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Navigating the New EU Organic Regulation: Implications and Transition Guidelines

New EU Organiic Regulation

The recent enactment of the new organic regulation (EU) 2018/848 brings a wave of changes aimed at bolstering the integrity of organic production within the European Union (EU). With over 30 secondary acts, this regulation is designed to redefine certification rules, particularly for imported products, and impose stricter standards across the board. Here's what you need to know about its implementation and how it affects organic operators globally.

Is the New EU Organic Regulation Already in Effect?

Yes, the regulation has been applicable to operators and groups within the EU since January 2022. However, there's a transition period for recognized equivalent Control Bodies (CBs) in Third Countries until December 31, 2024. During this phase, CBs are expected to shift from the current system of equivalence to compliance with the new regulations.

Transition Period Milestones:

  • 2022: CBs prepare for recognition.

  • 2023: CBs apply for recognition and begin training staff and informing operators.

  • 2024: Inspections under the new regulations may commence, with certificates expected to be ready by December 31.

Key Changes in Import Procedures: From Equivalence to Compliance

One of the most significant shifts is the move from the "equivalence" model to "compliance" with EU standards for organic imports. Previously, many Third Countries operated under their own organic standards, adapted to local conditions. Now, they must align with the detailed and complex EU rules, leaving little room for flexibility.

Implications for Organic Operators:

  • Stricter Controls: CBs will enforce compliance with EU requirements, leading to overall stricter control measures.

  • Increased Certification Costs: Smallholder supply chains are likely to experience an uptick in certification costs due to heightened scrutiny and additional requirements.

  • Focus on Precautionary Measures: There's a strong emphasis on documented precautionary measures to prevent contamination and commingling of organic products.

Key Changes in Group Composition and Setup:

The new regulation introduces the concept of a "Group of Operators" (GoO) for EU certification. To qualify, a GoO must be a legal entity composed solely of organic or in-conversion farmers, meeting specific size and membership criteria. This may necessitate the establishment of new legal entities for many currently certified groups, leading to organizational restructuring.

Updated ICS and Production Rules:

  • ICS Rules: Expect stronger and clearer regulations, with a heightened focus on quality and the role of the ICS manager.

  • Production Rules: All EU production rules must be fully complied with, without the previous flexibility granted under equivalence.

External Control of Groups:

Stricter oversight measures include re-inspections of a minimum percentage of members and increased sampling requirements. This shift towards compliance-based control signifies a departure from the previous system of equivalence.

Reaching Sustainability Goals with Peterson Indonesia

As the landscape of organic certification undergoes transformation, staying abreast of these changes is crucial for operators worldwide. At Peterson Indonesia, we specialise in sustainability consultancy, particularly in organic practices. Our team is equipped to guide you through the nuances of the new EU Organic Regulation, ensuring compliance and fostering sustainable practices. Reach out to us today to embark on a journey towards organic excellence and environmental stewardship.



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