Food Safety

CAFIA can block foreign websites endangering consumers

Published: 5 December 2023

During own inspection activities and through suggestions made by consumers, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) detects an increasing number of illegal websites operated from abroad aiming at domestic consumers. E-shops offer goods in Czech language, allow payments in Czech crowns as well as shipping to the Czech Republic. If their operators are based outside the EU, compliance with domestic and European legislation cannot be effectively enforced. It is also very often the case that no operator is identified on the website, even though this is required by legislation. Some operators misuse the opportunities connected with online sales and expose domestic consumers to deceptive practices or even offer unsafe products. Illegal practices in internet sales most often concern food supplements.

In order to prevent serious cases – in particular offering of unsafe foodstuffs – CAFIA now has the power to order internet service providers in the Czech Republic to prevent access to the websites with unsafe foodstuffs in the country. The Act on CAFIA (No. 146/2002 Coll.) authorises CAFIA to order blocking of the websites offering unsafe foodstuffs or with content that seriously violates legislation. Blocking must be carried out by all Internet access service providers in the Czech Republic within 15 days since placed on the “list of blocked websites”. This tool is used only as the last option in case the illegal situation cannot be remedied by standard inspection procedures. If the operator remedies the illegal situation, CAFIA will delete the website from the list concerned.

CAFIA releases a list of blocked websites including identification of violations on the Food Pillory website in its section Risky websites (items labelled as “blocked“). The section Risky websites contains further 116 websites that are not blocked (items labelled as “not blocked“), but CAFIA warns against other violations of legislation.

The most significant violations present on the blocked websites include offering of unsafe foodstuffs containing prohibited substances or promotion of chemical compounds that can threaten consumers’ health when consumed, but they are presented as foodstuffs or food supplements.

Article by: Mgr. Pavel Kopřiva – CAFIA Spokesperson, phone.: +420 542 426 633 
30th November 2023

Source: Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority | CAFIA can block foreign websites endangering consumers (