New Zealand Food Safety Authority
Date: 22 December 2008
From: Sally Johnston, Assistant Director (Compliance); Mary Western, Assistant Director, Export Standards
A number of queries have indicated CIG assessors and industry representatives have a differing understanding or have raised issues as to some practical aspects associated with EU listing of dairy premises, and in particular remote dairy stores.
The following points of clarification are provided from the NZFSA Export Standards and Market Access and Compliance and Investigation Groups (CIG) teams to ensure that consistent and accurate processes are followed.
When can a store receive dairy material or dairy product for it to be eligible for export to the EU?
At first glance section 1.5.1 seems clear “Premises…storing dairy material or dairy product… must appear on the relevant premises’ lists specified in this subpart and which are maintained by … NZFSA [ref 1.5.11(a) and 1.5.11(c)] before those materials … enter, the premises”.
However two possible interpretations have been offered:
a. The material/product cannot enter the store and be eligible for export to the EU until the publicly available NZFSA list (on the website) has been updated and shows the listing.
b. The material/product cannot enter the store and be eligible for export to the EU until the NZFSA list, maintained by the Senior Advisor (Market Access), has been updated (but the website listing may be updated some time later).
A store can receive dairy material or dairy product and have it eligible for export to the EU from the date that the CIG auditor indicates the store complies with requirements (ie from the date that a successful listing audit takes place).
• The listing of dairy stores is via an internal list maintained by NZFSA.
• The listing date for remote dairy stores can and should be the same day as the CIG audit and the auditor will notify the Senior Advisor (Market Access) on that day.
• The listing will be confirmed in writing, and this notification will confirm the audit date as the listing date.
• Listing is not dependent on the amendment appearing on the web list although logistically this should happen as soon as possible.
• Adding a store to an existing EU-listed factory is straight forward. Following the CIG audit, the store becomes integrated into the factory listing.
Does section 1.5.4 of the EU OMAR apply to remote dairy stores and (if yes) under what circumstances?
Section 1.5.4 applies only to premises requiring listings that are gazetted by the EU so does not apply to remote dairy stores (as these are listed by NZFSA rather than the EU).
Does a store need to be storing product (ie is in active use) before an EU listing recommendation can be made?
(In the event that a store is required only for product destined for the EU, how can the company achieve EU listing for the store and maintain EU eligibility for the product during the listing process)?
There is no specific OMAR or NZ Standard requirement for a store to be in active use in order for an auditor to be able to determine whether the premises complies with requirements, other than the store must have a registered RMP (otherwise it isn’t eligible for country listing).
Expectations are that, providing the structure, RMP and systems are found to be satisfactory, the need to sight product in a store for listing purposes, particularly a dry store where product temperature is not critical, is not wholly necessary (storage, by nature, does not change the nature of the material/product and may generally be considered a low risk activity).
Note: Manufacturing facilities (where the nature of the dairy material/product is undergoing change eg heat treatment, mixing, blending, packaging etc) must be processing (be supplied with dairy material/product) at the time of an EU listing audit.
The Market Access team notes that when the meat listings were done by EU personnel they insisted on seeing product in store. In these cases it wasn’t unusual for small stores to bring in a couple of cartons for purposes of audit just in case the product couldn’t go to the EU. Now, when undertaking premises visits to stores, as part of an audit of NZFSA as a competent authority, visiting EU personnel generally insist on seeing product in store. Therefore it is preferable (even if not essential) that product be brought into stores for the purposes of EU listing.
Options available for dairy stores may include:
a. stocking the store on the day of the audit. Even if product is brought in early on the day of the audit, prior to the audit commencing, providing there is a successful audit outcome the product will retain eligibility as per the same-day listing described above.
b. to minimise risks of loss of eligibility, bringing product into the store during the audit, and after the auditor has indicated preliminary acceptance of the premises, structure and systems.
c. EU listing based on assessment of a store without product being subject to an acceptable verification outcome;
• if an acceptable outcome is achieved on first verification, product stored from the time of EU listing audit would be eligible for the EU,
• if the first verification outcome is unacceptable, any product stored over the period from listing audit until an acceptable verification outcome is achieved may be ineligible for the EU (depending on the nature of the audit findings and determined on a case by case basis by NZFSA).
Do the EU listing audits have to be carried out by a CIG auditor?
Yes. The EU OMAR issued in November 2008 confirms dairy listing audits need to be carried out by a CIG auditor.
In particular circumstances CIG management has ‘seconded’ another auditor (eg Verification Agency verifier) to carry out an audit on their behalf, this is acceptable under the EU OMAR and may occur from time to time at the discretion of the Assistant Director (Compliance).
• It is expected that, prior to requesting an EU listing audit from CIG the operator will have had confirmation from their recognised agency that the store is appropriate and ready for listing.
• The CIG auditor will generally contact the recognised agency for a status report prior to conducting the audit.
Disclaimer: This ‘For Your Information’ is intended for use as a guideline only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. NZFSA endeavours to keep this information current and accurate. However, it may be subject to change without notice. NZFSA will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on this information.
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