Importing into Great Britain:
As of the 1st January 2021 Certificates of Inspection generated for organic goods entering Great Britain will no longer be generated using the Traces NT portal. For all organic goods entering Great Britain a new paper based system has been implemented. All organic goods from Non-EU countries will require a paper based COI from 1st January 2021. You can download paperwork, guidance notes and templates relating to the GB organic import system below:
Great Britain’s Organic Import System (zipped folder containing all documents listed below)
- GB Certificate of inspection
- Step by Step guidance for GB imports from 3rd Countries
- GB Certificate of Inspection Explanatory Notes
- Importing and exporting FAQ’s
- Extract of GB Certificate of inspection Form
- Extract of GB Certificate of inspection Notes
For organic goods coming to GB from the EU, EEA and Switzerland a certificate of inspection was due to be required from 1st July 2022, however the UK Government has announced that import controls will be delayed until later in 2023. This means that the requirement for COIs for organic goods entering GB from the EU, EEA and Switzerland will continue to be waived. A review by the government will look at how to implement the remaining checks in an improved way with the conclusions due to be published in Autumn 2022 and the new control regime due to come into effect by the end of 2023.
Exporting to the EU, EEA and Switzerland:
Registering Consignments on TRACES NT Portal:
As of 1st January 2021 organic goods certified to regulation 834/2007 and 889/2009 that are to be exported from Great Britain to the European Union, Northern Ireland, European Economic Area and Switzerland will need to be accompanied by a Certificate of Inspection in order to be cleared at the point of entry into the EU. COIs for the movement of organic goods from GB to the EU must be drawn up using the Traces NT portal. This would require a GB certified organic operator to register as an exporter on the portal and to be validated by their Control Body in order to be able to start the process. In addition to the exporter the COI would require a Traces NT registered GB certified processor/producer to be listed and a Traces NT registered EU/NI certified importer/first consignee.
Under the terms of the TCA (Trade and Cooperation Agreement) the only goods that are eligible to be exported from GB to the EU/NI are those that are UK origin that have been processed or produced in the UK. In order to find out further information as to which goods would qualify please read the following information sheets:
Terms and conditions for the export of organic goods from GB to the EU
Definition of Processed Products
Traces NT Useful Links:
- Getting Started -Learn the COI workflow step by step
- Logging into TRACES NT
- Requesting a role
- How to create a COI
- TRACES NT FAQs and Glossary
Exporting to NI
Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, EU Organic Regulations apply in NI.
The movement of organic goods from GB to NI must be accompanied by a valid COI using the EU’s TRACES NT. Currently, you do not need to pay for a COI as these costs are covered by the Movement Assistance Scheme.
There’s an arrangement in place which allows authorised traders such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers to move some goods without the need for official certification until 1 October 2021.
For those traders who are now authorised, the NI Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) have issued guidance on the requirements for goods movements.
Exporting to non EU
Some non-EU countries will require a COI to accompany organic goods being exported from GB in order for the goods to clear at the point of entry into the destination country. In order to find out which destination countries require this paper work please contact the OFF office. As with the export of goods into the EU this certificate is to enhance traceability of imported organic products and reduce potential fraud.
The UK has equivalency arrangements with 13 non-EU countries:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- United States of America
Check with the OFF what product categories can be imported and exported.
Different exporting rules may apply if equivalency is not agreed between the UK and non-EU countries. Contact the exporting control body in the country you’re importing food from. See Government Guidance on importing and exporting organic food for more information
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