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Organics

European Union

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General requirements

All imports to the European Union (EU) must have a EU Certificate of Inspection (COI) electronically submitted/ received through EU TRACES. Manual COIs are not permitted.

Specific information

Australia has an equivalence agreement with the European Union. The equivalence agreement applies to:

  • unprocessed plant products, excluding seaweed
  • processed agricultural products for use as food composed essentially of one or more ingredients of plant origin, excluding wine and yeast
  • vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation.

Australia's current equivalence recognition arrangement with the EU is detailed under Annex III of EU Regulation 1235/2008.

Exclusions

Wine and yeast are not included in the agreement.

Prohibitions

Under the Agreement, imported organic plant products are prohibited for entry to the EU. For example, where Australia imports a plant product certified as organic and used in further processing, the resultant product is not eligible to be exported to the EU.

In-conversion products

According to Article 17(1)(f) of European Commission Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 animals and animal products produced during the conversion period referred to in subparagraph (c) shall not be marketed in the Union with the indications referred to in Articles 23 and 24 of that Regulation used in the labelling and advertising of products.

Subparagraph (c) provides, "conversion periods specific to the type of crop or animal production shall be defined."

Article 17 Conversion

  1. The following rules shall apply to a farm on which organic production is started:
    1. (a)  the conversion period shall start at the earliest when the operator has notified his activity to the competent authorities and subjected his holding to the control system in accordance with Article 28(1);
    2. (b)  during the conversion period all rules established by this Regulation shall apply;
    3. (c)  conversion periods specific to the type of crop or animal production shall be defined;
    4. (d)  on a holding or unit partly under organic production and partly in conversion to organic production, the operator shall keep the organically produced and in-conversion products separate and the animals separate or readily separable and keep adequate records to show the separation;
    5. (e)  in order to determine the conversion period referred to above, a period immediately preceding the date of the start of the conversion period, may be taken into account, in so far as certain conditions concur;
    6. (f)  animals and animal products produced during the conversion period referred to in subparagraph (c) shall not be marketed with the indications referred to in Articles 23 and 24 used in the labelling and advertising of products.
  2. The measures and conditions necessary for the implementation of the rules contained in this Article, and in particular the periods referred to in paragraph 1(c) to (f) shall be defined in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 37(2).

For further reading on Articles 23 and 24 refer to Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

Note
European Union Regulation 2018/848 comes into force 1 January 2022. It shall repeal Regulation (EC) 834/2007. It contains new provisions on in-conversion products, which mirror the current, in-force provisions.

Latest updates

23/04/2021 - Page first published.
Last updated: 23/04/2021 3:00 PMCreated: 20/04/2021 5:03 PM