Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Inspection and certification
      • Inspection schemes
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Certification, application - US NOP 2002
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§ 205.401- § 205.402 Application for certification. 1. The application must include the following information: - An organic production or handling system plan - The applicant's data such as name and address - Details on previous applications/certifications 2. Upon acceptance of an application for certification, a certifying agent must: - Review the application to ensure completeness and determine whether the applicant complies with the applicable requirements of subpart C; - Verify that any non-compliances of previous applications are solved - Schedule an on-site inspection
US require notification of previous applications and the outcome whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Procedures of applications are slightly different since for US a production or handling plan must be submitted with the application and reviewed before inspection, whereas in the EU the full description of the unit must be drawn up when the inspection arrangements are first implemented. EU is more specific in declarations which have to be signed by operators.. No justification was available.
Certification, general requirements - US NOP 2002
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§ 205.400 General requirements for certification. A person seeking to receive or maintain organic certification must: (a) Comply with the Act and applicable organic production and handling regulations of this part (b) Establish an organic production or handling system plan (c) Permit on-site inspections (d) Maintain all records applicable to the organic operation for not less than 5 years (e) Submit the applicable fees (f) Immediately notify the certifying agent concerning any: (1) Application, including drift, of a prohibited substance (2) Change in a certified operation that may affect its compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part
They are no differences in the basic principles, however the US is more specific in the details compared to the EU Regulation 2092/91. EU does not define drift as a non-compliance with the Regulation and does not require notification of drift. However drift is subject to different interpretations in the EU. If the outcome of the investigation reveals that the presence of the detected prohibited substance is the result of an intentional application, the certified operation will be subject to suspension or revocation of its organic certification and/or a civil penalty. In cases of unintended drift the specific crop may not be sold as organic, but the organic status of future crop years are not affected since organic certification is a production claim, not a content claim.
Certification, general requirements - US NOP 2002
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§ 205.404 ? 205.406 Certification If the certifying agent determines that the operation is in compliance with the rules, he shall issue a certificate. In case of non-compliances the operator shall receive a description of each non-compliance and the facts upon which the notification of non-compliance is based. In a notice of denial, suspension or revocation of certification, the rights to reapply, request mediation or filing an appeal must be stated. To continue certification an updated organic production or handling system plan must be submitted and an annual inspection conducted.
US defines details of certificate, in EU Regulation 2092/91 this issue is covered by reference to EN 45011. In US certification continues in effect until surrendered by the organic operator or suspended or revoked by the certifying agent or authority. This is not defined in EU. US describe procedural details for granting, denial and continuation of certification. EU is less detailed. EU requires in case of manifest infringement to prohibit marketing of organic products for a period to be agreed with the competent authority. US allows for immediate re-application after denial of certification but requires 5 years before re-application following revocation. US requires annual update of production or handling plan, this is not specified by EU. No justification was available.
Inspections, frequency - FR Regulation 2000
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The minimum number of inspections must be at least: 1 full physical check per annum for every operator, plus 1 check per group for table poultry, plus 50% random unannounced checks for every operator, except table poultry (50% unannounced checks per group) and processors (100% random unannounced checks).
French regulation stipulates a minimum number of unannounced random inspections and additional checks. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not specify the number of unannounced inspections. The aim is to reduce the risk of fraud and to harmonize the practices of certification bodies.
Inspections, general requirements - US NOP 2002 § 205.403 On-site inspections. A certifying agent must conduct an initial on-site inspection of each production unit. An on-site inspection shall be conducted annually thereafter. A certifying agent may conduct additional on-site inspections, announced or unannounced, of applicants for certification and certified operations. The Administrator or State organic program's governing State official may require that additional inspections be performed. The initial on-site inspection must be conducted within a reasonable time. The inspector must conduct an exit interview. The inspector shall provide the operation's authorized representative with a receipt for any samples taken by the inspector. There shall be no charge to the inspector for the samples taken. Both EU Regulation 2092/91 and US require annual inspections and additional announced or unannounced inspections. EU has a risk-based approach for additional visits; US does not specify this. US requires an exit interview, whereas EU does not specify this. The EU is more specific in documentary accounts. US require documents to be kept for 5 years, EU does not. EU requires in case of part conversion for crop and livestock production conventional units to be inspected, US requires operators to allow access to non-certified production and handling areas during inspection. No justification was available.
Inspections, specific provisions - US NOP 2002
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§ 205.403 ? 205.406 Inspection and certification US has no specific provisions for inspection of plant or animal production or processing but requires a production or handling system plan to be annually updated to describe in detail the management of the organic production.
EU Regulation 2092/91 has specific provisions for inspection in case an operator runs conventional and organic production units in the same area. The crop records must give a breakdown by plot and the livestock records detailed description on the herd and the herd management system. EU describes more detailed the provisions for records and for reception of products from other units and also covers provisions for sub-contracted units. US are less detailed. No justification was available.