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Commission consultation, 29 July 2020
Conmission consultation document: COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council on controls and other measures ensuring traceability and compliance in organic production and the labelling of organic products
A copy of this draft Regulation is available on this site (click on image). An additional document provides the draft Annex - see: Draft Annex. For more details, see the consultation page at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/11716-Control-rules-in-organic-production. The consultation closes on 26 August 2020.
The following are the recitals from the draft regulation:
(1) Chapter III of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 lays down general production rules for operators, including necessary measures to avoid the presence of non-authorised products and substances and measures to be taken in the event of the presence of nonauthorised products or substances. In order to ensure harmonised conditions for the implementation of that Regulation, some additional rules should be laid down.
(2) Considering the importance of the precautionary measures that operators have to take to avoid the presence of non-authorised products and substances referred to in Article 28 of Regulation (EU) 2018/848, it is appropriate to establish procedural steps to be followed and the relevant documents to be provided in case operators suspect, due to presence of non-authorised products or substances, that the product that is intended to be used or marketed as organic or in-conversion product does not comply with Regulation (EU) 2018/848.
(3) In order to ensure a harmonised approach across the Union as regards the official investigation referred to in Article 29(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 in the event of suspected non-compliance due to the presence of non-authorised products or substances in organic or in-conversion products, further rules covering the elements to be determined when carrying out the investigation, the expected results of the investigation as well as minimum reporting obligations should be established.
(4) Chapter IV of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 lays down labelling rules for organic products. In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of that Regulation, some additional rules should be laid down as regards the place and the appearance of certain indications on the label.
(5) Chapter V of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 lays down rules for certification of operators and groups of operators. In order to ensure harmonised conditions for the implementation of that Regulation, some additional rules for the certification of a group of operators should be laid down.
(6) In the interest of the efficiency and affordable operational cost of the system for internal controls (ICS), it is appropriate to provide for a maximum size of a group of operators. By setting this limit, it is expected that the ICS can ensure the compliance of all members of the group with Regulation (EU) 2018/848 by means of internal controls, necessary training and support. Furthermore, the competent authority or, where appropriate, the control authority or control body that certifies the group can reinspect a reasonable number of members. The limitation of the size will provide additional guarantees for an updated list of members, rapid and regular exchange of information with control authorities or control bodies, and ensure the implementation of adequate measures. However, the maximum size should take into consideration that a group of operators should be able to generate sufficient resources to establish an efficient ICS relying on qualified staff.
(7) In order to provide evidence of compliance and to allow the exchange of information and sharing of knowledge, the list of documents and records that a group of operators has to keep for the purposes of the ICS should be laid down.
(8) The ICS should constitute the basis for the certification of a group of operators. Therefore, ICS managers should be required to inform the competent authority or, where appropriate, the control authority or control body that provides the certificate of the most important issues, such as suspicions of non-compliances, suspensions or withdrawals of members and any prohibition of the placing on the market of products as organic or in-conversion products.
(9) Chapter VI of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 lays down rules for official controls and other official activities. In order to ensure harmonised conditions for the implementation of that Regulation, some additional rules should be laid down.
(10) In order to ensure the continuity of the current national control systems in the Member States, rules on minimum percentages for official controls and sampling should be established.
(11) With a view to eliminating the substantial divergence in the current application of national catalogues of measures in the Member States, a common template for a catalogue of measures should be established and further guidelines on the classification of non-compliances and the appropriate measures should be provided for.
(12) Information on suspicion of non-compliance should be shared between the Member States and the Commission directly and as effectively as possible, primarily in order to allow all competent authorities concerned to carry out investigations and apply necessary measures as required in Article 29(1) and (2), Article 41(1), (2) and (3) and Article 42 of Regulation (EU) 2018/848. Furthermore, it is appropriate to specify the details and procedures for sharing that information, including functionalities of the Organic Farming Information System. In that context, this Regulation should also clarify that in case of any suspicion or established non-compliance that affects the Integrity of organic or in-conversion products discovered by the control authority or control body, such information should be transferred without delay to their competent authorities. Finally, this Regulation should specify which information should at least be shared by control authorities and control bodies with other control authorities and control bodies and their competent authorities and set an obligation for the competent authorities to take the appropriate measures and establish documented procedures to enable such exchange of information on their territory.
(13) Groups of operators in third countries operating in compliance with Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 [see note 1 below] and Commission Regulations (EC) No 889/2008 [see note 2 below] and (EC) No 1235/2008 [see note 3 below] may have a number of members significantly higher than the maximum size set by this Regulation. Establishing new groups of operators complying with this new requirement may imply tangible adaptations for establishing the corresponding legal entity, an efficient ICS and the necessary elements for the certification by a control authority or control body. Hence, a transitional period of maximum 3 years from 1 January 2021 should be provided for in respect of those groups of operators to permit them to carry out the necessary adaptations to comply with the new maximum size.
(14) The requirement related to the national catalogue of measures may imply the changing of already existing national catalogues of measures that have been developed in Member States until now in compliance with Regulations (EC) No 834/2007 and (EC) No 889/2008. Hence, a transitional period of maximum 1 year from 1 January 2021 should be provided for all Member States in respect of those existing national catalogues of measures in order to permit them to carry out the necessary improvements or the replacement of their national catalogues of measures to comply with the new requirements.
(15) In the interest of clarity and legal certainty, this Regulation should apply from the date of application of Regulation (EU) 2018/848.
(16) The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Committee on Organic Production.