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Specific national tasks

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has been assigned a number of specific national tasks by the legislator. They include

National Reference Laboratories
14 out of a total of 32 National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) in Germany in the field of food safety and food hygiene are attached to BfR. They were appointed by the federal government on the basis of European and national legal provisions. In the field of analytical-diagnostic methods the National Reference Laboratories play a pioneering role. They are the national link between the Community Reference Laboratories of the European Union and the monitoring laboratories of the federal states involved in enforcement.

Senior Expert Office for the Import Control of Wine
The Senior Expert Office for the Import Control of Wine carries out tasks similar to those of the National Reference Laboratories. Senior expert reports are prepared when samples of wine imported from non-EU countries collected by customs officials are queried by the initial expert office and the second expert office comes to a deviating conclusion. The first and second expert offices are the state control offices of the federal states.

The senior expert report of the BfR is binding for the respective customs office. Hence, the analytical work of the Senior Expert Office must be of the highest possible standard. It is, therefore, instrumental in developing new methods to expose increasingly sophisticated adulterations.

Federal Office for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)
Good Laboratory Practice is a quality assurance system. The GLP Federal Office is responsible for coordinating and harmonising GLP issues on the national and international levels and for monitoring specific GLP test bodies inside and outside Germany.

Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Animal Experiments (ZEBET)
The Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Animal Experiments is attached to BfR. Its main objective is to work towards replacing in particular statutory animal experiments wherever possible with alternative methods both nationally and internationally. ZEBET promotes the development of these methods, documents and then assesses them and works towards achieving their national and international recognition.


BfR reports to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)


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