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Change to organic importing - eCOIs

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Change to organic importing - eCOIs

For every consignment of organic product imported into the EU, a Certificate of Inspection is required.

During 2017, Certificates of Inspection (COIs) are being replaced with an electronic system: eCOI. The same information is required to issue an eCOI, but the system will see the EU phasing out the hard copy that is currently required, and will be moving over to an electronic document that will be managed through an online system called TRACES.

From 19th October 2017, all eCOIs issued will be via TRACES, with no further hard copies.

Soil Association Certification began issuing eCOIs via TRACES on 1st September 2017 for all our operators based outside of the EU. Other certification bodies are introducing at different stages, so if you are importing product into the EU, you may find that you are currently receiving both eCOIs and COIs. After 19th October, you should no longer be receiving hard copy COIs, however.

If you import into or export product to the EU, here are the main points you need to consider right now:

  • Sign up for a TRACES account as soon as you are able here. As your organic certification body, we will verify your organic status on TRACES. This step is required for your account to be activated.
  • Ensure the entire supply chain is registered on TRACES. All parties involved must be registered on TRACES for the system to work and for the eCOI to be successfully endorsed. If they have questions, they can contact their own organic certification bodies.
  • Update your internal procedures to reference the new system. Ensure that all staff involved with importing understands the changes coming in.

There is online guidance you can access for details about how to use the system here.

If you have any questions related to how this will affect you, please contact your Certification Officer or contact us at: coi@soilassociation.org

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