Organic Farming

New electronic certificate of inspection for the import of organic products into the EU

New electronic certificate of inspection for the import of organic products into the EU

The new system of electronic certificate for imports of organic products became compulsory on 20 October 2017.

The electronic certificate aims to enhance traceability of imported organic products and reduce potential fraud. It also reduces the administrative burden for operators and authorities, and provides statistical data on organic imports.

The electronic certificate replaces the paper-based certificate of inspection which has been in place since 2008.

During a 6-month transitional period, the new model of electronic certificate could be issued in paper as well. As of 20 October 2017, only the certificates initiated and issued via the electronic system will be valid.

In accordance with Article 19a of Regulation (EC)No 1235/2008, the transitional rules on the use of certificates of inspection not issued in TRACES were applicable until 19 October 2017.

From 20 October 2017, the certificate of inspection must be completed using ONLY the electronic system TRACES.

As a system of electronic signature is not available yet, the certificate of inspection must be printed from TRACES and signed by the issuing control body and must accompany the goods until the first consignee in the European Union.

Paper certificates of inspection not initiated and issued using the electronic system TRACES as of 20 October 2017 will not be valid.

The electronic certificate is accessible through the Trade Control & Expert System (TRACES) – the existing EU electronic system for tracking movements of food products across the EU. Accessible 24/7, the TRACES system has been shown to facilitate trade by enabling trade partners and competent authorities to easily obtain information on the movements of their consignments, and speeding up administrative procedures. It also proved to be an invaluable tool in facilitating the rapid reaction to health threats by tracing the movements of consignments and facilitating the risk management of rejected consignments.

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