Application procedure for approval of a novel food

A novel food is a food that has no significant history of human consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997. There are two application procedures for a novel food.

You should file an application for:

  • Authorisation: if your novel food can not be regarded as substantially equivalent to an existing food or a food that has already been approved.
  • Notification: if your product is substantially equivalent to an existing food or to a food that has already been approved.

An official application for marketing authorisation for a novel food must be submitted to both the European Commission in Brussels and the competent authority of one of the EU Member States.

In the Netherlands, the competent authority is the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. On request of the Ministry, the Novel Foods Unit assesses the food safety of the product scientifically. The Novel Foods Unit performs its tasks together with an independent panel of experts: the Committee on the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods (VNV).