The EU requires new or novel products to undergo a safety screening before they are allowed in the market. This screening applies to products developed with modern technology, but also to traditional products which were not consumed in a significant degree before 1997, the year when the Novel Food Law was introduced.
If you are planning to export a traditional product to the EU, you will like to know if it is classified as a novel food. If it is, marketing of the product in Europe will only be legal after a process of authorisation. Novel food authorisations are granted on an applicant specific basis. This means that even if the authorisation process has been done, and the product has been accepted as safe, often with certain conditions attached, your company may still need to engage in a notification procedure in order to also obtain the green light for marketing it.
At Mercadero we have experience with the novel food law and we can help you with the following:
- Is the product actually considered a novel food?
- Has an authorisation procedure been done and what was the outcome?
- Prepare a notification dossier and present it to the competent authorities for approval.
You may feel that this is quite a bureaucratic process for a traditional product that is already being consumed in your country for many years. If so, you are not alone. Many observers think likewise. Even the authorities believe that the procedure should be simplified, but a proposal to that effect was not adopted in the European Parliament in 2014 because if was part of a larger package that was rejected. So as it is, we have to live with it.