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Control and Licensing – BLE Tasks

The BLE has important tasks in connection with the licensing of certification systems, control bodies and products as well as with direct controls of animals, plants and food.

In terms of controls, the BLE represents the new approach advocated by the EU Commission: reduce government effort, include private institutions while guaranteeing that the final responsibility remain with the government. As a state body, the BLE is responsible for the authorisation of private systems and for the monitoring of private control procedures (to control controls). According to this "New EU Approach" the BLE is a delegating authority.

The BLE is responsible for the authorisation of beef labelling systems and control bodies as well as for their monitoring, in order to assure the traceability of the beef from the point of sale back to its origin at production level (beef labelling). Also, enterprises which grade carcasses according to classes and categories are accredited and monitored by the BLE, pursuant to the Meat Act (Meat classification). Further, the BLE shall in future be responsible for the control and licensing procedures related to livestock farming pursuant to the Welfare of Animals Act (Animal welfare and transport).

In order to guarantee the sustainable production of biomass for energy and fuel production, the BLE is responsible for the recognition and monitoring of certification systems and certification bodies (sustainable biomass production). The BLE provides online services to document the sustainable bio-energy production by the economic operators and it reports to the Federal Government on the implementation of requirements concerning sustainability.

The BLE is responsible for the control and licencing of FLEGT permissions to import legally harvested timber into Germany.

As to organic farming, compliance with the requirements of the EC Eco Regulation is assured by the control bodies licensed by the BLE. In addition, the BLE takes on the procedures for traditional specialties guaranteed where agricultural products and foods are concerned.

Government controls of horticultural and agricultural products to be marketed for human consumption are also carried out: The BLE verifies compliance with European Union marketing standards for fruit and vegetables, bananas, dried grapes, hops, flowers, eggs and fishery products imported from, and where applicable, exported to third countries (quality control).

To protect marine fish stocks and to prevent overfishing of seas, the EU sets annual catch quotas and determines catch areas. The quotas indicate how many tonnes of a particular fish species may be caught in a given year. The BLE disposes of the quotas, issues catch permits and monitors maritime fisheries, using, inter alia, satellites, fishery protection vessels and fishery research vessels which the BLE also manages (fisheries).

In addition, the BLE is responsible for the examination/verification and recognition of so-called FLEGT-licenses for timber imports in order to fight illegal logging and trafficking of timber of illegal origin (Illegal logging)