Brussels, 18 April 2017

A new system of electronic certification to better monitor imports of organic products becomes applicable tomorrow, making the EU a global leader in traceability and in the collection of reliable data on trade of these products.

This pioneering e-certification system will contribute to enhancing food safety provisions and reducing potential fraud. It will also reduce the administrative burden for operators and authorities, and provide much more comprehensive statistical data on organic imports.

Both paper and e-certification will be used during a 6-month transition period. As of 19 October 2017, organic imports will be covered only by e-certification.

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.

Source: The European Commission

Illustration Photo: Organic Wheat field in Fromenteau, Côte d'Or, France (credits: Luc Legay / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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