Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Food , Beverages and Tobacco in Finland

Posted on: 30 Dec 2011

This report gives an overview of food laws currently in force in Finland.

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: 12/13/2011 GAIN Report Number: FI1102 Finland Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative FAIRS Country Report Approved By: Mary Ellen Smith Prepared By: Asa Wideback Report Highlights: This report gives an overview of food laws currently in force in Finland. For information on the general EU level, please refer to the USEU Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Report. Section I. Food Laws: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland is responsible for the preparation of legislation concerning food and agriculture and is also responsible for the monitoring of its implementation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has thirteen agencies and institutes within its administrative sector. The most important one concerning enforcement practices and import policies for agricultural products is the Finnish Food Safety Authority EVIRA. The Food Safety Authority implements control duties and steers control, carries out research and risk assessment, provides communication services and engages in international cooperation, in order to ensure the quality and safety of food products as well as of the production input of agriculture and forestry, the health and well being of animals, and plant health. Finland is a member of the European Union (EU) and Finnish food legislation is, to a large extent, harmonized with the EU’s food legislation. It is, however, important to note that there can be some exceptions. For example, Finland is allowed (in addition to Sweden) to apply stricter salmonella controls than the other EU member countries. Finland is granted additional salmonella guarantees covering trade in fresh meat from bovine and porcine animals, fresh poultry meat, table eggs and minced meat. This report provides an overview of Finnish food legislation where it differs from EU legislation. For information on EU legislation, please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Section II. Labeling Requirements: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on labeling requirements specific for Finland is given below. Language Requirements on Labels Languages required in labeling information are Finnish and Swedish. Instead of Swedish, the Norwegian or Danish language may be used. The country and place of origin can be informed in another general language, such as English. Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report Section IV. Food Additives Regulations: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on pesticide regulations specific for Finland is given below. Finnish Maximum Residue Levels for Dioxins in Fish Finland applies EU maximum residue levels with regard to dioxin. Due to the relatively high dioxin levels in fish from the Baltic Sea, however, Finland (and Sweden) has received a derogation allowing fish with dioxin levels exceeding the EU thresholds to be sold in Finland under the condition that they are not exported to other EU countries. This exception will become permanent in 2012. Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements: A. Product Inspection and Registration Requirement Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. B. Certification and Documentation Requirements Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on certification and document requirements specific for Finland is given below. Finnish Salmonella Control Program Fresh meat (included frozen), ground meat and meat preparations imported into Finland are subject to salmonella control at the border inspection post, unless a declaration on the veterinary certificate states that it has been tested according to Commission decision 1688/2005. If the consignment tests positive for salmonella, the Finnish Food Safety Authority is entitled to take appropriate action. Section VII. Other Specific Standards: A. Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. B. Novel Foods Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. C. Dietetic or Special Use Food Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. D. Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information specific for Finland is given below. Finnish Alcohol Monopoly Retail sales of wine and liquor in Finland are restricted to a government agency, Alko. Importers of beer and other alcoholic beverages do not need import permission, but must have a license from the National Product Control Agency (STTV) to sell alcohol. Imports of wine products from non-EU countries require import certificates. Applications shall be sent to the Intervention Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. E. Organic Foods Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. F. Vertical Legislation (Breakfast Directives) Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. G. Animal Products Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. H. Frozen Foodstuffs Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. I. Ionizing Radiation Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. J. Fruits and Vegetables Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. K. Seafood Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws: Trademark Laws In order to register a trademark, the applicant has to file an application in writing to the National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR). A separate application has to be filed in respect of each mark and the applicant or his representative signs the application. A foreign applicant not residing in Finland has to appoint a representative resident in Finland to represent him in all matters concerning the trademark. The application can be made on a form available at NBPR’s website. It is not, however, obligatory to use this form. More information about the trademark issues can be found from the website of National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland www.prh.fi/en/tavaramerkit.html Protected Geographical Indications Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Section IX. Import Procedures: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. The website of the Finnish Customs in English is www.tulli.fi/en/index.jsp?language=en Appendix I. Government Regulatory Agency Contacts: Ministry of Agriculture and Legislation concerning food and agriculture and monitoring of Forestry its implementation PO Box 30, FI-00023 GOVERNMENT FINLAND Tel: +358-9-16001 Website: www.mmm.fi Finnish Food Safety Authority Implementation and control of regulations concerning the EVIRA quality and safety of food products, agriculture and forestry, Mustialankatu 3 animals and plants health FI-00790 HELSINKI Agency operates under Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. FINLAND Tel: +358 20 77 2003 E-mail: info evira.fi Website: www.evira.fi National Board of Patents and Trademarks Registration of Finland P.O. Box 1170, FI-00101 HELSINKI FINLAND Tel: +358 9 6939 5855 E-mail: registry@prh.fi Website: www.prh.fi National Board of Customs P.O. Box 512 FI-00530 HELSINKI FINLAND Tel. +358 9 6141 E-mail: kirmo@tulli.fi Website: www.tulli.fi National Product Control Alcoholic products, tobacco and chemicals. Agency for Welfare and Health P.O. BOX 210 Agency operates under the Ministry of Social Affairs and FI-00531 HELSINKI Health. FINLAND Tel. +358 9 772 920 E-mail: sttv@sttv.fi Website: www.sttv.fi Appendix II. Other Import Specialist Contacts: U.S. Embassy Foreign Agricultural Service Dag Hammarskjölds Väg 31 115 89 Stockholm Tel: + 46 8 783 5470/5392 Fax: +46 8 662 8495 Email: AgStockholm@fas.usda.gov Author Defined: Disclaimer: This report was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service in Stockholm, Sweden 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 their foreign customers, 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.
Posted: 30 December 2011

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