IM system for official controls to ensure compliance with agri-food chain rules
Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1715 — rules for the functioning of the information management system for official controls and its system components (the IMSOC Regulation)
The legal basis of the IMSOC Implementing Regulation derives from the general food law (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002), the animal health law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429), the plant health law (Regulation (EU) 2016/2031), and the official controls regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/625).
The official controls regulation requires the European Commission, in collaboration with EU countries, to set up and manage a computerised information system for official controls (IMSOC)* to manage, handle and automatically exchange data, information and documents in relation to official controls.
The IMSOC is to integrate the 4 existing information systems managed by the Commission, namely:
the rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) established by General Food law;
the animal diseases information system (ADIS)* to be established by the Animal Health Law;
the system for notifying and reporting the presence of pests (EUROPHYT)* to be established by the Plant Health Law; and
the TRACES* system (referred to in the Official Controls Regulation).
The purpose of the IMSOC Regulation is:
to set out in the same act all rules on the functioning of the IMSOC and its 4components; and
to set out rules for the exchange of data, information and documents between IMSOC’s components and in certain cases, with other systems such as EU countries’ national systems, information systems of non-EU countries and international organisations.
The regulation lays down the rules for the functioning of the IMSOC and its system components in relation to the computerised handling and exchange of information, data and documents necessary for the performance of official controls.
the rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF);
the computerised information system for the notification and reporting of animal diseases (ADIS);
the electronic system (EUROPHYT) for notifying outbreaks such as the presence of quarantine pests;
the computerised system for data, information and document exchange (TRACES).
The regulation’s scope covers official controls to verify compliance with food and feed law, animal health and welfare, plant health and animal-by products rules. It specifically covers:
procedures for notifications and additional information for the RASFF set up by Regulation (EC) No 178/2002;
procedures for the EU’s computerised system for reporting diseases under Regulation (EU) 2016/429;
rules for submitting notifications under Regulation (EU) 2016/2031;
rules for computerised data and document handling in the IMSOC necessary under Regulation (EU) 2017/625, concerning:
the common health entry document (CHED)* and instructions for its use;
cooperation between customs and other authorities;
electronic certificates and electronic signatures for official certificates;
standard formats for information exchange concerning requests for assistance and recurrent notifications;
technical tools and procedures for communication between the designated liaison bodies;
the proper functioning of the IMSOC.
Each component of the IMSOC has its own network of which the Commission is a part, with each network member being responsible for the data, information and documents it inserts or produces in the relevant component.
The following links between components aim to complement data, providing relevant and up-to-date information to each network member for the performance of its tasks:
iRASFF* and TRACES, allowing data sharing about border rejection notifications and common health entry documents;
EUROPHYT and TRACES, allowing data sharing about EUROPHYT outbreak and interception notifications;
iRASFF, EUROPHYT and TRACES, allowing data sharing about operators’ past records of compliance with the rules.
International standard file formats
Data exchanges between the IMSOC and other electronic systems, including the EU national systems, are based on international standards and use XML, CMS or PDF formats.
EU countries designate a liaison body responsible for exchanging information on food fraud notifications and appoint a single contact point for RASFF and AAC networks (that coordinates with the FF network).
RASFF, AAC and FF network contact points exchange notifications, requests and responses in iRASFF.
Single contact points submit in iRASFF alert notifications to the Commission contact point within 48 hours of the risk being reported to them or information notifications and news notifications without undue delay. They also submit border rejection notifications, non-compliance notifications and follow-up notifications to their counterparts in the network.
Food fraud notifications are exchanged using a dedicated IT tool by Food Fraud contact points, until they are integrated into iRASFF.
Each ADIS network member can designate more than one contact point to submit notifications of outbreaks of disease and reports. Each ADIS network contact point is responsible for keeping the list of notification and reporting regions established by its EU country up to date in ADIS.
Each EUROPHYT network member designates:
a contact point responsible for submitting outbreak notifications to the outbreak network; and
a contact point responsible for
supervising the submission of interception notifications for consignments of plants, plant products and other objects entering the EU
submitting interception notifications for those consignments traded in the EU, using TRACES, within 2 working days of the interception.
Each TRACES network member designates at least one contact point for each functionality that is available in TRACES.
Each operator has access to the data, information or documents it handles, produces or transmits in TRACES, and each competent authority has similar access for those data, information or documents handled, produced or transmitted under its area of responsibility whether by its staff or by the operators it manages in TRACES.
EU countries’ customs authorities have access to data, information and documents relating to animals and goods entering the EU from non-EU countries and to any official control decisions, through either TRACES or EU countries’ national systems, or the EU Single Window environment for customs when interconnected with TRACES.
The regulation lists the requirements for issuing electronic official certificates for consignments of animals and goods entering the EU.
The TRACES network contact points need to maintain and keep up to date the lists of the designated border control posts, control points and approved or registered food business or animal by-products establishments.
Common Health Entry Document (CHED)
The regulation sets out the template of the CHED and instructions for its use and lays down the requirements for the use of an electronic CHED.
It has applied since 14 December 2019, except for Section 2 of Chapter 3 on the ADIS network, which applies from 21 April 2021.
For more information, see:
Legislation on official controls (European Commission)
RASFF — Food and Feed Safety Alerts (European Commission)
Integrated Management System for Official Controls — IMSOC (European Commission)
European Union Notification System for Plant Health Interceptions — EUROPHYT (European Commission)
TRACES (European Commission).
IMSOC: the information management system for official controls, set up to handle and automatically exchange data, information and documents related to the agri-food chain.
ADIS: the computerised information system for notifying and reporting animal diseases, set up by Article 22 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429.
EUROPHYT: the EU notification system for submitting EUROPHYT outbreak notifications, in accordance with Article 103 of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031.
TRACES: the computerised system for exchanging data, information and documents concerning official controls and other official activities.
CHED: the common health entry document, including its electronic equivalent, used by businesses to prenotify the entry into the EU of consignments of animals and goods covered by the Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625, and by EU countries’ authorities to record the outcome of official controls performed on those consignments.
iRASFF: an online application through which EU countries can transmit notifications about products presenting a risk or notifications of non-compliance concerning animals or goods.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1715 of 30 September 2019 laying down rules for the functioning of the information management system for official controls and its system components (the IMSOC Regulation) (OJ L 261, 14.10.2019, pp. 37-96)
Successive amendments to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1715 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, pp. 1-142)
Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament of the Council of 26 October 2016 on protective measures against pests of plants, amending Regulations (EU) No 228/2013, (EU) No 652/2014 and (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directives 69/464/EEC, 74/647/EEC, 93/85/EEC, 98/57/EC, 2000/29/EC, 2006/91/EC and 2007/33/EC (OJ L 317, 23.11.2016, pp. 4-104)
Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (‘Animal Health Law’) (OJ L 84, 31.3.2016, pp. 1-208)
Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 January 2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene (OJ L 35, 8.2.2005, pp. 1-22)
Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, pp. 1-24)