Consultation on improved enforcement of the Protected Food Name Scheme

Closed 2 Nov 2018

Opened 5 Oct 2018


This consultation seeks your views on proposals by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to introduce regulations which will provide proportionate and effective enforcement for the Protected Food Names scheme in the form of civil sanctions. The proposed regulations will also introduce improved reporting of Protected Food Name inspection results by control bodies and a right of appeal in respect of decisions regarding the registration of a Protected Food Name. 

Who is this consultation aimed at

This consultation will be of relevance for businesses that produce or retail Protected Food Name products and bodies who certify or carry out enforcement of these products.

We would prefer you to give us your answers to the consultation questions using the online tool below. If you are unable to do so, a PDF of the consultation is available below, which can be emailed to:

Alternatively, postal responses should be addressed to:

The PFN team
2nd Floor
Horizon House
Deanery Road

If you would like to keep in contact with us, to express interest in this or any other Defra consultation, please give us your details through the link below.

Why your views matter

Responsibility for enforcing the use of EU Protected Food Names on products produced and/or sold in the UK is given to Local Authorities. Local authorities currently enforce using powers under the UK-wide Food Safety Act 1990, the Fraud Act 2006 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

To ensure the scheme delivers robust protection and its rules are clear, the government is introducing bespoke enforcement legislation for the Protected Food Name Scheme. This will create a new civil sanctions regime which will address the misuse of a Protected Food Name. The civil sanctions regime consists of a compliance notice supported by a non-compliance penalty notice, and the option for the Local Authority to seek costs in the event that a non-compliance penalty notice has to be issued. Unlike the current enforcement regime which carries fines and/or custodial sentences, the sanctions under this proposal will extend only to monetary penalties and will clarify the enforcement options open to enforcing authorities.

While criminal prosecutions can carry substantial penalties, they are used relatively infrequently, in part because they can be resource-intensive and costly to pursue. Some may feel, therefore, that there is little risk or little to lose from not complying. Furthermore, the government's policy is to avoid the creation of unnecessary or disproportionate criminal sanctions when implementing EU or international obligations.

This proposal also establishes a right of appeal against decisions made by the Secretary of State about applications.

We are consulting on our proposal to ensure the powers and sanctions it establishes for the scheme are proportionate to the impact of the misuse of Protected Food Names.

These rules will apply UK-wide.

On 23 June 2016, the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. During this period the government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU.


  • Food Business Operators


  • Protected food names