Digitally signed Certificates of Inspection (CoI) for the Import of Organic Products


Information on importing organic food and feed is available here.


Certificate of Inspection (CoI) requirements

The Organic CoI must be produced in TRACES-NT. Further detailed information is available here.

DEFRA have informed us that digitally signed CoIs are now being created on TRACES-NT. This means that Organic Control Bodies/Authorities who have adopted a “qualified electronic seal” can create the CoI on TRACES-NT and then digitally sign it. This removes the requirements for the Control Body/Authority to print, stamp and sign the CoI.

To determine if a CoI on TRACES-NT is digitally signed by the Control Body a green padlock symbol will be visible beside the reference number of the CoI, example below.


Organic consignments accompanied by a digitally signed CoI

If the organic consignment being imported has a digitally issued CoI please advise us of this when submitting the organic pre-notification document with the copy commercial documents. Port Health will check that the digital CoI is acceptable for the consignment being imported. If so, Port Health will verify Box 20 on TRACES-NT and will release the consignment for import.

Please note: we will not be printing the CoI so you must ensure that the first consignee completes Box 21 when the consignment arrives at their premises, and they should keep a copy or maintain access to TRACES-NT for at least 2 years.


Organic consignments not accompanied by a digitally signed CoI

If the organic consignment being imported does not have a digitally issued CoI we will need the original paper CoI which has been stamped, signed and dated (Box 18) by the Control Body/Authority.

Where there are constraints on getting this due to Covid-19 measures you will need to advise us of this with full details of the reason for the delay in obtaining the original paper CoI. Port Health will still be able to endorse the CoI on TRACES-NT provided that the documentary check is satisfactory. However the original CoI still needs to be presented to Port Health as soon as is possible for us to stamp, sign and date.


Control Body/Authority completing Box 18 of the CoI

Box 18 on the CoI must be completed by the Control Body/Authority before the consignment leaves the third country of export or origin. The date in Box 18 is classed as the date of issue of the CoI.

Boxes 13, 16 and 17 can be completed on TRACES-NT up to 10 days after the date of issue, provided that this is before the CoI is presented to Port Health.