List of Control Bodies for Organic Products in Third Countries made public

On December 7, 2011 Implementing Regulation (EU) 1267/2011 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new Regulation is amending Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 laying down detailed rules for implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 as regards the arrangements for imports of organic products from third countries.

The European Commission published the list of Control Bodies and Authorities which were assessed and authorized for carrying out controls and granting certification for organic products in 59 Third Countries. The list has been drafted in order to ensure the equivalence of Control Systems between EU and the production of organic products in the respective Third Countries. The list (Annex ΙV of the Implementing Regulation) includes all the Third Countries where authorized Control Bodies are active as well as their accreditation scope, which can consist of one or more of the following categories:

A : Unprocessed plant products

B : Live animals or unprocessed animal products

C : Aquaculture products

D : Processed agricultural products for use as food

E : Processed agricultural products for use as feed

F : Seeds and propagating material

List of Third Countries and licensed Control Bodies

With the new system in place, any Control Body that has been authorized by the Commission, can issue certificates but only for organic products under its authorization scope (categories).

For a limited period of time, imports from Third Countries shall be made in 3 ways:

  1. With certificates from authorized Control Bodies and Authorities from Third Countries that have been assessed and recognized that implement equivalent Control Systems and Production Rules with the European Union. These Countries are already included in Annex III of Regulation (EC) 1235/2008 and already have commercial activity with the European Union in the Organic Sector.
  2. With import authorizations from Competent Authorities in the Member – States for all Third Countries that have never applied for recognition. In this case, Member – States shall continue to issue import authorizations until  July 1st, 2014. The maximum validity of these authorizations will be diminished from 24 to 12 months, except for those that shall be issued for a longer period before July 1st, 2012.
  3. With certificates from Control Bodies directly authorized by the European Commission (new procedure). This is the procedure described in Regulation (EC) 1235/2008 and the new Implementing Regulation.

In order to ensure the smooth transition from the system of National authorisations to the list of Control Bodies and Control Authorities competent to carry out controls and issue certificates in Third Countries, the new New Implementing Regulation shall shall apply from July 1st, 2012.

First reaction from the European Control Bodies

The independent European Organic Certifiers Council (EOCC), has circulated a press release addressing the publication of this first list of Control Bodies. It stresses its concern regarding the effectiveness of the new system for imports of organic products from Third Countries and raises a doubt concerning the fact that 90% of the authorized Control Bodies are not from the European Union. The respective applications from EU Certifiers were significantly more than those eventually authorized by the European Commission.  (Read the EOCC open letter)

To download the new Regulation (EU) 1267/2011 visit the page “European Regulations

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