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Organically grown agricultural products and foodstuffs

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The Regulation establishes a harmonised framework for the production, labelling and inspection of agricultural products and foodstuffs in order to increase consumer confidence in such products and ensure fair competition between producers.

ACT

Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

This Regulation describes the legal framework for agricultural products and foodstuffs obtained organically.

Scope

This Regulation applies to the following products, where they bear or are intended to bear indications referring to organic production:

  • non-processed agricultural crop and livestock products;
  • farmed livestock;
  • agricultural crop and livestock products intended for human consumption, processed and constituted mainly from one or more agricultural crop or livestock ingredients;
  • animal feeds, compound feedingstuffs for animals and raw materials for animal feed that meet the conditions laid down in Regulation (EC) No 223/2003.

Pet foods, feed for animals raised for their fur and feed for use in aquaculture are not covered by this Regulation.

Rules of production

A product, its ingredients or raw materials for animal feed are considered to bear indications referring to organic production if the labelling, advertising or trade documents for them describe them by means of the indications used in the Member State concerned, thus suggesting to purchasers that they have been obtained in accordance with the rules of production set out in the Regulation.

Annex I to the Regulation specifies the principles of organic production for plants, livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and poultry) and bees, and all products thereof. It sets out criteria for the management of certain key aspects of farming those animals, in particular the choice of breeds, feed and veterinary treatment in accordance with the principles of organic production. Annex II explains which substances may be used as pesticides, soil fertilisers, feed and detergents for animals, along with any exceptions. The Regulation also establishes the conditions for expanding the lists of permitted substances.

The Regulation states that organic production may be referred to only where the product in question has been obtained and tested in accordance with the rules established therein, and in particular that it contains only substances listed in the Annexes, has not been subjected to treatments involving the use of ionising radiation and has not been made using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products derived from these organisms, as this would be incompatible with organic production (Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999).

Inspection and indications of conformity

In order to guarantee respect for the rules of production, the Regulation provides for an inspection system to ensure that operators who produce, prepare or store organic products or import them from third countries notify the competent private and public authorities in the Member States of their activities. These inspection authorities must, at the very least, ensure application of the minimum inspection and precautionary measures laid down in Annex III to the Regulation. For the production of meat, the Regulation states that the Member States must guarantee the traceability of products throughout the production, processing and preparation chain.

Annex V to the Regulation lists the indications showing that a product is covered by the inspection scheme implemented by that Regulation. It also shows the various versions of the Community organic farming logo which may be combined with those indications. Under the new legal framework which will soon be implemented this logo will have to be used on all organic products. It may be accompanied by national and private logos.

The Regulation also provides for a system to ensure that products imported from third countries have been produced and marketed under production and inspection conditions equivalent to those applicable to Community products. These third countries are entered in a list laid down by a Commission Decision.

The Member States may not prohibit or restrict the sale of products that meet the provisions of the Regulation.

Implementation

In implementing the Regulation the Commission is assisted by a regulatory committee made up of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 2092/9122.7.1991-OJ L198, 22.7.1991

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 2083/9224.7.1992-OJ L 208, 24.7.1992
Regulation (EEC) No 3713/921.1.1993-OJ L 378, 23.12.1992
Regulation (EC) No 1468/9428.6.1994-OJ L 159, 28.6.1994
Regulation (EC) No 529/951.3.1995-OJ L 54, 10.3.1995
Regulation (EC) No 1935/9512.8.1995-OJ L 186, 5.8.1995
Regulation (EC) No 1804/9924.8.1999-OJ L 222, 24.8.1999
Regulation (EC) No 806/20035.6.2003-OJ L 122, 16.5.2003
Regulation (EC) No 223/200326.2.2003-OJ L 3, 6.2.2003
Regulation (EC) No 392/200410.3.2004-OJ L 65, 3.3.2004
Regulation (EC) No 746/200424.4.2004-OJ L 122, 26.4.2004
Regulation (EC) No 1567/20056.10.2005-OJ L 252, 28.9.2005
Regulation (EC) No 1791/20061.1.2007-OJ L 363, 20.12.2006
Regulation (EC) No 1991/20066.1.2007-OJ L 411, 30.12.2006
Regulation (EC) No 1997/20064.1.2007-OJ L 379, 28.12.2006

AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES

Annex I - Principles of organic production at farm level:

Regulation (EEC) No 1535/92 [Official Journal L 162 of 16.6.1992];
Regulation (EEC) No 2608/93 [Official Journal L 239 of 24.9.1993];
Regulation (EC) No 1202/95 [Official Journal L 119 of 30.5.1995];
Regulation (EC) No 1900/98 [Official Journal L 247 of 5.9.1998];
Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 [Official Journal L 222 of 24.8.1999];
Regulation (EC) No 1073/2000 [Official Journal L 119 of 20.5.2000];
Regulation (EC) No 473/2002 [Official Journal L 75 of 15.3.2002];
Regulation (EC) No 223/2003 [Official Journal L 31 of 6.2.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 599/2003 [Official Journal L 85 of 2.4.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 2277/2003 [Official Journal L 336 of 23.12.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 2254/2004 [Official Journal L 385 of 29.12.2004];
Regulation (EC) No 1294/2005 [Official Journal L 205 of 6.8.2005];
Regulation (EC) No 699/2006 [Official Journal L 121 of 6.5.2006];
Regulation (EC) No 1851/2006 [Official Journal L 355 of 15.12.2006];
Regulation (EC) No 394/2007 [Official Journal L 98 of 13.4.2007];
Regulation (EC) No 1319/2007 [Official Journal L 293 of 10.11.2007].

Annex II - Products authorised for use in soil conditioning and fertilisation:

Regulation (EEC) No 1535/92 [Official Journal L 162 of 16.6.1992];
Regulation (EEC) No 2608/93 [Official Journal L 239 of 24.9.1993];
Regulation (EC) No 2381/94 [Official Journal L 255 of 1.10.1994];
Regulation (EC) No 1488/97 [Official Journal L 202 of 30.7.1997];
Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 [Official Journal L 222 of 24.8.1999];
Regulation (EC) No 1073/2000 [Official Journal L 119 of 20.5.2000];
Regulation (EC) No 436/2001 [Official Journal L 63 of 3.3.2001];
Regulation (EC) No 473/2002 [Official Journal L 75 of 15.3.2002];
Regulation (EC) No 599/2003 [Official Journal L 85 of 2.4.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 2277/2003 [Official Journal L 336 of 23.12.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 1318/2005 [Official Journal L 210 of 12.8.2005];
Regulation (EC) No 1916/2005 [Official Journal L 307 of 25.11.2005];
Regulation (EC) No 592/2006 [Official Journal L 104 of 13.4.2006];
Regulation (EC) No 807/2007 [Official Journal L 181 of 11.7.2007];
Regulation (EC) No 404/2008 [Official Journal L 120 of 7.5.2008].

Annex III - Minimum inspection requirements and precautionary measures:

Regulation (EEC) No 1535/92 [Official Journal L 162, 16.6.1992];
Regulation (EEC) No 2608/93 [Official Journal L 239, 24.9.1993];
Regulation (EC) No 1202/95 [Official Journal L 119 of 30.5.1995];
Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 [Official Journal L 222 of 24.8.1999];
Regulation (EC) No 2491/2001 [Official Journal L 337 of 20.12.2001];
Regulation (EC) No 223/2003 [Official Journal L 31 of 6.2.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 2277/2003 [Official Journal L 336 of 23.12.2003];
Regulation (EC) No 1336/2005 [Official Journal L 211 of 13.8.2005];
Regulation (EC) No 1991/2006 [Official Journal L 411 of 30.12.2006];
Regulation (EC) No 1997/2006 [Official Journal L 379 of 28.12.2006];
Regulation (EC) No 1517/2007 [Official Journal L 335 of 20.12.2007].

Annex V - Indication that products are covered by the inspection scheme:Â

Regulation (EC) No 331/2000 [Official Journal L 48 of 19.2.2000];
Regulation (EC) No 746/2004 [Official Journal L 122 of 26.4.2004];
Regulation (EC) No 1481/2004 [Official Journal L 272 of 20.8.2004];
Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 [Official Journal L 363 of 20.12.2006].

Annex VI - Ingredients of agricultural and non-agricultural origin which may be used in preparation:Â

Regulation (EEC) No 207/93 [Official Journal L 25, 2.2.1993];
Regulation (EC) No 468/94 [Official Journal L 59 of 3.3.1994];
Regulation (EC) No 1201/95 [Official Journal L 119 of 30.5.1995];
Regulation (EC) No 418/96 [Official Journal L 59 of 8.3.1996];
Regulation (EC) No 1488/97 [Official Journal L 202 of 30.7.1997];
Regulation (EC) No 330/1999 [Official Journal L 40 of 13.2.1999];
Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 [Official Journal L 222 of 24.8.1999];
Regulation (EC) No 1073/2000 [Official Journal L 119 of 20.5.2000];
Regulation (EC) No 1437/2000 [Official Journal L 161 of 1.7.2000];
Regulation (EC) No 2020/2000 [Official Journal L 241 of 26.9.2000];
Regulation (EC) No 473/2002 [Official Journal L 75 of 15.3.2002];
Regulation (EC) No 1481/2004 [Official Journal L 272 of 20.8.2004];
Regulation (EC) No 780/2006 [Official Journal L 137 of 25.5.2006];
Regulation (EC) No 123/2008 [Official Journal L 38 of 13.2.2008].

Annex VII - Maximum number of animals per hectare:

Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 [Official Journal L 222 of 24.8.1999].

Annex VIII - Characteristics of housing for the different species:

Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 [Official Journal L 222 of 24.8.1999].

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

New legal framework:

Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 (FR)of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 [Official Journal L 189 of 20.7.2007].Â
This Regulation establishes a new legal framework for organic products. It lays down the objectives and principles applicable to this type of production and illustrates the rules on production, labelling, inspection and trade with third countries. The new Regulation will apply from 1 January 2009.

European action plan for organic food and farming

Use of non-organic agricultural ingredients:

Regulation (EC) No 207/93 [Official Journal L 25 of 2.2.1993].
This Commission Regulation of 29 January 1993 specifies certain ingredients which may be contained in organic products (particularly ingredients of non-agricultural origin and ingredients of agricultural origin which are not produced organically in sufficient quantity in the Community) and products which may be used for the processing of ingredients of agricultural origin obtained by organic production.
Successive amendments and corrections have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

Imports from third countries (implementing rules):

Regulation (EC) No 3457/92 [Official Journal L 350 of 1.12.1992].
Commission Regulation of 30 November 1992 laying down detailed rules concerning the inspection certificate for imports from third countries into the Community provided for in Regulation No 2092/91/EEC on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Regulation (EC) No 529/95 [Official Journal L 54 of 10.3.1995].
Commission Regulation of 9 March 1995 deferring for imports from certain third countries the date of application of Article 11(1) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Regulation (EC) No 1788/2001 [Official Journal L 243 of 13.9.2001].
Commission Regulation of 7 September 2001 laying down detailed rules for implementing the provisions concerning the certificate of inspection for imports from third countries.
Successive amendments and corrections have been incorporated in the basic text.This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

Regulation (EC) No 345/2008 [Official Journal L 108 of 18.4.2008].
Commission Regulation of 17 April 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementing the arrangements for imports from third countries. It contains the list of third countries which are authorised to import organic products into the Community, including:  Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Switzerland and New Zealand. For each of these countries, the Regulation lays down certain specifications and the inspection bodies which certify that the imported product are to be registered as organically produced. The Regulation also lays down the rules on the procedure to be followed for including a third country in the list of importers.

Last updated: 10.06.2008
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