The Parliament of Moldova adopted in its first reading the draft Law on the Control of Compliance with the Quality Requirements for Fresh Vegetables and Fruits.
The bill regulates the organization and conduct of control to determine compliance with the quality requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables at different stages of the trading chain. Control will be applied to individuals and legal entities, with the exception of domestic consumers. Compliance checks will be conducted by the National Food Safety Agency, which will monitor and establish the control system, including the risk assessment. Verification of compliance will ensure conformity with the parameters of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the length of the trading chain. Currently, fruits and vegetables in Moldova, located in the trading network, are not labeled, sorted or not calibrated in accordance with quality requirements, and their price is standard for a combination of classes, varieties or caliber, which is a disadvantage for consumers. If during the inspection of vegetables and fruits it is determined that they meet the quality requirements, a certificate confirming their quality will be provided at the request of the economic agent. A certificate will be a factor in reducing the risk of non-compliance with quality requirements. Quality certificates for fresh fruits and vegetables will be issued free of charge by the control authority in paper or electronic format. The document will enhance the prestige of local manufacturers, increase product competitiveness and the export quota of Moldovan products on the EU market. At the same time, the control structure will create a database of economic agents from the food chain involved in activities related to the sector of fresh fruits and vegetables. The bill also establishes inspection requirements for the export and import of fresh fruits and vegetables. Thus, prior to the introduction of products into circulation, their import batches will be subject to mandatory control (in the absence of an equivalent certificate), and before the products intended for export leave the country, at the request of the economic operator, the control body will check whether they are the quality requirements of the importing country. New provisions will help to oust poor-quality products from the market, ensure market transparency and loyal competition. In addition, the introduction of a new quality control system for fruits and vegetables will allow Moldova to ask the EU Commission to include it in the list of third countries whose compliance checks are recognized as equivalent to the EU requirements. The document approved by deputies is intended to help bring national standards in this area in line with European standards, improve product quality, protect consumer rights and increase exports. The bill should be adopted in the final reading. //18.10.2018 - InfoMarket.