News 236 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Decision tree helps defining feed products

Fefana (the EU Feed Additives and Premixtures Association) has developed a user-friendly tool for supporting feed business operators and authorities in classifying feed products and mixtures according to the regulatory framework in the European Union.

Based on very simple questions and a decision tree system, this tool allows the allocation to the proper regulatory classification status of any single component or feed mixture.

Such a tool will prove helpful for operators to ensure compliance of their products with regulatory frameworks. Undoubtedly it will also be used by the authorities to assure a consistent regulatory management of such products on the market.

Regulatory requiurements
Feed business operators are faced on a daily basis with questions related to the regulatory requirements of products they plan to or are placing on the market in the European Union.

Depending on which category a product will be placed into, it will be subjected to very different regulatory requirements.
· "Is my product an additive or an ingredient?"
· "Is my product a premixture or a complementary feedingstuff?"
· "Is my product a premixture or an additive preparation?"
These are questions frequently need to be answered to be able to apply appropriate regulatory options.

Matter of interpretation
Although the current set of definitions in the European feed regulatory framework is clear and comprehensive, the interpretation borderlines between different categories are sometimes ambiguous and lead to uncertainties for both the operators and authorities.

The European Regulatory Framework defines five main groups of products:
- feed materials;
- compound feedingstuffs;
- premixtures;
- feed additives;
- veterinary medicinal products.
The regulatory requirements for each of these groups may differ substantially.

For example, if a product is classified as a feed material, it can be placed on the market without a prior assessment from the authorities. If the same product is classified as a feed additive, it would need to obtain a pre-marketing authorisation, leading to a delay of at least 2 years before it can be placed on the market.

In a worst case a misinterpretation of the classification can lead to a withdrawal of the product from the market through the Rapid Alert System.

Code of practice
To aid operators Fefana has created a Code of Practice for the classification of products and substances in accordance with the European Regulatory Framework.

This Code of Practice enables any business operator and Authority to classify the product they aim to place on the market in a consistent manner and in a predictable way.

This then helps the business operators to take the proper decision to ensure that their products comply with the European regulatory framework.

The questions used in the decision tree are a combination of substance-related and use aspects. The flexibility embedded in the approach, which could look at first sight as creating uncertainty, is in fact creating much more transparency and stability than trying once and for ever to put a given substance in a definition box.

The Code of Practice is available upon request by sending an email to Fefana at

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