In June of 2006, the Commission passed a broad regulation on egg labeling—Number 1028—that served mainly to set out labeling requirements distinguishing between Class A eggs (eggs for direct human consumption) and Class B eggs (other eggs). It paved the way for more detailed egg labeling legislation, such as Regulation 557 of 2007, that had a more direct impact on hen welfare.
(Acts whose publication is obligatory)
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1028/2006 of 19 June 2006 on marketing standards for eggs
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2771/75 of 29
October 1975 on the common organisation of the market in
eggs (1), and in particular Article 2(2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
(1) Marketing standards for eggs can contribute to the
improvement in the quality of eggs and, consequently,
facilitate their sale. It is therefore in the interest of
producers, traders and consumers that marketing
standards are applied in respect of eggs.
(2) The experience gained from the application of Council
Regulation (EEC) No 1907/90 of 26 June 1990 on
certain marketing standards for eggs (2) has made
apparent the need for further amendments and simplification.
Regulation (EEC) No 1907/90 should therefore be
repealed and replaced by a new Regulation.
(3) The standards should in principle be applicable to all
eggs of hens of the species Gallus gallus marketed in
the Community. Nevertheless, it appears advisable to
give to the Member States the possibility to exempt
from the application of those standards eggs sold
through certain forms of direct sale from the producer
to the final consumer where small quantities are
(4) A clear distinction should be drawn between eggs
suitable for direct human consumption and eggs not
suitable for direct human consumption, which are for
use in the food or non-food industry. Two quality
classes of eggs, Class A and Class B, should therefore
(5) It should be possible for the consumer to distinguish
between eggs of different quality and weight grades and
to identify the farming method used in accordance with
Commission Directive 2002/4/EC of 30 January 2002 on
the registration of establishments keeping laying hens,
covered by Council Directive 1999/74/EC (3). This
requirement should be met by marking eggs and packs.
(6) Class A eggs should be marked with the distinguishing
number of the producer as provided for in Directive
2002/4/EC in order to enable the tracing of eggs
placed on the market for human consumption. Class B
eggs should also be marked in order to prevent fraudulent
practices. However, it should also be possible
for Class B eggs to be marked with an indication other
than the producer code as long as it allows for the
distinction between different quality gradings. In
accordance with the principle of proportionality, the
Member States should be allowed to provide for derogations
where class B eggs are marketed exclusively on
(7) In order to prevent fraudulent practices, eggs should be
marked as early as possible after laying.
(8) Packing centres that are approved in accordance with
Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying
down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin (4)
should grade eggs by quality and weight. Packing centres
working exclusively for the food and non-food industry
should not be required to grade eggs by weight.
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(1) OJ L 282, 1.11.1975, p. 49. Regulation as last amended by Regulation
(EC) No 679/2006 (OJ L 119, 4.5.2006, p. 1).
(2) OJ L 173, 6.7.1990, p. 5. Regulation as last amended by Regulation
(EC) No 1039/2005 (OJ L 172, 5.7.2005, p. 1).
(3) OJ L 30, 31.1.2002, p. 44. Directive as amended by the 2003 Act of
(4) OJ L 139, 30.4.2004, p. 55. Corrected version in OJ L 226,
25.6.2004, p. 22. Regulation as last amended by Commission Regulation
(EC) No 2076/2005 (OJ L 338, 22.12.2005, p. 83).
(9) In order to make sure that packing centres are adequately
equipped to grade eggs and pack Class A eggs, they
should also be authorised by the competent authorities
and receive a packing centre code that facilitates the
tracing of eggs placed on the market.
(10) It is essential, in the interest of both producers and
consumers, that eggs imported from third countries
comply with Community standards. However, special
provisions in force in certain third countries may
justify derogations from those standards if the
equivalence of legislation is guaranteed.
(11) Member States should designate the inspection services
responsible for supervising this Regulation. The
procedures for such supervision should be uniform.
(12) Member States should lay down rules on penalties
applicable to infringements of the provisions of this
(13) The measures necessary for the implementation of this
Regulation should be adopted in accordance with
Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying
down the procedures for the exercise of implementing
powers conferred on the Commission (1),
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Subject-matter and scope
1. This Regulation lays down the conditions of marketing
within the Community of the eggs produced in the
Community or imported from third countries.
Those conditions of marketing shall also apply to eggs intended
for export outside the Community.
2. Member States may exempt from the requirements of this
Regulation, with the exception of Article 4(3), eggs sold directly
to the final consumer by the producer:
(a) on the production site, or
(b) in a local public market or by door-to-door selling in the
region of production of the Member State concerned.
Where such exemption is granted, each producer shall be able
to choose whether to apply such exemption or not. Where this
exemption is applied, no quality and weight grading may be
The Member State may establish, according to national law, the
definition of the terms local public market, door-to-door selling
and region of production.
For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions
1. 'eggs' means eggs in shell - other than broken, incubated or
cooked eggs - that are produced by hens of the species
Gallus gallus and are fit for direct human consumption or
for the preparation of egg products;
2. 'broken eggs' means eggs showing breaks of both the shell
and the membranes, resulting in the exposure of their
3. 'incubated eggs' means eggs from the time of insertion in the
4. 'marketing' means holding eggs for the purpose of sale,
including offering for sale, storage, packing, labelling,
delivery, or any other form of transfer, whether free of
charge or not;
5. 'operator' means a producer and any other natural or legal
person involved in the marketing of eggs;
6. 'production site' means an establishment keeping laying hens
registered in accordance with Directive 2002/4/EC;
7. 'packing centre' means a packing centre within the meaning
of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 that is authorised according
to Article 5(2) of this Regulation and where eggs are graded
by quality and weight;
8. 'final consumer' means the ultimate consumer of a foodstuff
who will not use the food as part of any food business
operation or activity;
9. 'producer code' means the distinguishing number of the
production site according to point 2 of the Annex to
Quality and weight grading
1. Eggs shall be graded by quality as follows:
- Class A or 'fresh',
- Class B.
2. Class A eggs shall also be graded by weight. However,
grading by weight shall not be required for eggs delivered to
the food and non-food industry.
3. Class B eggs shall only be delivered to the food and nonfood
L 186/2 EN Official Journal of the European Union 7.7.2006
(1) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
Marking of eggs
1. Class A eggs shall be marked with the producer code.
Class B eggs shall be marked with the producer code and/or
with another indication.
Member States may exempt Class B eggs from this requirement
where those eggs are marketed exclusively on their territory.
2. The marking of eggs in accordance with paragraph 1 shall
take place at the production site or at the first packing centre to
which eggs are delivered.
3. Eggs sold by the producer to the final consumer on a local
public market in the region of production of the Member State
concerned shall be marked in accordance with paragraph 1 of
However, Member States may exempt from this requirement
producers with up to 50 laying hens, provided that the name
and address of the producer are indicated at the point of sale.
1. Packing centres shall grade and pack eggs and label their
2. The competent authority shall authorise packing centres
to grade eggs and shall allot a packing centre code to any
operator whose premises and technical equipment are suitable
for grading eggs by quality and weight. No suitable technical
equipment for grading eggs by weight shall be required for
packing centres working exclusively for the food and nonfood
3. Such authorisation may be withdrawn whenever the
required conditions laid down in the implementing rules
adopted pursuant to Article 11 are no longer fulfilled.
Import of eggs
1. The Commission shall evaluate marketing standards for
eggs applicable in exporting third countries on request of the
country concerned. This evaluation shall extend to the rules on
marking and labelling, farming methods and controls as well as
implementation. If it finds that the rules applied offer sufficient
guarantees as to equivalence with Community legislation, eggs
imported from the countries concerned shall be marked with a
distinguishing number equivalent to the producer code.
2. The Commission shall, where necessary, conduct negotiations
with third countries aimed at finding appropriate
ways of offering guarantees as referred to in paragraph 1 and
concluding agreements on such guarantees.
3. If sufficient guarantees as to equivalence of rules are not
provided, imported eggs from the third country concerned shall
bear a code permitting the identification of the country of
origin and the indication that the farming method is 'unspecified'.
1. The Member States shall appoint inspection services to
check compliance with this Regulation.
2. The inspection services referred to in paragraph 1 shall
check the products covered by this Regulation at all stages of
marketing. Apart from random sampling, checks shall be carried
out on the basis of a risk analysis, taking into account the type
and throughput of the establishment concerned, as well as the
operator's past records as regards compliance with the
marketing standards for eggs.
3. For Class A eggs imported from third countries, checks
provided for in paragraph 2 shall be made at the time of
customs clearance and prior to the release for free circulation.
Class B eggs imported from third countries shall be released for
free circulation only after checking at the time of customs
clearance that their final destination is the processing industry.
The Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties
applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation
and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are
implemented. The penalties provided for shall be effective,
proportionate and dissuasive.
The Member States and the Commission shall communicate to
each other the information necessary for the application of this
1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Management
Committee for Poultrymeat and Eggs.
2. Where reference is made to this Article, Articles 4 and 7
of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC
shall be set at one month.
3. The Committee shall adopt its Rules of Procedure.
7.7.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 186/3
Detailed rules for the implementation of this Regulation shall be
adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article
10(2), in particular regarding:
1. frequency of collection, delivery, preservation and handling
2. quality criteria, in particular the appearance of the shell, the
consistency of the white and the yolk and the height of the
3. weight grading, including exceptions;
4. marking of eggs and indications on packs, including further
6. trade with third countries;
7. communications referred to in Article 9;
8. farming methods;
9. records and keeping of registers.
1. Regulation (EEC) No 1907/90 is repealed with effect from
1 July 2007.
2. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed
as references to this Regulation and shall be read in accordance
with the correlation table in the Annex.
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the seventh day
following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the
It shall apply from 1 July 2007.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Luxembourg, 19 June 2006.
For the Council
L 186/4 EN Official Journal of the European Union 7.7.2006
Regulation (EEC) No 1907/90 This Regulation
Article 1 Article 2
Article 2(1) Article 1(1)
Article 2(2) -
Article 2(3) Article 1(2)
Article 2(4) -
Article 3 -
Article 4 -
Article 5(1) and (3) Article 5
Article 5(2) -
Article 6(1) and (2) Article 3
Article 6(3) Article 11
Article 6(4) and (5) -
Article 7(1)(a) Article 4(1)
Article 7(1)(b) and (c) Article 6
Article 7(1)(d) Article 11
Article 7(2) -
Article 8(1) Article 4(1)
Article 8(2) -
Article 9 -
Article 10 -
Article 11 -
Article 12 -
Article 13 -
Article 14 -
Article 15 -
Article 16(1) first sentence Article 1(1) 2nd subparagraph
Article 16(2) and (3) -
Article 17 -
Article 18 Article 7(1) and (2)
Article 19 -
Article 20 Article 11
Article 21 Article 8
Article 22(1) Article 9
Article 22(2) Article 11
Article 22a -
Article 23 Article 12
Article 24 Article 13
Annex II -
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