Results of food and consumer goods controls by Customs in 2017
Last year, Customs assessed the regulation compliance of a total of 4 708 food and consumer items. A total of 3 155 product batches subject to foodstuffs legislation were controlled. Of these, 7 per cent were in serious breach of regulations and 12 per cent were in minor breach of regulations. In consumer goods controls, 1 553 products were assessed. Serious defects were found in 14 per cent and minor defects in 11 per cent of the products.
Import of products that were in serious breach of regulations was prohibited or they were prevented from entering the market. Minor defects led to cautions or requests to rectify defects.
The focus of the control of foodstuffs and articles intended to come into contact with food was on products imported from other EU Member States. However, a considerable amount of these products originated from outside the Union. A majority of the products examined in consumer goods controls had been imported directly from outside the EU.
Customs focuses its supervision mainly on products that are imported frequently and consumed in great quantities, but the aim of the supervision is also to cover new products as soon as possible. In 2017, Customs examined 24 fidget spinners, which have become popular especially among children and youth. Of these, 14 were found to breach regulations. The most common defect was missing or insufficient labelling. One product also contained an easily reachable button cell battery, which poses a serious danger to children. One fidget spinner also showed signs of short-circuiting.
Customs also reacts to new emerging safety risks, such as the fipronil problem in eggs that was uncovered in 2017. Customs is not authorised to monitor chicken meat or eggs, but products that contain eggs were selected for inspection. Customs analysed a total of 39 samples that consisted of mayonnaise, different pastries and fresh pasta. The products were manufactured in France, Germany and Italy, among other countries. No fipronil was found in the examined products.