New Norwegian rules on the addition of vitamins and minerals and other substances to food and food supplements will compromise the functioning of the EU single market, warns ESSNA.

Set to enter into force in January 2020, the new Norwegian regulatory framework includes several provisions that do not abide by EU rules and will affect the trade of supplements and other foods between Norway and the EU, thus compromising the functioning of the single market: The regulation would close the Norwegian market to certain foods and supplements from the EEA Member States, with significant impact on EU businesses, particularly SMEs, and reducing Norwegian consumers ‘access to safe European products, cautions ESSNA.

The new Norwegian rules establish controversial measures disputed by the industry. Among others, the legislation establishes a “closed” list of substances allowed to be used in food and food supplements, which means that anything not included is not allowed. This list leaves out a number of safe substances commonly used in supplements and foods in EU Member States and requires companies to ask for pre-authorisation to be able to sell products to which these substances are added. The legislation also sets maximum allowed levels for substances included on the list at lower levels than what is accepted and applied in other EU Member States based on extensive safety assessments.

According to ESSNA, Norway has been warned by the industry’s trade associations of the risks for the single market but has failed to address the concerns expressed by the industry, instead moving forward with its plan to start applying the regulation in 2020.

Adam Carey, ESSNA’s Chair said:

These provisions have no room in the single market if we want to ensure its correct functioning. They present a challenge for the industry and set a bad precedent for other EEA members that may follow by establishing similar regulations of their own. We ask Norway to reconsider the current text of the legislation and, at the very least, to respect the mutual recognition principle by ensuring that products lawfully commercialise in the EU can be sold in Norway”

The supplements and active nutrition industries are calling on Norway to reconsider the text of the regulations to ensure coherence with the EU single market and to ensure that EU products have access to Norway.