Belgium-Luxembourg - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards
EU legislation is made up of Directives and Regulations which must be translated into the 23 official languages in use in the EU-27. Directives define the result that must be achieved but leave to each Member State the choice of form and methods to transpose the directive into national laws (usually within 2-3 years after adoption). Regulations are binding in their entirety and automatically enter into force on a set date in all Member States. Amendments to EU legislation are usually published in new and separate Directives and Regulations. A Decision is binding entirely on those to whom it is addressed. No national implementing legislation is required. A recommendation has no binding effect as it is not a law.
Harmonization with the EU
Belgium, as a member of the EU, conforms to all EU regulations and directives. Regulation (EC) 178/2002 (General Food Law) is the harmonized regulation which sets out the general principles and requirements of EU harmonized food law. Exporters should be aware that there may also be some variation among Member States in applying EU harmonized legislation; there may be temporary waivers or exemptions and in certain cases there may be room for interpretation of EU harmonized legislation or other aspects which are not regulated in detail at EU level and may be handled differently in different member states.