Importing Organic Food and Feed during the COVID-19 pandemic
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.
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 (bill of lading, invoice and packing list) at least 24hrs before the vessel is due to arrive.
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.
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 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.
CoI which is not digitally signed
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. This should be submitted with the organic pre-notification document with the copy commercial documents (bill of lading, invoice and packing list) at least 24hrs before the vessel is due to arrive.
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 (this has been confirmed by Defra and applies until 1st February 2021).
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.
As a result of Covid-19, the European Commission have permitted the suspension of the additional control measures applicable to specified CN chapter produce from China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia until 31 December 2020. Use of this sampling easement is at the discretion of the Port Health Authority, and may be used at times of limited resourcing.