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Poland

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drawio: Poland

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The central legal foundation for food legislation in Poland is the Food and Nutrition Safety Act of 25 August 2006. Infringement of food regulations can lead to measures under criminal law and consumer damage claims under civil law, whereby the final decision rests with the courts. Government measures with regard to food safety are often based on science-based risk assessments. However, the final decision on the legality of governmental measures rests with the courts. In Poland, risk management and risk assessment are institutionally separated. Risk assessments are not published.


Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS) at the Ministry of Health (MZ)

Name Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS) at the Ministry of Health (MZ)
Acronym GIS at MZ
Activities
  • Health policy and food safety
  • Risk management
  • EFSA Focal Point
  • RASFF contact point
Responsibilities Biotechnology and genetic engineering Contaminants Drinking water Food supplements Mineral water Novel foods Plant protection products or pesticides
Location Warsaw
URL http://www.mz.gov.pl

http://www.gis.gov.pl

The Ministry of Health (MZ) is responsible for public health policy and food safety. The MZ prepares draft legislation in the area of food hygiene, pesticide residues, contaminants and import of foods of non-animal origin, drafts regulation on some issues not covered by EU regulations with regard to food supplements, addition of vitamins and minerals to food, and other special kinds of food. The portfolio of the MZ extends beyond food safety to include, for instance, medicinal products. The Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products at the MZ is the regulatory authority for veterinary drugs in Poland.

The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS) is subordinate to the MZ and is the competent authority for food safety in Poland. It cooperates with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MRiRW) on matters regarding food safety and with both the MRiRW and the Ministry of Environment (MS) on matters regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The GIS coordinates and supervises the activities of the State Sanitary Inspectorates (PIS), which are responsible for official control of all aspects of food safety, i.e. food hygiene, pesticide residues, contaminants, import of food of non-animal origin, food contact materials, food additives, GMOs in food, food supplements, food for special groups and novel foods. The GIS is also responsible for monitoring contaminants in food of non-animal origin and prepacked food introduced to the market. GIS risk management measures are based on scientific risk assessments conducted by the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene (NIZP-PZH).

The GIS is also the competent authority that monitors food supplements, food for specific groups, food with added vitamins and minerals, and foods being introduced to the market for the first time.

16 integrated Official National Laboratories belong to the GIS in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 2017/625.

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Name Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Acronym MRiRW
Activities
  • Agricultural policy and safety of food of animal origin
  • Risk management
  • FAO/WHO Codex Contact Point
Responsibilities Animal feed Biological hazards and zoonoses Biotechnology and genetic engineering Contaminants Plant protection products or pesticides Residues of veterinary medicinal products
Location Warsaw
URL https://www.gov.pl/web/rolnictwo

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MRiRW) is responsible for agricultural policy and the safety of food of animal origin and prepares draft legislation in this area. The MRiRW is supported by three competent specialist authorities responsible for control and inspection: the General Veterinary Inspectorate (GIW), the Main Inspectorate for Seeds and Plant Health (PIORIN), and the Agricultural and Food Quality Inspection (IJHARS). The FAO/WHO Codex Contact Point for Poland is located at IJHARS.

The work of the MRiRW is mainly focused on risk management on food of animal origin and is based on scientific risk assessments prepared by the National Veterinary Research Institute (PIWET). The portfolio of the MRiRW includes safety of feed, residues of veterinary medicinal products, GMOs and zoonoses. In these areas, the MRiRW monitors the activities of the district and local authorities.

The MRiRW is the regulatory authority for pesticides and plant protection products. In the area of food safety, the MRiRW cooperates with the MZ, and for GMOs with both the MZ and the MS, for example. The portfolio of the MRiRW extends beyond food safety to animal health and animal welfare. The MRiRW is also responsible for the monitoring of contaminants in food of animal origin.

National Revenue Administration (NRA) at the Ministry of Finance (MF)

Name National Revenue Administration (NRA) at the Ministry of Finance (MF)
Acronym NRA at MF
Activities
  • Risk management
Responsibilities Food ingredients Plant health
Location Warsaw
URL Ministry of Finance: https://www.gov.pl/web/finanse

The National Revenue Administration (NRA) is a merger of the tax administration, fiscal control and customs service.

The NRA is subordinate to the Ministry of Finance (MF) and is responsible for the border control of food. The CS cooperates with three specialist authorities: the GIW on controls of export and import of animals, food of animal origin and feed; the PIORIN on controls of export and import of regulated plants and plant material, and the GIS on controls of export and import of food of plant origin.

Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

Name Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
Acronym UOKiK
Activities
  • Risk management
Responsibilities Food ingredients
Location Warsaw
URL https://www.uokik.gov.pl/home.php

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is a central authority of the state administration. The Office is responsible for shaping the antitrust policy and consumer protection policy. It is the task of the UOKiK to ensure that only safe products that meet the essential requirements set forth in Polish regulations are available on the market.

The Office has the power to carry out proceedings concerning practices infringing on collective consumer interests, which may lead to a decision ordering the enterprise involved to cease the practices in question and pay a fine. Further consumer protection activities include ridding B2C contracts of prohibited clauses, i.e. contract terms that set forth consumers’ interests in a way that infringes on the law or good practices. Here, the major instrument used by the UOKiK consists of inspections of contracts used by enterprises. Furthermore, to protect the health and life of consumers, the UOKiK carries out proceedings concerning general product safety. Such proceedings may end in a decision ordering the enterprise involved to withdraw a dangerous product from the market and pay a maximum fine of PLN 100 thousand. The Office also monitors the market surveillance system, which aims to ensure that only safe products which meet the essential requirements set forth in Polish regulations implementing the so-called ‘New Approach Directives’ are available on the market. The Office is also responsible for managing the fuel quality monitoring and scrutinising system.

The primary antitrust instrument used by the President of the Office comprises proceedings concerning competition-restricting practices, i.e. abuses of a dominant position and prohibited agreements (cartels).

The President of the Office is also authorised to control mergers in order to prevent situations where a dominant entity is created on the market as a result of a merger. Since 2004, the Office has been providing its opinion on state aid schemes and individual state aid decisions prior to their notification to the European Commission.

National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene

Name National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene
Acronym NIZP-PZH
Activities
  • Risk assessment
  • Research
Responsibilities Contaminants Drinking water Food supplements Novel foods Plant protection products or pesticides
Location Warsaw
URL http://www.pzh.gov.pl

The National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene (NIZP-PZH) prepares scientific risk assessments on food additives, biological risks, added chemical substances, residues of plant protection products, nutrition, novel foods and drinking water. The NIZP-PZH also conducts active research in this area. On 01 February 2020, the Institute merged with the National Food and Nutrition Institute (IZZ).

National Veterinary Research Institute

Name National Veterinary Research Institute
Acronym PIWET
Activities
  • Risk assessment
  • Research
Responsibilities Animal feed Biological hazards and zoonoses Biotechnology and genetic engineering Contaminants Food supplements Novel foods Residues of veterinary medicinal products
Location Puławy
URL http://www.piwet.pulawy.pl

The National Veterinary Research Institute (PIWET) prepares scientific risk assessments on feed, residues of veterinary medicinal products and zoonoses. The PIWET also conducts active research.

Regional and local levels

In Poland, there is a three-tier division in the public administration: 16 regions (voivodships), 379 districts (powiats) and 2,478 local authorities (gminas). At the district and local levels, the specialist authorities of the GIS and MRiRW are responsible for enacting food laws and carrying out food inspections. They are instructed and monitored by the GIS and MRiRW in their respective areas of activity.

Article 36 institutions

Institutions involved in the EFSA network pursuant to Article 36 Reg. (EC) No. 178/2002
  1. Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (EFSA Focal Point)
  2. National Veterinary Research Institute - State Research Institute
  3. Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants - National Research Institute
  4. National Institute of Public Health NIH - National Research Institute
  5. Institute of Plant Protection – National Research Institute
  6. Institute of Horticulture - National Research Institute
  7. Prof. Wacław Dąbrowski Institute of Agriculture and Food Biotechnology – State Research Institute
  8. Lodz University of Technology
  9. Warsaw University of Technology
  10. Warsaw University of Life Sciences
  11. AGH University of Krakow