no. 2002/349/EC). A customs officer will allow import or transit of such products only after the border veterinary control (documents, identification and physical control) based on original certificate. In the case of direct imports of meat from third countries, the border veterinarian, who checks meat, collects the accompanying veterinary documents and issues new veterinary documents valid within the EU. Veterinary inspector must control each shipment of fresh meat or meat products. The SR government regulation no. 289/2004 presents schedule of charges for veterinary inspections and controls. Importers of food products from 3rd countries are allowed to use only designated EU border ports of entry, depending on imported commodities. Food inspectors at the port of entry do not routinely check packaged foods. However, food inspectors of the Regional Veterinary and Food Inspections and Regional Offices of Public Health Service check samples at the wholesale and retail level at any time. Samples are tested in official accredited laboratories (see Appendix). Suspicious food products (according to the list of products from particular countries, e.g. pistachios from Iran) are checked at the port of entry always. 2. Veterinary and customs import documents must be in Slovak. However, if a customs officer or border veterinarian can read another language, he can accept it. There is no appeal of decisions by the customs office or the veterinary service. Appendix I. Government Regulatory Agency Contacts: Ministry of Health of the SR Limbova 2 P. O. BOX 52 837 52 Bratislava 37 Phone: (00421)2-593-73-111 Fax: (00421)2-547-77-983 E-mail: office@health.gov.sk www.health.gov.sk Ministry of Agriculture Dobrovicova 12 812 66 Bratislava Phone: (00421)2-592-66-111 www.mpsr.sk Ministry of Environment of the Nam. L. Stura 1 812 35 Bratislava Phone: (00421)2-595-62-222 Fax: (00421)2-595-62-222 E-mail: info@enviro.gov.sk www.enviro.gov.sk State Veterinary and Food Administration Botanicka 17 842 13 Bratislava Phone: (00421)2-602-57-212 Fax: (00421)2-654-20-242 www.svssr.sk Office of public health service of the SR Trnavska ul. 52 82645 Bratislava Phone: (00421)2-492-84-111 Section of Hygiene e-mail: truskova@szusr.sk Phone: (00421)2-492-84-392 www.uvzsr.sk Import and export licenses (AGRIM, AGREX): The Agricultural Payment Agency Dobrovicova 12 815 26 Bratislava E-mail: info@apa.sk Phone: (00421)2-527-33-800 http://www.mpsr.sk/apa/index_en.php Industrial Property Office Svermova 43 974 04 Banska Bystrica 4 Slovak Republic E-mail: urad@indprop.gov.sk Phone: (00421)048-4300-131 www.indprop.gov.sk Slovak Office Of Standards, Metrology And Testing Stefanovicova 3, P. O. Box 76 810 05 Bratislava 15 Phone: (00421)2-524-910-85 http://www.unms.sk
Posted: 23 January 2013