To ensure a smooth transition process, the UK will recognise the EU as equivalent for the purpose of trade in organics until 31st of December 2021. This means that the UK will continue to recognise products from the EU, but also from all 13 EU approved third countries (Annex III) and from other third countries where certifiers are approved (Annex IV) under EC 1235/2008 scope. Agreements between 13 EU approved third countries and the UK are currently being negotiated by the UK government

Main changes Regarding exports to the UK:

  • From January 1st 2021, exports of organic products from Third Countries (excepted EU,Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) to all parts of the UK other than Northern Ireland (=England, Wales and Scotland), will require an interim paper-based Certificate of Inspection, called GB COI.
  • Exports from the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein + Switzerland will be required to be accompanied by a GB COI from July 1st 2021. (phased approach to reduce unnecessary barriers to trade).
  • An electronic system will be developed by UK authorities to replace this interim system.
  • For exports from Third countries to Northern Ireland, a COI will still be issued on the EU TRACES NT system.

Main changes regarding imports from the UK:

  • The 6 UK organic control bodies have now been recognised by the EU as Equivalent until 31st December 2021, which means that you will be able to import organic goods from the UK.
  • A Certificate of Inspection issued on TRACES NT must be issued for each import from Great Britain into the EU from January 1st 2021, and presented to your competent authorities before custom clearance.
    • In case you have never imported organic products from Third Countries, your activity has to be declared as importer to your certification body and the company must be registered and valid as ‘organic importer’ on TRACES NT.
  • Regarding organic goods, Northern Ireland will follow EU rules (for imports and exports), therefore no COI will be necessary for imports from Northern Ireland.
  • DEFRA’s objective is to negotiate a durable, long-term organics equivalence agreement with the EU.

To know more: You can also find useful information on the websites DEFRA and our partner Soil Association Certification , regularly updated. You can also contact our experts at Ecocert!

Post-Brexit updates regarding trade with the UK in 2021
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