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Safety of Food and Feed

Safety of Food and Feed

Competencies of the Border phytosanitary inspection which responsibilities is Safety of Food and Feed of plant and composite origin on import and export come from the Food Safety Law . 35 groups of products are subjected 
Procedure includes: 
  1. receipt of request for import,
  2. checking documentation,
  3. identification and physical check of consignment,
  4. sampling,
  5. issuing import permit/prohibition. 
Testing of basic safety parameters (quality, the presence of pesticides residues, the presence of heavy metals,  the presence of mycotoxins, microbiology) on food and feed
Additional tests (the presence of GMO, the presence of ionizing radiation, etc.) on food and feed. 
All laboratories (state and private) have been chosen on the tender for laboratories on the basis of proposal of Commission for assessment of the applications, formed by the Minister of agriculture and environmental protection
List of chosen laboratories is published in the “Official Gazette”.
Laboratories are accredited in accordance with the standard  EN ISO/IEC 17025
Quality control
  • Visual - Rulebooks laid down what the appearance of marketed product must be: colour, consistency, clarity, sediment, odour, shape and other.
  • Chemical - products are sampled and laboratories conduct chemical analyses of certain prescribed parameters for a given type of product.
  • Organoleptic - carried out by trained tasters, who on the basis of sensor observations assess the conformity of the product for this particular product type.
  • Labelling - labelling includes any words, data, letter code, brand name or trademarks, designs or symbols that refer to foods that are declared and are attached to any packaging,  document, ring-handle, food pack or tags.
  • Products placed on the market are generally packaged and declared so as to provide consumers with relevant information and for the purposes of consumer protection against possible presence of substances that can cause adverse reactions to certain users.
  • Labelling is done in a manner that does not mislead end user of the product and it is pertains to packed and unpacked products, and those that are packed on the spot.
Contents of the label
  • Food that is placed on the market must be declared to contain information from general regulations on labelling and information referred to in special regulations which determine specific type of food (bread- flour type, hot chilli peppers ...)
  • Information must be written in Serbian language that are understandable, visible, clear ...
  • Product declaration provides data about food characteristics, quantity, durability, origin and method of production.
  • The food declared on the label must not be attributed any properties it does not possess or properties possessed by other food of the same kind. 
  • The height of lowercase letters on the label should be greater than or equal to 1.2 mm, and 0.9 mm for packaging with a maximum surface of 80 cm2, in the same view field (all surfaces of packaging that can be seen from one point of view), stating the following information:
    • name of the food,
    • net quantity,
    • expiry date or indication of where that information can be found,
    • actual alcohol content in drinks over 1.2% vol,
    • other information if prescribed by special regulations.
Aromas are marked on the label with "flavourings" or with a specific name or description of the flavouring (refreshing non-alcoholic drink with apple flavour).
Description of flavourings containing wording "natural" is used only if the flavouring component is isolated by appropriate physical, enzymatic, microbiological or traditional methods from these foods or herbal raw materials.
Additives are indicated on the label stating the category and name of the additive or its E number (E211, sodium benzoate or preservative).
Declaring of non-packed food
It is obligatory to state the following:
  • Name of the food
  • Data about the entity that packs the food
  • List of ingredients (baked food, beverages from the machine...)
  • Expiry date
Data must be clearly stated, visible and legible on the point of sale (machine).

Other data prescribed by the rulebook must be stated in underlying documents submitted before the delivery of food and must be presented to the customer at request.
  • Name of the food or description thereof cannot be replaced by trade name, product brand,  or popular name (spicy cayenne pepper).
  • Ingredients are substances (additives and enzymes) present in final product and are stated in descending order (mixed fruit nectar).
  • Vitamins and minerals added to the product must be stated, and if there is only one ingredient, it is not required to state its chemical source.
  • List of ingredients of food (fresh fruit and vegetables, vinegar, soda water …).
  • Listing of quantity of ingredients is obligatory if that ingredient is stated in the name or picture and if it gives a specific property to the product (blackberry fruit nectar …).
  • The ingredients do not have to contain components quantity of which has already been prescribed in a specific regulation. 
  • Net quantity is filling quantity or quantity before packing.
  • For collective packaging, net quantity for individual package is stated, as well as total number of individual packs (chocolate bananas).
  • Collective packaging sold individually is labelled in terms of total quantity of the packaging and total number of individual packs.
  • When solid food in contained in liquid solution, quantity of drained content must be declared (pickled cucumber). 
Expiry period
Expiry deadline includes period in which the food retains its intrinsic properties under proper preservation and storing conditions (Rakia - ethyl carbamate).

Expiry deadline is expressed by wording "best before".

The deadline includes day, month and year.

For food which can be used: 
  • maximum 3 months - state the day and month,
  • more than 3 months -18 months, state month and year,
  • more than 18 months - state only the year.
Expiry date is not declared for fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, alcoholic drinks, vinegar, baked products, sugar and chewing gums.
Alcohol content and lot

The content of alcohol in beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume of alcohol is expressed with maximum one decimal preceded by indication - alcohol or alc., and followed by % vol.

Food is placed on the market with a label of corresponding series or lot. The lot is a group of  food units processed, manufactured or packed under almost identical conditions. It is declared by relevant business operator and is marked with letter L. It is not declared when the agricultural products of raw materials are delivered for further processing or for transport of non-packaged food, and is also not declared for food that is marked with expiry date, containing the day, month and year.

Nutritional and energy value

Declaring of nutritional value includes:
  • energy value and quantity of proteins, carbohydrates and fats,
  • energy value and quantity of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, saturated fat acids, fibres and salts,
  • energy value and quantity of fats, sugars, saturated fat acids, salts, carbohydrates and proteins.
Energy value and quantity of nutrients or components thereof are expressed on individual or collective packs. 
In addition to basic data defined in the Rulebook on declaring, food labelling and advertising, visual field of a label should contain also other data as prescribed in special regulations, which is typical and important for the presentation of products to the final consumer (teas, spices, powdered products ...)

With some products (fruit-fruit juices and nectars, beer) production process (pasteurisation and sterilisation) is essential for determining shelf life, and for the way of keeping, so that piece of information is also stated on the label.

When a product is added certain ingredient (SO2) which is not typical for that category, such information must be noted.

Advertising of food

Advertising and presentation of food in terms of shape, appearance or packaging, as well as the design mode, should be characteristic features of the product essential to be communicated to the consumer and to prevent misleading in terms of product quality.

It is forbidden to advertise the product features possessed by products of the same type and category (biscuits without GMO).

The adoption of a new rulebook on labelling has given all manufacturers of juices, nectars and refreshing non-alcoholic beverages an opportunity to put attractive pictures of fruit on the packaging, regardless of the proportion of fruit in the product (which is regulated by special regulations).

Declaring of wines

Wine is a product which is packed, declared and labelled pursuant to specific regulation.

The declaration must contain obligatory data: name of the product, type, nominal volume, content of real alcohol, name and address of the winery and bottling plant, wine sweetness, lot and content of allergens.

Wines with geographic origin must contain data related to quality category on the label (G.I. K.P.K. and  K.G.P.K.), as well as mark of geographic origin.

Vintage and name and type of vine can be stated only on products with geographic origin produced of 85% of that grape sort, of that specific vintage.

Wines are labelled with control numbers which are placed on the label on the occasion of declaration.

After the control of declared data, wine is designated with a unique and unrepeatable control number.

Wine with geographic origin are also labelled with record tag, which declares its quality category. 
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