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Regulatory approach

Our regulatory approach provides information on how the FSA meets its responsibilities under the Governments’ regulatory framework and reports on the impacts of regulatory changes we introduce in line with our reporting commitments.
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We engage with stakeholders to inform and develop policy decisions and assessing the impacts of these decisions.

We have a statutory objective to protect public health and consumers' other interests in relation to food. Excessive or unclear regulations, however, place an unnecessary burden on business, and other groups, and so hinder effective delivery of the intended benefits.

We strive to be a fair and effective regulator, proportionate and forward-looking in our regulatory approach and focused on achieving the outcomes we seek.

Our pledge is to put consumers first in everything we do, so that food is safe and what it says it is, that we have access to an affordable healthy diet, and can make informed choices about what we eat, now and in the future.

Our Food Standards Agency brochure - Food we can trust sets out our priorities and proposed approaches to achieve our strategic outcomes including the principles by which we work.

Engagement and consultation

Engaging and consulting with stakeholders is critical to what we do and how we develop our regulatory approach. You can help shape the way food and feed law is implemented in the UK by providing us with your views and evidence to help inform our decision making process.

Find out more information on consultations or find the latest consultations.

Impact Assessments

An Impact Assessment (IA) is a policy tool to assess impacts of options considered this includes the expected costs and benefits against rationale for Government intervention. Understanding the costs, benefits, and risks of any new measure or proposal is fundamental to good policy making.

Business Impact Target Reporting

The Government’s Business Impact Target (BIT) concerns the economic impact of regulation on business.

We are required to report qualifying measures that come into force or cease to be in force during the reporting period in line with the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (SBEE) and the Enterprise Act 2016.  

2019 to 2020

Qualifying regulatory provisions (QRPs) 2019-2020

Between 13 December 2019 and 16 December 2020 we did not introduce any qualifying regulatory provisions under the BIT.

Non-qualifying regulatory provisions (NQRPs) 2019-2020

FSA BIT Reporting in previous years

The Government’s Business Impact Target Reports

Regulatory review

Regulation should be proportionate and effective in delivering the intended outcome. Our routine review of existing regulations are carried out to monitor and maintain regulatory effectiveness and proportionality.

Details of planned and completed FSA reviews 

The FSA Food and Feed Law Guide

The Food and Feed Law Guide 

We maintain a published list of food and feed legislation that applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The Food and Feed Law Guide is a useful reference tool for businesses, local authorities and others that have an interest in following food and feed law requirements.  

Our innovation and regulation plan

Our Innovation and Regulation plan brings together and highlights the work we do and sets out how our regulatory framework is working effectively to support innovation and disruptive business models.

Regulators’ Code

We follow The Regulators' Code which provides a clear, flexible and principles-based framework for how regulators should engage with those they regulate. 

Though we strive to be an excellent, accountable and modern regulator we accept that others may not always agree with our approach. The following sets out the standards you should expect from the FSA and how you can complain if we fail to meet this.

Service standards - whether you are a consumer or business, we are committed to providing you with a helpful, courteous and efficient service as set out in our statement of service standards.

Complaints and comments - receiving comments and responding to complaints is important to us and we will try to resolve any problem quickly, and explain what we have done and why.