Latest news DEFRA announces changes to organic food and feed import requirements

Changes announced by DEFRA for organic imports

Published: 25th September 2023

DEFRA has announced changes to the Certificate of Inspection (COI) template for organic food and feed imports into Great Britain. A delay to the requirement for COIs from the EU, EEA and Switzerland has also been announced.

Certificate of Inspection (COI) template changes

The COI template and its explanatory notes have been amended to remove redundant requirements (specifically redundant tick boxes in box 2 on the COI). The new template should be issued from 1st September 2023 for organic imports into GB. Consignments which have left their country of export before this date will still be accepted using the previous GB COI template.

The two options in box 2 of the new template are:

The option that should be ticked depends on whether the import in question is from a third country listed in Annex III or certified by a control body appearing on Annex IV, which are approved to operate in the third country the product(s) originate from.

A list of organisations, countries and territories outside the UK – otherwise known as third countries – that can certify organic food, feed and seeds for import into GB can be found on GOV.UK:


Delay to Certificate of Inspection requirement for organic products from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

A requirement for COIs to accompany organic products from the EU, EEA and Switzerland has been delayed until 1st February 2025, allowing more time to explore potential improvements to the existing processes.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) stipulates products must be produced or processed in the EU to be accepted in GB, and vice versa. Although a requirement for COIs has not yet been implemented for organic products imported from the EU, products must still adhere to the rules of the TCA, which has been included in guidance since Britain left the EU.

Any questions or queries about these changes can be emailed to

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