Notes

Latest Revision Date (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/06/2013


(Voluntary) Products from organic production

The placing on the European Union (EU) market of live or unprocessed agricultural products, processed agricultural products for use as food, animal feed, seeds and vegetative propagating material, bearing a reference to organic production methods, must comply with the rules laid down by Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 (OJ L-189 20/07/2007) (CELEX 32007R0834).

These rules, established by Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 (OJ L-250 18/09/2008) (CELEX 32008R0889) cover mainly the following aspects:

  • Production, processing, packaging, transport and storage of products
  • Use of certain products and substances in processing of food (Annexes VIII and IX of Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008).
    A list of ingredient authorisations is available in the Data base of the Organic Farming Information System (OFIS) official website: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/ofis_public/r7/ctrl_r7.cfm?targetUrl=home
  • Prohibition of use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and of products manufactured from GMO in organic production
  • European Union organic production logo (New from 1 July 2010). The logo and indications referring to organic production methods may be used only for certain products which meet all the conditions laid down by Regulation. Information on regulation for use, user manual and FAQs is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/eu-policy/logo_en
  • Inspection measures and specific control scheme to be applied for this type of products by the appointed authorities in the Member States.

Imports from third country

Organic products from third countries may only be placed on the EU market when they are labelled as products with indications referring to organic production, if they have been produced in accordance with production rules and subject to inspection arrangements that are in compliance with, or equivalent to Community legislation.

Imports into the EU are allowed according to the following schemes established by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 (OJ L-334 12/12/2008) (CELEX 32008R1235):

Country Authorisation

In order to ascertain that goods have been obtained according to production rules equivalent to those laid down in the Community, the European Commission makes a thorough investigation into the arrangements in the country concerned, examining not only the requirements imposed on production but also the measures applied to ensure effective control. Where rules are found to be equivalent, the third country is included in the list of authorised countries established in the Annex III of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008.

Control by recognised inspection body or recognised inspection authority

From 1 July 2012, the Commission has established a list of control authorities and control bodies competent to carry out inspections in countries not included in the list of recognised third countries, as stated in Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008. The function of these authorities and bodies is to guarantee that products have been produced:

  • in compliance with Community production rules (art. 32 of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007) or,
  • are equivalent to Community legislation (art. 33.3 of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007)

Imports of organic products can only take place if these recognised authorities or bodies have controlled them.

Authorisations to importers on a case by case basis

In order not to disrupt international trade, and to facilitate the transition between the rules established by Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 and those established by Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, a transitional system is applicable.

From 1 January 2009 and up to 24 months after the first list of control authorities and control bodies is being published, Member States shall be allowed to continue to grant import authorisations for consignments from third countries not included in the above mentioned list. Importers must prove that products were obtained according to production rules equivalent to those laid down by Community legislation and were subject to inspection measures. The Member State shall notify the European Commission and the other Member States the list of products for which it has issued an authorisation.

This possibility should be gradually phased out as the list of control bodies and authorities is being established.

A list of these import authorisations can be found in the Data base of the Organic Farming Information System (OFIS) official website: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/ofis_public/r9/ctrl_r9.cfm?targetUrl=home

Documentary Check

Imported consignments must be covered by documents issued by the competent authority or body in the third country, attesting that the consignment comply with the Community legislation:

  • Imports from authorised countries, products that have been produced in equivalence with Community rules and importations on a case-by-case basis should obtain an inspection certificate issued by the competent authority or body in the third country according to Annex V of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008. The original certificate must accompany the goods to the premises of the first consignee; thereafter the importer must keep the certificate at the disposal of the inspection body and/or inspection authority for not less than two years
  • Imports of compliant products shall deliver documentary evidence in accordance with the model set out in Annex II of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008

Verification of the consignment

The release for free circulation into the EU of a consignment of organic products is conditioned by the submission of the original certificate of inspection to the relevant Member State's authority, the verification of the consignment by the relevant Member State's authority and the endorsement of the certificate of inspection.

Legislation

  • Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (OJ L-189 20/07/2007) (CELEX 32007R0834)
  • Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control (OJ L-250 18/09/2008) (CELEX 32008R0889)
  • Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 of 8 December 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 as regards the arrangements for imports of organic products from third countries (OJ L-334 12/12/2008) (CELEX 32008R1235)
  • List of bodies or public authorities in charge of inspection provided for in article 15 of Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (OJ C-72 26/03/2009)

Other information sources


Additional information for the Netherlands

The importer or his representative must, at the latest by the time that the certificate of inspection is submitted, inform the inspection body of each consignment to be imported giving the name and address of the first consignee as well as any details that the body may require.

The inspection body will verify that the inspection certificate, preferably written in Dutch, is compliant with the requirements derived from the aforementioned EU legislation. Additionally, and if deemed necessary, the actual products may be physically inspected in order to assure the required level of compliance with these requirements.

The release for free circulation of products not complying with the requirements is conditional on the removal of references to the organic production method from the labelling, advertising and accompanying documents.

Competent authority / competent bodies

Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie(Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation)
Directie Landbouw (Directorate of Agriculture)

Postbus 20401
NL-2500 EK The Hague
Tel: (+31) 59 233 29 58
Tel: (+31) 70 378 61 58
E-mail: http://hetlnvloket.nl/contact/e-mail-versturen
Website: http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/landbouw-en-tuinbouw

Inspection body

List of designated public authorities and/or approved private bodies in charge of inspection of products from organic production