Considerations on COM(1995)722-3 - Honey

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dossier COM(1995)722-3 - Honey.
document COM(1995)722
date December 20, 2001
(1) Certain vertical directives relating to foods should be simplified in order to take account only of the essential requirements to be met by the products they cover in order that those products may move freely within the internal market, in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council held in Edinburgh on 11 and 12 December 1992, confirmed by those of the European Council in Brussels on 10 and 11 December 1993.

(2) Council Directive 74/409/EEC of 22 July 1974 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to honey(4) was justified by the fact that differences between national laws on the definition of honey, the various types of honey and the characteristics required of it could result in conditions of unfair competition likely to mislead consumers, and thereby have a direct effect on the establishment and functioning of the common market.

(3) Directive 74/409/EEC and its subsequent amendments consequently established definitions, specified the different types of honey which could be placed on the market under appropriate names, laid down common rules on composition and determined the main labelling information so as to ensure the free movement of these products within the Community.

(4) For the sake of clarity Directive 74/409/EEC should be recast, in order to make rules on the conditions for the production and marketing of honey more accessible and to bring it into line with general Community legislation on foodstuffs, particularly legislation on labelling, contaminants and methods of analysis.

(5) The general food-labelling rules laid down in Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(5) should apply subject to certain conditions. In view of the close link between the quality of honey and its origin, it is indispensable that full information on those matters be available so that the consumer is not misled regarding the quality of the product. The particular consumer interests as regards the geographical characteristics of honey and full transparency in this regard necessitate that the country of origin where the honey has been harvested should be included in the labelling.

(6) No pollen or other individual ingredient of honey is to be removed, unless that is inevitable when organic and inorganic foreign materials are removed. That process may be carried out by filtering. Where such filtering leads to the removal of a significant quantity of pollen, the consumer must be correctly informed to that effect by means of an appropriate indication on the label.

(7) Honey the name of which includes indications concerning floral, vegetable, regional, territorial or topographical origin or specific quality criteria may not have filtered honey added to it. So that the transparency of the market may be improved, the labelling of filtered honeys and baker's honeys must be mandatory for every transaction on the bulk market.

(8) As the Commission stressed in its communication to the European Parliament and the Council of 24 June 1994 on European apiculture, the Commission may adopt methods of analysis to ensure compliance with the compositional characteristics and additional specific statements for all honey marketed in the Community.

(9) It is desirable to take account of the work achieved on a new Codex standard for honey, adjusted, as appropriate, to the specific requirements of the Community.

(10) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality established by Article 5 of the Treaty, the objective of laying down common definitions and rules for the products concerned and bringing the provisions into line with general Community legislation on foodstuffs cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the nature of this Directive, be better achieved by the Community. This Directive does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the said objective.

(11) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(6).

(12) To avoid creating new barriers to free movement, Member States should refrain from adopting, for the products in question, national provisions not provided for by this Directive.