The Federal Office for Food Safety (BAES) was established by the Health and Food Safety Act - GESG (Federal Law Gazette I No. 63/2002 as amended). It is assigned to the Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH (AGES) and, according to § 6 para 5 GESG, has to make use of the means available to AGES in the execution of its sovereign tasks.
DI Dr. Thomas Kickinger
Mag. Josefine Sinkovits (Deputy Director)
Monitoring and Control Department
Elke Oberbichler, BSc, MSc
Department Legal Services, Licensing & Certification, Communication
Mag. Josefine Sinkovits
During office hours, parties have the opportunity to inspect files and to make copies of files for a fee. Pursuant to Section 13(5) AVG, the BAES establishes the following office hours and times designated for party traffic:
Monday to Thursday 9.00 - 15.00 a.m.Friday 9.00 - 12.00 h
Inspections pursuant to § 3 para. 2 of the Plant Protection Act shall in principle only take place on working days (Mon-Fri) between 08:00 and 17:00. In case of late arrival of a consignment with perishable goods, the inspection may take place outside this time at the request of the party.
In addition to the director and his deputy in the operational area, the BAES consists of the two divisions "Surveillance and Control" and "Legal Service, Licensing, Certification and Communication". The respective technical responsibilities can be found in the rules of procedure or the division of business.
Pursuant to Section 6 (1) of the GESG, the BAES is responsible for the enforcement of the following material laws in the respective applicable version, including the national legal provisions referring to them, as well as European legal requirements:
- Z 1: Seeds Act 1997 as amended.
- Z 2: Planting Material Act 1997 as amended
- Z 3: Plant Variety Protection Act 2001 as amended
- Z 4: Plant Protection Products Act 2011 as amended
- Z 5: Plant Protection Act 2018 as amended
- Z 6: Feed Act 1999 as amended
- Z 7: Fertilizer Act 2021 as amended
- Z 8: Marketing Standards Act as amended
Pursuant to Section 6(3) of the GESG, the BAES must apply the Administrative Procedure Acts (in particular the AVG, VStG, EGVG and VVG), as amended from time to time, when performing its duties as an authority.
Pursuant to § 6 para. 2 GESG, the BAES is a subordinate agency of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. In order to carry out the sovereign tasks listed in § 6 para. 1 GESG, the BAES must also make use of the means available to the Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH (hereinafter referred to as AGES), deploy professionally qualified inspection bodies and issue them with a corresponding identification certificate for this purpose. For activities of the BAES on the occasion of the execution of the above-mentioned sovereign tasks, a fee is to be paid in accordance with a tariff (§ 57 AVG), which the BAES is to set with the approval of the Federal Minister of Finance to cover the costs. In administrative penalty proceedings, fees are to be imposed on the accused in the penalty decision in addition to an administrative penalty; these are to be paid directly to the Federal Office for Food Safety. Pursuant to Section 6 (7) of the GESG, the BAES is required to publish official news and to make them available in an appropriate form to the circles concerned. In the "Official News of the Federal Office for Food Safety" shall be announced in particular: 1. announcements on the basis of the above-mentioned federal laws, 2. the tariff experts of the Commission and of the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management may accompany the control bodies in the performance of activities within the scope of the federal laws listed above.
The employees of the BAES are in a valid employment relationship with AGES GmbH. Section 9(1)(1) of the GESG explicitly lays down the legal obligation for AGES to maintain objectivity and impartiality in the performance of its duties. Within the framework of the execution of the GESG, but also on the basis of individual provisions of substantive law, the employees of AGES must uphold the principles of independence, objectivity and impartiality.
In addition, AGES and its employees are obliged to maintain and ensure independence and integrity due to their accreditation as conformity assessment bodies according to EN ISO/IEC 17025, EN ISO/IEC 17020 and EN ISO/IEC 17065.