Importing Organic Products into Great Britain – April 2021 update

If you import organic foods and feedstuffs into Great Britain you must follow GB rules. These include submission of the original GB Organic Certificate of Inspection (COI) to the Port Health Authority at the point of import.

However, please note if you import organic products from EU member states, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland into Great Britain, a Certificate of Inspection (COI) will not be required until 1st January 2022.


Certificate of Inspection (COI)

Imports of organic foods and feedstuffs must be accompanied by the GB version of the COI.

The blank model of the GB COI can be found here.

Our notes on completing the GB COI can be found here.


Pre-notification – documents required.

Importers must notify Port Health 24 hours in advance of the intended arrival of any organic consignment.

Port Health will require the organic pre-notification form, the original COI and copy commercial documents (bill of lading, invoice and packing list). Scanned copies of these documents can be emailed to Port Health .

The pre-notification form is available on our system called PHILIS DES.  Alternatively, you can also use a pre-notification form that can be downloaded here. When submitting a pre-notification either use the facility within PHILIS DES to upload the bill of lading, packing list and invoice or submit copies of these commercial documents with the hard copy form (if you have not already emailed them to us).

Please ensure the pre-notification form informs us of which company is responsible for the charges, and which company the signed COI should be returned to.   Without this information we cannot process the documentation and your consignment will be delayed.


Original COI

The original COI is required.

Port Health can carry checks and release on copy documents, however the original GB CoI must be submitted within 10 days of the consignment arriving. Port Health must endorse the original GB CoI for the product to be sold as organic. Port Health will return the endorsed COI as the official record of the consignment being organic.

Port Health will require confirmation that the original COI will be submitted within 10 days before we can release on copy documents.


COVID-19 easements

If specific issuing bodies/authorities are having difficulty getting signed COIs due to Covid restrictions in their country, it may be possible for Port Health to accept COIs that have been digitally signed by the issuing body/authority. In such cases Port Health would require the issuing body/authority to email directly to with a PDF version of the COI they produced. It must be the GB version of the COI. Please note in this situation Port Health cannot accept copies of the COI forwarded to us by importers or agents.



The fee for PHILIS DES pre-notification / processing / CoI check is £45.72.

All other pre-notifications / processing / CoI checks are charged at £60.96 due to additional administration required by Port Health.



DEFRA has produced the following guidance documents: