2011-9 - Certification requirements for exporting to the European Union

​Date Issued: 4 November 2011
AQIS Notice Number: 2011/9
AQIS File Number:
AFFA01/7727
Date of Effect: Immediate
Date of Expiry: Until further notice
AQIS Contact: Julie Crockett + 61 2 6272 3933
Email: NPG Exports 
Distribution Category: Approved Certifying Organisations, Organise operators
Last Notice in the category: nil
Instruction issued under: Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders

Purpose

  1. To update the requirements for exporting Australian certified organic and biodynamic products to countries within the European Community.

Points to note

  1. Under European Commission Regulation (EC) 1235-2008, a Certificate of Inspection, also known locally as a European organic produce certificate (Ex11300), must be completed for all consignments of Australian certified products. An Ex11300 must not be used for certified products produced offshore.
  2. The AQIS Export Organic Program has implemented an operational policy requiring the Certificate of Inspection to be signed and stamped by a relevant approved certifying organisation prior to, or on the day of export of certified products to this market.
  3. AQIS approved certifying organisations that are recognised under European regulations must issue and authorise the Certificate of Inspection for certified organic products which are Made in Australia or are of Australian origin. This official listing does not extend to any activities in other overseas countries, nor for any overseas operators certified by one of the approved certifying organisations on the official list.
  4. AQIS is aware that an export of certified plant products left Australia without the Certificate of Inspection being authorised by the AQIS approved certifying organisation prior to, or on the day the products departed Australia, resulting in port of entry difficulties.
  5. According to Article 13 (4)(b) of Commission Regulation 1235/2008, the inspection body (i.e. the AQIS approved certifying organisation) shall issue the Certificate of Inspection if it has made a physical check of the consignment prior to export; or
  6. Article 13(4)(b) also has an option that allows the approved certifying organisation issuing the Certificate of Inspection to issue the certificate based on a declaration being received from the exporter. (Manufacturer’s Declaration template attached)
  7. A Certificate of Inspection must only be issued to a client and then signed and stamped by the relevant AQIS approved certifying organisation if this certifying organisation had validated that the products being exported comply with the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce or other EU import conditions.
  8. According to Article 33 of Regulation (EC) 834/2007, the original of the Certificate of Inspection shall accompany the certified products to the premises of the first consignee.

Introduction

Relevant AQIS approved certifying organisations must have documented evidence that they have:

  1. Implemented one of the two following options for the issue and authorisation of official documentation for export. Prior to signing and stamping the Certificate of Inspection:

    1. A designated person of an AQIS approved certifying organisation can physically inspect each consignment to confirm the goods intended for export are those on the Certificate of Inspection (Ex11300). This inspection must include verification of all documentation (records of the physical inspection must be kept with the issued Ex11300) to confirm the products listed on the Ex11300:
      • comply with the requirements of the National Standard;
      • are of Australian origin or Australian made;
      • have maintained their integrity through remaining in the certification chain at operators certified to the National Standard for the entire production process - sourcing, processing and storage of the goods prior to export;
      • confirmation that the certified products are appropriately labelled; or

    2. The AQIS approved certifying organisation can conduct an assessment of the export consignment that entails a review and evaluation of all documentation associated with each shipment. This approach must produce clear documented evidence (kept with the issued Ex11300) that the certified product(s) for export:
      • comply with the requirements of the National Standard;
      • are of Australian origin or Australian made;
      • have maintained their integrity through remaining in the certification chain at operators certified to the National Standard for the entire production process - sourcing, processing and storage of the goods prior to export;
      • confirm that the certified products are appropriately labelled.

Irrespective of option i or ii chosen by the approved certifying organisation, the following documentation associated with each export must be attached to a copy of the Ex11300:

  • Origin of product/s listed (organic certification certificate);
  • Exporters declaration (as attached);
  • Bill of lading / airway bill; and
  • Official government certification (e.g. veterinary public health certificate, phytosanitary certificate, etc).
  1. Reviewed and Updated the QM manual to ensure they reflect the EU requirements and the method used to authorise the issue of the Ex11300;
  2. Notified certified operators of these requirements;
  3. Note: The expectation for the level of verification conducted for product listed on an organic produce certificate (OPC), regardless of the method chosen above is:
    • QM manual to reflect the organisations procedures relevant to this process
    • Check that all required sections of the OPC are completed
    • Verify the details recorded on the OPC against evidentiary documents / records, and may include a bill of lading / airway bill, certification certificates / other AQIS documentation (RFP, health certificate, phytosanitary certificate) etc
    • Verify the contents of the end product have been sourced from an organic operator certified to the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce by an AQIS approved certifying organisation
      • check that the ingredient / product are listed in the scope of the supplier operator’s current certification
      • check that the appropriate transfer documentation verifies the supplied item/s are certified organic
      • verify the product has remained in the certification chain at operators certified to the National Standard for the entire production process - sourcing, processing and storage of the goods prior to export
    • Ensure that the product label has been approved by the AQIS approved certifying organisation it is certified with (a label approval should consider - does it contain all the required information as stated in the National Standard? Does it reflect the product truthfully? Could the label be misinterpreted by consumers?)

An exporter's / manufacturer's declaration is available via the PDF download.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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