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Organic electronic certification

3 May 2017

The new system for the electronic certification of organic products became applicable as of 19 April 2017. The system is set up to better monitor the import of organic products into the EU and to help with the traceability and collection of reliable data for organic products.

Both the paper and the e-certificates will remain in use during the coming 6 months as a transition period. As of 19 October 2017 there will be only e-certificates.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said: "Our commitment to stringent certification and inspection measures is an important component in the EU's food safety standards. These high standards have allowed us to become the best address for food in the world, but we must always strive to find new and better ways to do even more. These new rules will improve the traceability of organic products, which is an important growing market."

In practical terms, the changes will require the addition of these import certificates into 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.

FPC is aware that there have been some teething problems in relation to clearance of consignments and we have been in contact with the Defra Organic Team to liaise with Port Health Authorities regarding presentation of a signed certificate.  If any member has any issues please contact us and we will endeavour to provide assistance.

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