Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

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

Posted on: 30 Nov 2011

Responsibility for the safety of food and agricultural products in Sweden is shared between three Swedish authorities: the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the National Food Administration (NFA) and, to a lesser degree, the National Board of Fisheries. The NFA is the central supervisory authority for matters relating to food, including imports.

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: 11/21/2011 GAIN Report Number: SW1107 Sweden 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 Sweden. For information on the general EU level, please refer to the USEU Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Report. Sections updated: VII, C. Section I. Food Laws: Responsibility for the safety of food and agricultural products in Sweden is shared between three Swedish authorities: the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the National Food Administration (NFA) and, to a lesser degree, the National Board of Fisheries. The NFA is the central supervisory authority for matters relating to food, including imports. Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU) and Swedish national food legislation is, to a large extent, harmonized with the EU's food legislation. In certain cases, however, there is room for national interpretation of the EU's legislation. Sweden has received a derogation allowing it to apply stricter salmonella control and stricter border controls (quarantine on imports of live animals) than that of other EU member countries. Traditionally, Sweden has not had outbreaks of salmonella. This is due to a combination of a sea barrier separating Sweden from the continent, border control and an extensive and far-reaching domestic control system. This report gives an overview of food laws currently in force in Sweden. For information on the general EU level, please refer to the USEU Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Report available at www.fas.usda.gov/posthome/useu/ as well as at www.fas.usda.gov. Section II. Labeling Requirements: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on labeling requirements specific for Sweden is given below. The Swedish ?Keyhole? Logo In 1989, the National Food Administration implemented a voluntary labeling system for foods that are leaner and contain less sugars and salt and more fiber than food products of the same type normally do. A "keyhole" symbol can be printed on the package of these products, be attached on shelves in stores or used in advertising and marketing of the products. The keyhole has now become a common Nordic label for healthier food products in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The symbol is free of cost as well as free to use for products from all countries. No previous acceptance or licensing is necessary. Its application is supervised by the local public health administration. However, the products must meet the standards established by the National Food Administration. Detailed information about the keyhole symbol can be found at the following link. http://www.slv.se/en-gb/Group1/Food-labelling/Keyhole-symbol/ Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on packaging and container regulations specific for Sweden is given below. Recycling of Packaging Materials in Packaging Waste Plastic bottles and metal cans may not be sold in Sweden unless they participate in an approved recovery system. The annual registration fee to participate in a recovery system is 10,000 SEK (approximately US$1,400). The Swedish recycling system is regulated in the ordinance (2005:220) on deposit-and-return system for plastic bottles and metal cans. 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 and contaminant regulations specific for Sweden is given below. Swedish Maximum Residue Levels for Dioxins in Fish Sweden applies EU maximum residue levels with regard to dioxin. Due to the relatively high dioxin levels in fish from the Baltic Sea, however, Sweden (and Finland) has received a derogation allowing fish with dioxin levels exceeding the EU thresholds to be sold in Sweden under the condition that they are not exported to other EU countries. This exception will become permanent from 2012. Atomic Radiation Sweden applies national maximum permitted levels of radioactivity in food: 300 Bq/kg for meat, meat products, cereal-based fruits (except nuts) vegetables (except mushrooms), baby food, dairy products and marine (sea) fish. The limit for game meat, fish from inland waters, wild berries and mushrooms and nuts is 1500 Bq/kg. 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 Sweden is given below. Swedish Salmonella Control Program Fresh meat (included frozen), ground meat and meat preparations from bovines, hogs and poultry imported into Sweden 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. 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. Information specific for Sweden is given below. Religious Slaughter Under Directive 93/119/EEC, Member States retain the right to authorize religious slaughter without pre-stunning within their own territory. According to Swedish regulations, the slaughter of un-stunned animals is prohibited in all circumstances except in extreme emergencies. All animals must be stunned when the blood is drawn. Other measures may not be taken during slaughtering until the animal is dead. All halal slaughter in Sweden involves pre-stunning of the animals. There is no kosher slaughter of animals in Sweden. D. Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information specific for Sweden is given below. Swedish Alcohol Monopoly Retail sales of wine and liquor in Sweden are restricted to a government agency, Systembolaget. Systembolaget handles all over-the-counter sales of wine, spirits, and full-strength beer in Sweden. The Government of Sweden (GOS) managed to retain the retail monopoly despite its accession to the EU in 1995, but had to relinquish its monopoly on importing, wholesaling, production and exporting of wines and spirits. Importers other than Systembolaget must either supply the government monopoly or restrict their sales to the hotel and restaurant trade. To import and/or produce alcoholic beverages, a license issued by the Special Tax Office in Ludvika is required, but imports are otherwise unrestricted. E. Organic Foods Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on organic food standards specific for Sweden is given below. Swedish KRAV-Label The association KRAV has long been, and still is, a key player on the organic market in Sweden. KRAV develops organic standards and promotes the KRAV label. Until recently, it was difficult to market organic products in Sweden without the KRAV label. The KRAV seal is still the dominant organic label in Sweden, but the awareness of other labels, such as the EU logo, is increasing. The KRAV standards are based on the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) standards for organic production and are also compatible with EU regulations. For U.S. organic products which are IFOAM certified, getting access to the KRAV seal is not problematic. Without IFOAM certification, obtaining the KRAV seal could be both time-consuming and costly. Four private organizations are recognized by the National Food Administration to carry out inspection and certification. These are Kiwa Aranea , SMAK AB, HS Certifiering AB and Valiguard AB. 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: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Information on trademarks specific for Sweden is given below. Registration of a trademark in Sweden may be obtained through the filing of an application with the Swedish Patent and Registration office. All communications and submitted documents must be in Swedish. Contact information for this office is the following: Trademarks Department Box 530 SE-826 27 S?derhamn Phone: +46 8-782 25 00 Fax: +46 270-173 51 E-mail: prv@prv.se Protected Geographical Indications Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. Section IX. Import Procedures: Please refer to the USEU FAIRS Report. To import foodstuffs for commercial purposes it is necessary to be registered as an importer with the National Food Administration. The application should be sent to: National Food Administration Box 622 751 26 Uppsala Sweden Telephone +46 18 17 55 00 Web site: http://www.slv.se National and EU import license/sanitary certificate can be obtained from: National Board of Agriculture 551 82 J?nk?ping Sweden Telephone +46 36 15 50 00 Web site www.sjv.se. The VAT rate for foodstuffs in Sweden is 12%, but a higher rate of 25% applies to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. Other potential taxes and charges include an alcohol tax, a random sampling fee, a plant protection fee or a quality control fee. Information on customs clearance can be obtained from the Swedish Customs website http://www.tullverket.se/en Appendix I. Government Regulatory Agency Contacts: For U.S. exporters and Swedish importers, the key authority for food legislation, as well as enforcement thereof, is generally the National Food Administration (NFA). Therefore, it is recommended that U.S. companies or their import agents primarily contact the NFA: National Food Administration Box 622 751 26 Uppsala Sweden Tel: +46 18 17 55 00 Web site: www.slv.se However, it should be mentioned that other state authorities also have responsibility for issuing regulations affecting imports. Veterinary, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, such as plant protection, animal health and animal welfare requirements and imports of live animals, are handled by the following authority: Swedish Board of Agriculture SE-551 82 J?nk?ping, Sweden Telephone + 46 36 15 50 00 Telefax + 46 36 19 05 46 e-mail: jordbruksverket@sjv.se. The Board is responsible for import controls aimed at the prevention of diseases and pests as well as quality control of fruit, vegetables and meat classification. They also oversee the import of PET bottles and aluminum cans. In addition, the Swedish Board of Agriculture is the key authority for exporters/importers with regard to applications for tariff-rate quotas (reduced or zero tariffs within a quota). The National Board of Fisheries advises the NFA on fishery topics. However, it does not directly fulfill any official functions with regard to import controls/legislation: National Board of Fisheries Box 423 SE-401 26 Gothenburg http://www.fiskeriverket.se Telephone: + 46 31 743 03 00 Telefax: 46 31 743 04 44 In order to import alcoholic beverages, a special permit must be obtained. Applications for permits are obtained at: The Special Tax Office in Sweden 771 83, Ludvika, Sweden, Tel +46 240 870 00 http://www.rsv.se Some health foods may be classified as pharmaceutical products. The contact for such products is: Medical Products Agency Box 26 751 03 Uppsala, Sweden Tel: +46 18 17 46 00 www.mpa.se Information regarding Swedish Trademark Protection can be obtained from: PRV Bolag SE-851 81 Sundsvall, Sweden, Telephone +46 60 18 40 00 Telefax +46 60 12 98 40 E-mail prv.bolag@prv.se The contact point for consultation/notification relating to the granting of single authorizations involving several Member States is: The Swedish Customs Administration P.O. Box 12 854 SE-112 98 Stockholm, Sweden Telephone: +46 771 ? 520 520 Fax: +46 8 20 80 12 www.tullverket.se/en The authority responsible for issuing permits to import alcoholic beverages into Sweden is: The Special Tax Office in Sweden 771 83, Ludvika, Sweden Tel: +46 240 870 00 www.rsv.se Appendix II. Other Import Specialist Contacts: U.S. Embassy Foreign Agricultural Service Dag Hammarskj?lds V?g 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 November 2011

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