Navigate Up
Sign In

Consumer Assurance and EU Control Bodies

​Organic farmers, processors and importers have to comply with stri​ct regulations if they want to use the EU organic logo or la​belling​ or equivalent national distinctions. To ensure they satisfy these regulations, an equally strict inspection system has to be in place.

These inspections have to be performed at every stage in the organic farming supply chain, allowing the consumer to be confident that when buying organic food, each product has been produced according to strict European and National Legislations aiming at respecting the environment and animal welfare and inspected accordingly.

Inspections:

Each EU Member State has designated a number of public authorities and/or approved private inspection bodies to carry out the inspections. All inspection bodies or inspection authorities act under the supervision or in close cooperation with the central competent authorities of the Member States. This process is supervised by each EU Member State, which is responsible for establishing an inspection system with competent authorities to ensure adherence to the obligations established in the organic Regulation.

  • They have to be accredited under the EU's General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems
  • They have to be approved by the Member States' competent authority
  • They have to be objective vis-à-vis the operators subject to their inspections

Code numbers of control bodies and control authorities:

Whenever the EU organic logo is used on the product, it always has to be accompanied by the code number of the control body or authority to which the operator who has carried out the most recent production or preparation operation is subject.

The general format of the code number is MT-ORG-001, where MT is the ISO code of the country (Malta) where the control takes place, ORG is a term establishing a link with the organic production, such as "bio" or "org" or "eko/eco" and 001 is a reference number.

Member States attribute a code number to each organic control body and authority they have approved to operate on their territory. One should find this code number on every organic label. The code number is a sign that the product has been inspected by the control body or authority which guarantees it was produced or processed in accordance with the organic Regulation.

Please find here the latest list of EU control bodies and authorities with their code numbers.

On imported products, it is an obligation to mention the code number of the control body or authority only if the EU organic logo is used. The European Commission is in charge of attribution of code numbers to control bodies and authorities performing inspections outside the EU.

Please find here:

The list of code numbers of control bodies and authorities from equivalent third countries (Article 7 and Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008).

The list of code numbers of control bodies and authorities working under the system of import authorisations  issued by Member States according to the procedure described in Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008​.

Certification:

Before operators can start farming organically or manufacturing organic products they must first notify to an organic inspection body or authority in their Member State. Their premises and production methods have to be inspected and acknowledged by the control body or authority. Organic farms also have to undergo a conversion period, before they can sell their products as organic.


The certification process is as follows:

  1. The operator shall use this online form to apply for certification. Prior to applying;

      1. ​The certification fees can be viewed in this schedule.
      2. ​The terms and conditions of service can be viewed in this document.
      3. ​​You may find information on the operator type (e.g. Producer, Processor, Importer, etc.) in this document.

  2. When MCCAA receives the completed application form, it will be reviewed, and a representative will contact you and may ask for specific documents.

  3. An inspector will contact you to fix an appointment for the site inspection.

  4. During the inspection, an inspection report will be filled that includes a recommendation or otherwise for certification.

  5. This report will be forwarded to the certification board who will take the final decision.

  6. A certificate will be issued showing the status of the operator (under conversion or Organic, refer to this document​), the type of operator and the certification scope. A unique certification number and logo will be issued to the operator.

  7. Surveillance inspections are held at least once a year.​


Infringements and irregularities:

In the event that an operator is found to have infringed the requirements of the regulation and the inspection regime, the inspection authority or body can ban the operator from marketing his or her products as organic.

Where irregularities occur in only one batch of a production run, the inspection authority or body ensures that the references, indications and logos referring to the organic production method are not used on that batch.​

 

​​