Recognised third countries
This report provides an overview on six audits on organic production in Third Countries between 2012 and 2014 carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office. The objective of the audits was to evaluate the application of organic production rules and the effectiveness of the control system for organic production and the supervision carried out by the Competent Authority. The national standards for organic production of these Third Countries were recognised by the European Commission under the equivalency regime referred to in Article 33 of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007. All six Third Countries... visited had national organic production standards and control measures in place. Some Third Countries had not notified all new provisions to the European Commission. In general, the CAs were designated in all TCs, with a clear division of tasks among them and they were empowered to enforce national provisions. Inspection and certification tasks were delegated in all six Third Countries to private Control Bodies and were adequately described and, in almost all TCs visited, good communication and co-operation were in place between CA's and CB's. In all TCs visited, systems for the delegation of official controls to CBs were in place and CBs were accredited, where required. However, in almost all TCs some significant weaknesses were identified in the supervision of CBs mainly relating to the insufficient assessment of the effectiveness of CBs' control activities and the inadequate measures taken by the CAs against CBs in case of their failure. At least one annual inspection of all operators is carried out by Control Bodies and relevant risk criteria were sufficiently taken into account for the planning of inspections. However in some cases these inspections were not always fully effective mainly because Control Bodies' inspectors did not adequately verify information at operators, and because checklists used did not cover all aspects. Overall sampling arrangements were in place with some weaknesses found regarding the representativeness of the samples taken, the inadequate analysis capacity of laboratories used and the use of a threshold to trigger investigation. Shortcomings were also found with the application of exceptional production rules. Traceability and export certification systems were in place in all Third Countries visited. In some Third Countries, these systems did not ensure that only products or ingredients produced in these countries are exported to the European Union. Enforcement measures taken by the Control Bodies and/or Competent Authorities were generally effective in the Third Countries visited. In two Third Countries, measures taken were insufficient or ineffective due to delayed notification of irregularities. All Third countries visited followed up EU notifications of irregularities in an appropriate manner. The audit series highlighted a range of good practices which could be transferable across Third Countries. The individual reports contained recommendations to the Third Countries and these are systematically followed up by the Commission.
- Corporate author(s): Directorate for Health and Food Audits and Analysis Themes: Agricultural policy, Food technology and food safety
- Subject: audit, European Food Safety Authority, food inspection, food production, food safety, organic farming, organic product, plant health control, production control, quality control of agricultural products, report, third country
Available languages and formats
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