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Recognised control bodies or control authorities by the EU (Annex IV of regulation 1235/2008)

How to become a recognised control body/authority?

The following provides information on how to become a recognised control body/authority

Applications received by 30 September* (the annual deadline) are assessed by the Commission and co-reporting Member States, based on the EU legislation and also on the technical dossier submitted in accordance with Article 11 of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008.

In order to facilitate this application and the assessment of equivalency, please find below our informative documents/proposed models:

The application dossier must be received no later than 30 September*, the annual deadline for applications for recognition for the purpose of equivalence.

All documents must be provided to the Commission services via the OFIS portal (select OFIS AREQ: Application for recognition of equivalence)

Please note that the Commission may request any further information.

How to extend the geographical scope of your recognition as a recognised control body/authority

An application for extending the scope of your recognition to additional countries can be made by the 30 September*, the annual deadline. It is assessed by the Commission services and the co-reporting Member States, based on the EU legislation and also on the following documents:

  • An updated overview of the activities of the control body or control authority in the third country or third countries including an estimate of the number of operators involved and the expected nature and quantities of agricultural products and foodstuff intended for export to the European Union.
  • The proof of notification of the activities of your CB to the authorities of the third countries applied for
  • An assessment by your accreditation body to verify the inspectors' skills and expertise necessary for the scope extension request. This assessment can be conducted as part of the accreditation body's surveillance of the control body's head office or critical location office and sent together with your annual report.

*30 September (annual deadline) from 1/01/2014- (See Regulation (EU) No 586/2013, 21.6.2013, p. 51)

In case your equivalent standard and control measures have changed since your previous application the following document have to be also provided:

  • Side by side comparison of the update of your new version of your production standard and/ or control measures.

Moreover, when changed, description of the production standards and/or control measures submitted in your latest annual report will be assessed in the context of your application.

Please note that the Commission may request any further information.

All documents must be provided to the Commission services via the OFIS portal (select OFIS AREQ: Application for recognition of equivalence)

How to extend the scope of your recognition as a recognised control body/authority to an additional product category

Application for extending the scope of your recognition to additional product categories must be made by 30 September*, the annual deadline. It is assessed by the Commission services and the co-reporting Member States, based on the EU legislation and on the following documents:

  • Updated overview of the activities of the control body or control authority in the third country or third countries including an estimate of the number of operators involved and the expected nature and quantities of agricultural products and foodstuff intended for export to the European Union.
  • A witness audit report by your accreditation body for the product category applied for. The witness audit must be carried out in a country outside the EU you applied for.
  • If the application includes countries the control body/control authority is not yet recognized for, a proof of notification of the activities of your CB to the authorities of the third countries applied for is required.
  • An assessment by your accreditation body to verify the inspectors' skills and expertise necessary for the scope extension request. This assessment can be conducted as part of the accreditation body's surveillance of the control body's head office or critical location office and sent together with your annual report.

In case your equivalent standard and control measures have changed since your previous application the following document have to be also provided:

  • Side by side comparison of the update of your new version of your production standard and/ or control measures.

Moreover, when changed, description of the production standards and/or control measures submitted in your latest annual report will be assessed in the context of your application.

Please note that the Commission may request any further information.

All documents must be provided to the Commission services via the OFIS portal (select OFIS AREQ: Application for recognition of equivalence)

What are my obligations as a recognised control body/authority to maintain my recognition?

The following obligations must be fulfilled towards the Commission:

  • Ensure the information related to your recognition by the Commission is up-to-date, in particular the contact point and contact information, the internet address with the list of operators under the control body's control, their certification status and the product categories concerned.
  • Annual report: by 31 March every year, you must send a concise annual report to the Commission using the specific electronic transmission system, the Organic Farming Information System, made available by the Commission for that purpose. The annual report must update the information of your technical dossier; it shall describe in particular the control activities you carried out in the third countries in the previous year, the results obtained, the irregularities and infringements observed and the corrective measures taken; it must furthermore contain the most recent assessment report or update of such report, which shall contain the results of the regular on-the-spot evaluation, surveillance and multiannual reassessment by your accreditation body.
  • Irregularities: where an irregularity is found or suspected concerning a product under your control in a third country, you will be notified thereof. You then have to investigate the origin of the suspected irregularity or infringement and inform the Commission and the concerned authorities of the Member States of the result of the investigation and of the action taken. That information must be sent within 30 calendar days from the date of sending of the original notification by the Commission.
  • Recognised control bodies or control authorities must use the specific electronic transmission system, the Organic Farming Information System, made available by the Commission for the above purposes.