FSA extends CBD Novel Foods deadline to deal with applications pile-up


The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is extending the deadline by which CBD companies must make their novel foods application as it deals with a rush of last minute applications, and firms suffer a high fail rate.

The FSA said in January that it expected all applications to be validated by March 31st and advised companies to submit applications by February 8 in order to allow time for the eight working days for an administrative check and a further 30 working days for validation.

But last week the UK authority announced that companies could continue to make their applications until March 31, after receiving many applications in the last few weeks.

“Applying for novel food authorisation is the only way CBD products can remain on sale here”

Emily Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said: “Applying for novel food authorisation is the only way CBD products can remain on sale here. For the past year, we’ve been encouraging all businesses to submit good quality applications as a matter of urgency.

‘However, we have received a large number of applications close to the deadline. This means that, in order to process these properly, we are adapting the criteria of products allowed to remain on sale from 1 April.

Pragmatic and proportionat
‘For some time now we’ve been supporting a pragmatic and proportionate approach to CBD regulation. Our commitment to ensuring that consumers know these products are being checked for safety remains firm.’

Applications are subject to an 8-day admin check, and it can then take up to 30 working days for an application to be validated. These validated applications will then continue through an authorisation process that undertakes checks on safety to determine whether products can be authorised for sale.

The FSA said a list of products linked to validated applications will be published on the its website in April and regularly updated. It will also publish a list of products associated with applications which have not yet fully met the legal requirements to be validated “but have set out sufficiently robust plans to prove they are fully committed to delivering the remaining information required”.

The authority stressed that validation was not the same as authorisation, and there was no guarantee that a validated application would eventually be authorised. 

High failure rate
Earlier in the month the specialist new website businesscan.com said it had learnt that only 25% of novel foods applications had so far been passed on to the validation phase, with many failing to pass the FSA’s admin check. 

Matt Laswon, co-founder of The Canna Consultants, which assists brands with novel foods applications, told businessman.com: “The high failure rate is perhaps only to be expected given the flippancy with which many in the industry treated the requirements of the application process”.