The European Commission has again warned the Czech Republic for failing to comply with rules on official controls.

An additional reasoned opinion has been sent to the country as part of Europe’s infringement procedure. The Commission can take legal action against an EU country that fails to implement EU law.

A reasoned opinion is step two in the procedure after a letter of formal notice requesting further information and before referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The letter of formal notice on the topic was first sent to the Czech Republic in January 2019 and a reasoned opinion was issued in July 2019.

Breach of EU rules
Czech Republic is systematically requiring pre-notification on arrival of foodstuffs. The Commission said the obligation to report the arrival of goods from another member state must not be systematic and should be limited to what is strictly necessary to organize official controls.

Czech officials have decided to carry out a risk assessment and potential official controls targeting certain foodstuffs coming from another member state each time such product enters the country. The notice does not name the product or country.

Authorities have put in national legislation the obligation for operators to notify, at least 24 hours in advance, the arrival of some foodstuffs to the place of destination.

Czech Republic is “continuously and systematically” breaching EU rules on official controls, said the Commission.

The EU country has two months to take measures to comply with the supplementary reasoned opinion, otherwise the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Bulgarian water marketing rules
The European Commission has also sent a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria for failing to comply with the EU rules on marketing requirements for natural mineral and spring waters.

Bulgarian legislation does not require the name of the spring on the label or prohibit the sale of natural mineral and spring waters originating from the same spring under more than one trade description.

EU rules were adopted to eliminate differences between member states’ laws governing natural mineral and spring waters to protect the health of consumers, to prevent people being misled and to ensure fair trading.

Bulgaria has two months to take corrective action before the case could be sent to the EU Court of Justice.

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