European Regulation on Derogations for Controls due to COVID-19 Pandemic

European Regulation on Derogations for Controls due to COVID-19 Pandemic

(EU) Commission Regulation 2020/997 of 7th July 2020

EU Regulation 977/2020 has been published with retroactive validity. It regards the derogations for controls in organic farming due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The Regulation applies from March 1st, 2020 to September 30th, 2020 with the exception of:

  • clause 1 article 1 which applies from 1st March to 31st December
  • clauses 3, 5 and 6 of Article 1 which apply from 1st January, 2020 to 31st December, 2020

Below is the extract of the Regulation:

Art 1 clause 1 of EU Reg 977/2020:

“…in relation to low-risk operators… physical inspections as part of annual controls and renewal of supporting documents of organic operators may be replaced by documentary checks”.

Art 1 clause 2 of EU Reg 977/2020:

“… operators not covered by paragraph 1 of this Article and those who want to join the organic production system for the first time … “physical inspection referred to in Article 65, paragraph 1 of Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 shall be carried out as soon as the control and certification activities in the Member States and in the third country can resume …”

Art 1 clause 3 of EU Reg 977/2020:

“the number of samples to be taken and analyzed each year by the authority or control body corresponds to at least 2% of the number of operators subject to its control”.

Art 1 clause 4 of EU Reg 977/2020:

OFIS. The response to the notification relating to non-compliant products must be sent within 60 calendar days from the date of the original notification. (instead of 30 days)

Art 1 clause 5 of EU Reg 977/2020:

“the further random inspection visits in accordance with Article 65, paragraph 4 of the same Regulation shall be carried out on 5% of the operators under contract according to the risk category”.

Art 1 clause 6 of EU Reg 977/2020:

“at least 5% of all inspections and visits carried out in accordance with Article 65, paragraphs 1 and 4, shall be carried out without prior notice”.