The European Commission has recognized that the organic production standards and the control systems adopted by some Third Countries are equivalent to those in force within the EU. The countries that currently have a national control system that is currently equivalent to that of the EU are: Israel, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Argentina, India, Tunisia, Japan, Canada, USA, South Korea, Chile. Importer will then be able to import the product categories foreseen by regulation and certified by the Bodies or Authorities recognized in these Third Countries (Annex III of EC Reg. 1235/08).
If instead the operator intends to import organic products from the remaining Third Countries, it is necessary that the exporter’s control body, and all the players in the supply chain, have been recognized in equivalence by the EU Commission. The list of recognized ODCs in equivalence is indicated in Annex IV of Reg. CE 1235/08 and s.m.e.i.
The Reg. (CE) n. 834/2007 provides that:
– operators who intend to carry out activities for the importation of organic products from third countries into the European Union must adhere to the control system pursuant to art. 27 of Reg. (CE) n. 834/2007.
– only those registered in the “Importers” category of the national list of organic operators (Article 7 of Ministerial Decree 2049/2012) can import organic products.
Therefore, the operator interested in importing organic products from Third Countries, must submit notification for the “Importer” category, to the MiPAAF and, simultaneously, to the chosen Control Body, through the SIB portal or the regional information portals (Veneto, Piemonte, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Puglia). Following the notification, ICEA will initiate the procedure for verifying the conditions of entry into the control system, and issue, in the event of a positive outcome of the first inspection, the supporting document.
Following the inclusion of the Justificatory Document on SIB by ICEA, the Mipaaf will make the necessary checks, and, against a positive outcome, register the operator with the national list of bio importers (available for consultation at the following link).
Only once registered in the national list of organic importers, it will be possible to import organic products from third countries. In order to import, the importer will also have to register with the TRACES IT system (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tracesnt/login) of the European Commission, which will be followed by user validation by the Mipaaf; without the registration in TRACES and validation of the user by Mipaaf, the exporter’s control body cannot proceed with the issuance of the Inspection Certificate (COI), a document which must necessarily accompany the batches of organic products in original. The COI must be validated in box 20 by the Customs Authority and in box 21 by the first consignee following the acceptance checks. A copy of the same, duly signed, will be sent promptly to the ICEA Import office.
In the event that the first consignee is a subject other than the importer, he must also register in TRACES as a biological operator.
Finally, as expected DM n. 221907/2021, before making an organic product import, the importer must send a prior announcement of goods arrival for each individual import operation, to be carried out via computer on the SIB application “Commodity arrival communication” at least seven days before the arrival of the goods.
For further information, please refer to the SINAB consultation on the following page: http://www.sinab.it/home-filiera?home=importazioni