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Food Safety

Legislation on feed additives

About the regulation

The Feed Additives Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003) of September 2003 establishes a common procedure for authorising feed additives and lays down rules for their placing on the market, labelling and use.

The regulation applies to all feed additives and premixtures. It does not apply to:

  • processing aids
  • veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) which are regulated by the new Regulation (EU) 2019/6 on veterinary medicinal products that repeals Directive 2001/82/EC

The European Commission is now carrying out an evaluation of the Feed Additives regulation.

General Aspects

Only additives that have been through an authorisation procedure may be placed on the market and used. Authorisations are granted for use in feed intended for specific animal species or categories, and for specific conditions of use.

Additives may be classified into the following categories:

  • Technological additives (e.g. preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilising agents, acidity regulators, silage additives)
  • Sensory additives (e.g. flavourings, colorants)
  • Nutritional additives (e.g. vitamins, minerals, aminoacids, trace elements)
  • Zootechnical additives (e.g. digestibility enhancers, gut flora stabilizers)
  • Coccidiostats and histomonostats

These categories are themselves divided into functional groups according to the additives' main functions.

Antibiotics, other than coccidiostats or histomonostats, are not feed additives under European legislation.


Additives must be labelled in a conspicuous, clearly, legible and indelible manner. The label shall include the following information:

  • the specific name given to the additives upon authorisation, the functional group to which they belong, and their identification number
  • the name and address or registered place of the person responsible for these particulars
  • the net weight or net volume of the additives
  • where appropriate the approval number of the establishment manufacturing the additive or placing it on the market
  • directions for use and, where applicable, any safety recommendations regarding use
  • the specific requirements mentioned in the authorisation
  • the batch reference number and date of manufacture.

The Regulation also establishes requirements for the labelling of premixtures of feed additives.

Related Legislation

Commission Regulation (EC) No 429/2008 of 25 April 2008 on detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the preparation and the presentation of applications and the assessment and the authorisation of feed additives.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1381 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain and amending Regulations (EC) No 178/2002, (EC) No 1829/2003, (EC) No 1831/2003, (EC) No 2065/2003, (EC) No 1935/2004, (EC) No 1331/2008, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) 2015/2283 and Directive 2001/18/EC.

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