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Eu Exit > Imported Food > Organics

What Is The Legal Basis

Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 and the implementing rules in Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 set out the basic rules covering all aspects of organic food production.  These cover the farming practices to be followed, list permitted inputs, and detail the control systems required.  Food processing is also covered, as it regulates the processing aids and ingredients used in produce sold as organic. 

The Regulation also details the rules on labelling organic produce and the rules for importing organic produce.

Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 (as amended), lays down the rules for the production and endorsement of the Certificate of Inspection.  The Organic Products Regulations 2009 provide powers in the UK for enforcing the requirements of Regulation 1235/2008.

What Products Fall Into This Category

Any product that is either labelled as organic or contains organic produce within the ingredients list.

What Documentation Do I Require

Organic Registration
If you intend to import a product and sell it as organic you will have to comply with both organic and general consumer food laws. All organic food must come from growers, processors or importers who are registered and subject to regular inspection.

For further information please see the DEFRA website

Certificate of Inspection
All organic produce imported into the UK must be accompanied by the correct documentation; this includes a Certificate of Inspection (CoI) and any other commercial documentation as required.

The CoI should be produced by the inspection body in the third country from which your imported goods originate.  The format of the document is established in Annex V of Commission Regulation 1235/2008 (as amended).

Pre Notifying And Payment To The Authority

Pre notification
There is a requirement that importers pre-notify the Authority of the arrival of goods, this can be done by submission of the CoI

There is a national charge of £45 for checking and endorsement of the CoI, this must be paid prior to any checks being undertaken.

What Official Checks Are Carried Out On My Consignment

Documentary Check
The documentary check is the assessment of the CoI and accompanying commercial documentation, which may include bills of lading, invoices and packing lists.  100% of consignments are subject to documentary checks.

Identity Check
100% consignments are also subject to identity checks which involves the verification that the product, health marks, stamps and other necessary product and or package information conforms to the declaration on the health certificates and accompanying documentation.

Physical Check
Physical checks are not normally undertaken; however, in accordance with legislation, official samples may be procured when required.

Completion Of Official Checks

Satisfactory Checks
If the Authority confirms the validity of the CoI it will be endorsed in box 17 before the goods can go to customs for final clearance to move into free circulation.

Unsatisfactory Checks
Products failing to satisfy import conditions may be re-dispatched or relabelled, under supervision, to remove all organic references.