Applications Helpdesk - EFSA's front office and support desk for regulated products

Uploaded by EFSAchannel on 17.07.2012

Hello, my name is Karine I am a scientist – biochemist
–working at EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority.
Today I am here to talk about food and feed-related regulated products,
and the role played by EFSA in their authorisation for the EU market.
First of all I would like to explain what we mean
by regulated products and market authorisation.
In the European Union, products related to the food chain
must be authorised before they can go on the market.
Examples include food and feed additives, food packaging,
GM plants, pesticides and health claims made about food products.
The requirements for authorisation
vary depending on the applicable legislation for each type of products.
To be precise, for regulated products evaluated by EFSA,
there are 34 European regulatory frameworks for these approvals.
But who authorises regulated products?
Is it EFSA? No.
EFSA never authorises nor bans regulated products.
In the European food safety system
there is a clear distinction between,
on the one hand the risk assessors – like EFSA –
who provide independent scientific advice,
and on the other hand the risk managers
– like the European Commission and the
Member States – who make the decisions.
Both work together, but independently to ensure that
the safety of European consumers remains a high priority.
So what exactly is EFSA’s role in this process?
Well only products that are shown to be safe can be placed on the market.
EFSA is required to give independent scientific advice
about their safety.
EFSA’s experts evaluate the safety
taking into consideration the risk assessment
performed by applicants as well as any other
available scientific studies in line with the EU
legislation and EFSA guidance documents.
Until recently, each regulated product application
was received, registered, processed according to
their respective scientific areas.
However in 2011, EFSA created a dedicated Application Helpdesk.
The main functions of the new Application Helpdesk are
first, to support the applicants and in particular
small and medium-sized enterprises,
as well as stakeholders such as Member States and
national authorities when they submit their application
or required information on the processing of an application.
Second, to centralise, streamline the administrative tasks so that
the scientific staff can focus on their scientific work.
This is improving efficiency at EFSA.
Third, to promote transparency and openness
by cooperating with stakeholders
and creating more understanding about EFSA’s work.
Importantly the Application Helpdesk is also available to answer
any questions from applicants, stakeholders and other interested parties
about EFSA’s work in the area of regulated products.
You can submit questions on-line,
for example about the status of an application
or about the process under specific legislation in a given area.
Thank you very much,
and if you have a question about regulated products,
send your question to Application Helpdesk.