New controlling authority
On 25 January 2011 in issue Nr. 8 of State Gazette the Law of the Bulgarian State Food Agency was promulgated (“LBSFA”). The National Veterinary Service shall be transformed into Bulgarian State Food Agency (BSFA) governed by the Minister of Agriculture and Food. The National Plant Protection Service with the exception of the Institute of Plant Protection joins the Agency. The activities of the National Grain and Fodder Service and the activities of the Central Laboratory for Qualifying of Grain, Grain Products and Fodder relevant to fodder, are proceeded to BSFA as well. The activities of the regional administrations “Agriculture” related to the control of compliance of the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the activities of the regional Inspectorates for preservation and control of public health to the Ministry of Public Health Services, related to the control on food with the exception of bottled natural mineral, spring and other table waters, is also transferred to BSFA.
The newly instituted agency is the competent public authority for executing official control in the Republic of Bulgaria, under the legislation of the EU, in relation with the requirements to: the phyto-sanitary condition of the plants and plant products, plant protection products and fertilizers; the veterinary activities, health protection and human treatment of animals; animal by-products not suitable for human consummation; forages; row materials and food with the exception of bottled natural mineral, spring and table waters; materials and objects designed for contact with food; conformity of the quality of the fresh fruits and vegetables with the standards of EU for offering on the market. BSFA also accomplishes valuation of the conformity of the quality characteristics of the food with the requirements of national standards, laboratory-diagnostic and research activity, valuation and communication of the risk, teaching and training, as well as other activities provided in a law.
For the accomplishment of the activities above BSFA imposes taxes in accordance with a special tariff. In the cases when accomplishment of the activities above mentioned is requested by private persons these will be paid. Until the enactment of the newly approved tariff and regulation, for the accomplished activities BSFA will collect the taxes as determined in the tariffs for the taxes collected from the services whose activities proceed to BSFA.
National divisions and sub divisions
The agency consists of a central office and 28 regional administrations, specialized structures for research and laboratory-diagnostic activity, as well as a Centre for Valuation of the Risk (CVR). A leading and representative body, as well as an administration-punitive body under the Law of Administrative Violations and Punishments, is the executive director supported by three executive vice-directors.
The newly adopted law provides for the Center for Valuation of the Risk (CVR) to be an independent juridical person in the structure of BSFA with management bodies – Director and Management council. Towards the director of CVR is established a consultative council of 15 constant members, which will give scientific standpoints to the director of CVR in execution of the functions of CVR. CVR accomplishes independent scientific valuation of the risk concerning the safety of food; human health; protection of health of animals and humane treatment of them; supplements in food and forage, genetic-modified organisms, dietetic products, nutrition and alergetics, materials and objects intended for contact with food, enzymes, fragrant and accessory substances, biological dangers, polluters, plant health and plant protection. The activity is accomplished under assignment by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, the Minister of Health Services and the executive director of BSFA, as well as under assignment by other public bodies, physical persons and juridical persons against payment.
New Structural Regulations
The structure, the functions, the composition and the number of BSFA are settled with structure regulations, which have to be adopted by the Ministerial council within one month from the enactment of the law and until then the services passing to BSFA, accomplish their activity under the former order.Validity of any and all document issued under the legislation now abolished
An explicit provision in the new law ensures that certificates, licences, permits, and other documents issued by authorities now transferred to BSFA shall remainvalid for the term they are issued. Legal procedures initiated and related to issuance of documents in connection with the activities passing to BSFA, will be completed under the former order from the executive director of BSFA, respectively from the directors of the Regional State Food Directorates.
The regulations, issued on the grounds of the legislation abolished retain their effect as far as they do not contradict the new law and until their explicit revocation.The new law amends also the following laws: Veterinary activity law, Forage law, Plant protection law, Law of application of the general organizations of the markets of agricultural products of the European Union, Health Law, Food Law, Grain Preservation and Commerce Law.