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Food law

Foodstuffs are regulated by administrative law in Poland, in particular the Food Safety and Nutrition Act of 25 August 2006, as well as executive regulations. Polish regulations primarily implement EU provisions. Moreover, foodstuffs are regulated by EU laws directly applicable in Poland. Materials and products intended for contact with foodstuffs are subject to successive Polish and EU regulations. Due to developments in science and new research, in order to increase the safety of human health these regulations are frequently amended at both the national and EU levels.

The operation of food production plants as well as wholesalers and retailers of food requires approval by sanitary authorities. Enterprises producing and trading in foods of animal origin require approval by veterinary authorities through an administrative decision.

Food introduced into trade must meet certain requirements relating to quality, as well as the production process, labelling, presentation and advertising. The introduction of specific foodstuffs does not require a permit for a given product. An exception is certain categories such as dietary supplements and special-purpose foodstuffs: their sale requires notification to the Chief Sanitary Inspector. The sale of “new” foodstuffs is subject to relevant EU executive regulations.

The production and sale of foodstuffs is subject to administrative supervision. Supervision of food quality, presentation and advertising involves such inspections as sanitary, trade quality of agricultural and food articles, trade and veterinary. Inspectors are authorised to issue post-inspection instructions as well as administrative decisions aimed at ensuring that commercial activity complies with the law. Decisions may be appealed to the second-instance administrative body. Further review may be sought from the administrative courts (the province administrative court, followed by cassation appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court).