Who is responsible?
Every Member State must designate one or more authority/ies responsible for controls (the competent authority: generally, a department of the Ministry of Agriculture or Public Health). This authority, while retaining overall responsibility for organic controls, may
A. Delegate all or part of its control tasks to one or more private control bodies that it shall approve and supervise, or
B. Confer all or part of its control responsibility to one or more public control authority/ies.
C. A mixed system (private control bodies and public control authority/ies) is also possible.
The map below shows the control bodies and authorities in the Member States (A= private control bodies in light green, B= public control authorities in orange, and C= mixed system with both private control bodies and public control authorities in dark green).
Every year, Member States report to the European Commission on the results of the controls carried out on organic operators and on the measures taken in case of non-compliance.
The European Commission supervises Member States, to ensure that they fulfil their responsibilities, based on information in their annual reports and on audits that it carries out.
How does it work in practice?
Farmers, processors or traders must notify their activity to the authority responsible for controls in their Member State and must be checked by a control body or control authority before they can market their products as organic. Once they have been checked and found compliant, they receive a certificate confirming that they meet the EU requirements.
Please see the working document on controls in the organic sector .