Importing Organic Products – updates to legislation

 

Please note the below changes to the organic Certificate of Inspection (CoI), and to the additional controls required on specified products from China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia.

Organic Certificate of Inspection (CoI)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/25 came into force on 3rd February 2020. This made a number of amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 regarding the controls for imports of organic products from third countries. The specific changes cover the following areas:

  • The third countries, control bodies and control authorities listed in Annexes III and IV of Reg 1235/2008 have been updated. The changes are detailed in Annexes I and II of Reg 2020/25.
  • The Certificate of Inspection (CoI) must be issued by the relevant control authority or control body before the consignment leaves the third country of export or origin. This applies to consignments leaving the country of export or origin on or after 3rd February 2020.

 

The European Commission are aware that some control bodies and control authorities are unable to confirm the information required for boxes 13, 16 and 17 of the CoI until after the consignment has been exported. Commission advice is that the CoI should always be issued before the consignment leaves the third country of export or origin as required by the legislation. Boxes 13, 16 and 17 of the CoI may be filled in with the provisional information available at the time of issuing the CoI.

TRACES-NT is being updated to ensure that control bodies and control authorities will be able to update the information in Boxes 13, 16 and 17 and upload the final transport documents in TRACES-NT after they have signed Box 18 (and before Port Health have signed Box 20). Boxes 13, 16 and 17 must be updated within 10 days of the CoI being signed by the control body or control authority. Port Health will not be able to sign Box 20 until all the information is updated on the CoI.

Defra’s Organic Team have confirmed that when these rules are not met, enforcement action will need to be taken, i.e. the CoI cannot be endorsed by Port Health and therefore the goods cannot be sold as ‘organic’.

 

Additional controls on organic products originating from China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russian Federation

There are additional controls on specified organic products originating in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russian Federation. In addition to the CoI checks, Port Health are required to undertake sampling and analysis for the presence of pesticide residues at the point of entry into the EU. These controls apply until 31st December 2020.

China – the following products originating from China will be subject to increased controls

  • Chapter 10 – Cereals
  • Chapter 11 – Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten (the following CN codes are excluded: 1105, 1106, 1107, 1108, 1109)
  • Chapter 12 – Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder, with the exception of processed products ready for human consumption derived from them (the following CN codes are excluded: 1211, 1212, 1213, 1214)
  • Chapter 23 – Residues and waste from the food industries, prepared animal fodder (the following CN code is excluded: 2307)
  • CN code 0810 9075 – Goji berries (Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense) and products derived from them

 

Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia – the following products originating from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russian Federation will be subject to increased controls

  • Chapter 10 – Cereals
  • Chapter 11 – Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten (the following CN codes are excluded: 1105, 1106, 1107, 1108, 1109)
  • Chapter 12 – Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder, with the exception of processed products ready for human consumption derived from them (the following CN codes are excluded: 1211, 1212, 1213, 1214)
  • Chapter 23 – Residues and waste from the food industries, prepared animal fodder (the following CN code is excluded: 2307)

 

Samples and Costs

Port Health Authorities will take and send samples to an accredited laboratory for analysis for the presence of pesticide residues. Consignments will be held under Port Health detention pending results of analysis. The Organic Certificate of Inspection (CoI) will only be endorsed when satisfactory sample results have been received.

Importers will be responsible for all costs associated with sampling and analysis of these consignments, and these charges will need to be paid before consignments can be released. Costs of analysis are to be confirmed with the laboratory.

When pesticide residues or other irregularities are detected, an investigation will be started by Defra. The cost of controls regarding removal and/or redistribution of the consignment will be the responsibility of the importer.

 

Defra (organic imports) are the lead competent authority in the UK. The contact email is organic.imports@defra.gov.uk