De Nederlandse Voedsel En Warenautoriteit The Ultimate FAQ Guide

De Nederlandse Voedsel- En Warenautoriteit: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Quality Control is an important aspect when importing from China or any other country.

Today’s guide will focus on everything you need to know about NVWA | De Nederlandse Voedsel- En Warenautoriteit.

So, keep reading to learn more.

What Is NVWA – De Nederlandse Voedsel- En Warenautoriteit?

NVWA

NVWA

In English, the Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteiten (NVWA) is also known as the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. It is a government organization in the Netherlands that deals in several public-centric issues.

The NVWA is among the many departments in the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality in the Netherlands.

It is also an agency utilized by the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport to run some of its programs.

These issues include:

  • Protecting and advancing animal health.
  • Protection and advancing issues related to plants.
  • NVWA also deals with issues concerning the security of food products.
  • They also ensure consumer protection through regulations on consumer products.
  • Overall, NVWA also enforces Dutch nature laws.

It is important to note that the NVWA is a recent organization born out of merging different organizations.

This was necessitated to run the various activities of the NVWA under one roof. The different organizations that were merged to form NVWA include:

  • General inspection body (algemene inspectiedienst, aid)
  • The plant protection service (plantenziektenkundigedienst, pd)
  • Inspection and qualification service for goods (keuringdienst van waren, kvw)

What Are The Main Functions Of NVWA?

The NVWA undertakes a myriad of tasks and functions. The three basic types of tasks that  NVWA does  include:

Supervision

Supervision entails ensuring and regulation some aspects in the health and agricultural sector. The four main areas of NVWA regulation include animal health, plant health, product safety, and food safety.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment includes finding out how certain products affect the health of the consumer.

This is achieved by regulating and monitoring substandard products from entering the market, among other responsibilities.

Risk Communication

The risk communication function of the NVWA involves communicating the risk assessment results to the various players and regulatory bodies.

For instance, it has the responsibility of communicating animal health assessments to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Other specific functions of the NVWA include:

  • Incidence and crisis management
  • Policy advice for the minister of Agriculture.
  • Nature and food quality management.
  • Liaising with other departments in the various ministries.
  • Maintaining European and international contacts.
  • Compliance with the various regulations is also a function of the NVWA.

Overall, NVWA carries out communication, inspection, and investigations to ensure that all players in its jurisdiction are compliant.

Who Heads The NVWA?

The Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteiten (NVWA) also known as Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Authority.

It is a state agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality.

The NVWA is headed by the Head of Agency, deputed by four directorates who head various departments. The departments that are headed by directorates include:

  • Strategy
  • Enforcement
  • Inspection
  • Internal Organization

Other divisions below the directorate include the veterinary and import, design and services, and legal affairs divisions.

The organizational structure of NVWA is hierarchical, with departments and sub-departments at the bottom of the hierarchy.

It is made so that information and enforcement flow from the top to the bottom and vice versa. It is ensuring compliance and efficiency in carrying the NVWA mandates.

What Products Does The Netherlands Food And Consumer Product Safety Authority Regulate?

VVWA is mandated by law to regulate and ensure compliance with countless products.

These products include different types of food and consumer products.

These products can either be hazardous or non-hazardous substances. The main aim is to ensure that all hazardous substances do not enter the market for human consumption.

Some of the products that the NVWA handles  include but are not limited to:

  • Plants
  • Fisheries
  • Agricultural products
  • Livestock
  • Consumer products
  • Non-food consumer products
  • Animal products such as beef
  • Pesticides
  • Personal care products
  • Indoor and outdoor games products
  • Consumer products in and around the house
  • Tobacco products

The number of products that the NVWA regulates is in the thousands and in-exhaustible.

To get into the details of products regulated by the NVWA, you will visit their website or contact them.

Does NVWA Have Jurisdiction Over All Consumer Products?

Yes, the NVWA has jurisdiction over all consumer products in the Netherlands.

Not only in the Netherlands, but it also has jurisdiction over every product entering the Netherlands from other counties.

Due to the large amounts of consumer products entering the Netherlands, NVWA has jurisdiction over a wider consumer market that spans the European market.

How Does The Netherlands Food And Consumer Product Safety Authority Regulate Products?

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority Regulate Products through:

Certification

NVWA requires that manufacturers and importers of regulated products certify that their products comply with mandatory rules.

After testing at third-party laboratories whose accreditation is accepted by the NVWA.

Compliance

NVWA also requires manufacturers and importers of some regulated products to certify that they comply with mandatory rules after testing. They establish a reasonable testing program.

Regulations

The NVWA outlines the prohibited actions that apply to anyone who sells, manufactures for sale, is distributed in commerce, or imports.

Any consumer product regulated by the NVWA. Failure to comply with these prohibited acts could subject you to civil and criminal penalties.

Does NVWA Test Or Certify Products For Safety Before They Can Be Sold To Consumers?

No, the NVWA does not test or certify products for safety before being sold to consumers.

The primary function of the MVWA is to supervise, assess the risks, and communicate.

Besides, the same risks to the relevant bodies mandated to regulate consumer products.

The function of certification and testing of products before they can be sold is left to the responsible companies to test their products.

NVWA only serves to ensure compliance. NVWA also sets standards that should be met by the various companies in their manufacturing and production processes of consumer goods.

What Are The Major Food And Consumer Product Hazards In The Netherlands?

There are various food and consumer product hazards in the Netherlands. Some of these food and consumer products include:

  • Improper storage and preparation of food.
  • Pathogens cause Food-borne infections.
  • Food fraud
  • Foods with a high level of salt, fat, or sugar
  • Food with chemical hazards such as antibiotics, hormones, mold toxins, pesticides residues, dioxins, and allergens
  • Consumer products with microbiological hazards. These hazards occur due to the presence of troublesome molds, parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Other consumer and food product hazards include harmful forms of wood, glass, metal, and plastic.

How Does The NVWA Compare To The FDA?

The main difference between the NVWA and the FDA is that the FDA has a broad regulatory authority compared to NVWA.

Also, the FDA is an American regulatory body, while the NVWA is a Dutch food and consumer products regulatory body.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, is an American agency that deals and are responsible for protecting public health.

It ensures the safety of different consumer product categories by assessing their risks, testing, and approving their efficacy.

The four basic functions of the FDA include:

  • Protecting the public from electronic product radiation
  • Assuring cosmetics and dietary supplements are safe and properly labeled
  • Regulating tobacco products
  • Advancing public health by helping to speed product innovations

FDA regulates a wide scope of consumer products.

This can sometimes result in consumers not understanding where to lodge complaints.

Some of the product categories that the FDA manage include but are not limited to:

  • Products that include food additives, dietary supplement, bottles water, infant formulas, and other food products.
  • Different types of drugs include non-prescription and prescription drugs.
  • Such as Biologists including tissue products, blood and blood products, allergenic, and all human vaccines.
  • Other items regulated also include all types of medical devices. These include but are not limited to heart pacemakers, prosthetics, surgical implants, tongue depressors, and dental devices, among others.
  • Electronic products that give off radiation are also among the products that the FDA highly regulates. These products include but are not limited to mercury vapor lamps, laser products, microwave ovens, and such products.
  • The FDA also regulates dermatological products that affect the human skin. These include nail polish and perfume, make-up and personal care products, cleansers, and skin moisturizers.
  • The FDA regulates veterinary products such as livestock feeds, pet foods, and veterinary devices and drugs.
  • Lastly, all types of tobacco products are also regulated by the FDA.

What Parties Should Conform To NVWA Regulations?

The NVWA regulations cover the whole of the Netherlands and any food or consumer products entering the Netherlands.

Because the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, some of the regulations of the NVWA also reach beyond Netherlands.

To put it in context, the specific parties required to comply with the NVWA regulations include:

  • All manufacturers
  • Retailers.
  • Importers
  • Distributors of food and consumer products
  • All exporters.

Does The Nvwa Conduct Inspections?

Yes, the NVWA is responsible for inspecting all the consumer products and food products. They should ensure that it meets the required standards as set by the NVWA.

Although the individual companies or manufacturers carry out the responsibility of testing, the NVWA conducts food controls and ensures that the manufacturers comply.

The NVWA also designates the different laboratories that should carry food and consumer products tests and analyses.

NVWA Inspection

NVWA Inspection

What Is The Correlation Between NVWA And FLEGT?

Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is a European Union agency.

It is also known as the FLEGT action plan that aims at cubbing illegal logging among member states.

It achieves this through the number of actions that all member states must adhere to.

These include:

  • Reducing illegal logging through sustainable forest management.
  • Establishing legal forest management.
  • Improving governance on forest management.
  • Promoting trade in legally produced timber to reduce illegal logging.

One of the NVWA’s core functions is product safety and plant health. These are functions related to the core functions of the FLEGT.

All look into sustainability when it comes to environmental matters that include illegal logging and hazardous wastes that impact the environment negatively.

Are There Established NVWA Guidelines And Plans For The Netherlands Food Industry To Use?

Yes, there are established NVWA guidelines and plans for the Netherlands food industry to use. The guidelines are broad and cover different sectors that the NVWA oversees.

One of these guidelines is the first food safety statement. These guidelines are specific to the food industry, which the NVWA oversees.

NVWA guidelines and plans for the Netherlands food industry are under the regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs.

The guidelines borrow from the seven basic principles of the HACCP system.

The HACCP system requires the food industry to, among other things, observe the following;

  • Analyze the hazards of raw materials
  • The preparation process of products
  • Taking adequate measures to prevent hazards
  • Enabling a safe production process.

Should Food And Consumer Products To The Netherlands Have A CE Marking?

Yes, selected food and consumer products to the Netherlands should have a CE marking. It is important to consider the product.

This is because you can only add the CE marking to an effect if it is required for the product group.

Some of the products that must have CE marking include:

  • Explosives for civil use
  • Pyrotechnic articles
  • Construction products
  • Toys
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Electrical, electronic, and energy-related products
  • Medical devices
  • Measuring and weighing equipment
  • Machinery and related products
  • Means of Transport

CE Marking

CE Marking

How Long Does NVWA Registration And Accreditation Take?

It is important to seek the accreditation of NVWA if you deal with the following;

  • Animal feeds
  • Raw foods of animal origin.
  • Live animals
  • Sprouting seeds
  • Animal by-products

Some of the basic things that NVWA looks for before giving your company accreditation includes:

  • The structural integrity of the factory
  • Technical capabilities
  • Hygiene requirements

The accreditation process for NVWA is pretty simple. It is not a complicated endeavor. You will need to follow these simple steps which include;

  • Log into the NVWA portal
  • Open the subjugate portal on the home page.
  • Click on the approvals, registration, and permits.
  • In the subsequent window, you will see an overview of forms for recognition, registrations, and permits.
  • Choose the service you want and proceed with filling the online form.
  • You will be guided on the process of how you get your registration certificate.

Does My Business Need To Tell NVWA About Potentially Unsafe Food And Animal Feed?

Yes, you should report to the NVWA about any potential or existing unsafe food or animal feed.

All the hazardous food and animal feed should be reported to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.

Consequences of not reporting unsafe food or feed include fines, written warning, or official report.

What Is Unsafe Animal Feed According To NVWA?

Unsafe animal feed, according to NVWA, include;

  • The animal feed contains harmful substances.
  • The animal feed contains extraneous matter.
  • The hazardous animal feed may affect animal health and people’s health.
  • Environmental degrading animal feed.

How Do You Notify NVWA About Unsafe Products?

You can report and notify the NVWA about unsafe products through their official website.

Just log into their “report the animal feed to the NVWA” portal, and you will be able to lodge your complaint.

Some of the businesses or people that can report to the NVWA include but are not limited to:

  • Laboratories
  • Feed businesses
  • Veterinarians
  • Transshipment companies
  • Livestock farmers
  • Storage operators
  • Feed transport companies

What Happens After You Report Unsafe Food And Animal Feed To NVWA?

After you report unsafe food and animal feed to the NVWA, they will take specific steps.

These steps include:

  • Assessing the risk level.
  • It measures the risks and the steps that have been taken to mitigate those risks.
  • After assessing the risks and measuring them, the ANVWA will guide on the correct course of action.
  • The course of action may include retrieving the unsafe food or recalling it from the market.

What Are The Consequences Of Failure To Notify The NVWA Of Unsafe Food Or Feed?

The consequences of failure to notify the NVWA of unsafe food or feed may include;

  • Fines
  • Written warnings.
  • Official reporting to the relevant authorities

How Do I Register My Business With The Netherlands Food And Consumer Product Safety Authority?

Process of registering business with the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority depends with type of product you are dealing with.

For instance, if you are dealing with food safety, product safety, animal health, you will have to seek accreditation from NVWA directly.

If you operate a veterinary laboratory, you will have to apply for your accreditation from the Dutch Accreditation Council.

You will also be necessitated to attend continuous monitoring by Wageningen Bio veterinary Research.

Because the veterinary laboratory is a sensitive business, you are also required to report the tests and reports from your laboratory.

These tests and reports are reported to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Another registration method is a digital application with a message box.

This involves registering digitally with NVWA and also digitally application for your accreditation.

How Does The NVWA Evaluate Non-Conformities Related To Food And Consumer Products?

The NVWA evaluates non-conformity to food and consumer products through continuous assessment of the market’s various food and consumer products.

Another method of ensuring that there is no non-conformance is through inspection auditing and customer complaints.

How Often Do The NVWA Inspect Businesses In The Food And Consumer Product Industry?

How often the NVWA inspects your business in the food and consumer products industry depends on the compliance of your business.

If you comply with the NVWA regulations, you will be inspected less frequently.

Businesses that keep contravening NVWA rules and regulations tend to be inspected more frequently.

NVWA Inspecting Business In food Product Industry

NVWA  Inspecting Business In food  Product Industry

Is NVWA Certification Acceptable Under EU Food And Consumer Product Safety Legislation?

Although NVWA certification is widely recognizable, you must apply for a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) EU certification.

This is if you want your food products to be sold to the rest of the European market outside the Netherlands.

Does NVWA Recommend Specific Brands Or Models Of Products That Are Safest For Consumers To Buy?

No, NVWA’s main task is to regulate the standards of consumer products in the market.

It ensures compliance to the safety standards and that harmful products do not enter the market.

NVWA does not recommend, endorse, or market any particular products. NVWA is unbiased and treats all the different consumer manufacturing companies equally.

It is worth noting that NVWA may recommend certain features or aspects that consumers must look for in a particular product category.

NVWA strives to describe a particular product using universal descriptions not to be seen to target a particular brand or product line.

Does The NVWA Have Food And Consumer Product Safety Materials In Other Languages Other Than Dutch?

Yes, the NVWA has food and consumer product safety materials in languages other than Dutch.

You will find material in Spanish, English, French, German, Chinese, among many other languages.

The NVWA has entered into a bilateral agreement with many other countries concerning food and consumer products safety.

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