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United Kingdom-Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement (UKCOEA) – Overview

The United Kingdom (UK) and Canada recognize each other's organic production rules and control systems as equivalent under their respective rules. This type of recognition is also referred to as an "equivalence arrangement".

This equivalence arrangement takes effect on January 1 2021 and covers organic agricultural products of UK or Canadian origin.

This equivalence arrangement means that organic products certified under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Canada Organic Regime or UK organic system may be sold and labelled as organic in both Canada and the UK.

As long as the product is certified by a CFIA accredited certification body (CB) in Canada or by an UK approved control body, this recognition eliminates the need for UK organic agricultural products to have a separate certification to the Canadian standards, and vice versa.

1. UK import requirements

1.1 Canadian organic products covered under UKCOEA

The following products certified to the Canada Organic Regime in accordance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), part 13 (Organic Products), by 1 of the CFIA accredited certification bodies are accepted as organic in the UK:

Processed agricultural products for use as food and processed agricultural products for use as feed have to be processed in Canada with organic ingredients grown in Canada or imported into Canada in accordance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), part 13 (Organic Products).

Currently, aquaculture organic products, with the exception of seaweed products, are excluded from the scope of the UKCOEA arrangement.

1.2 UK's labelling requirements

All organic products imported into the UK must meet UK labelling requirements.

For processed agricultural products, any product containing above 95% organic ingredients may be labelled with the claim "organic" and the COR organic logo may be used. For products containing less than 95% organic ingredients, the reference to organic may only appear in the list of ingredients and the logo may not be used.

1.3 Documentation required for Canadian organic products exported to the UK

Canadian organic products exported to Great Britain (GB) under the UKCOEA must be accompanied by a Certificate of Inspection (CoI). This will be a GB CoI and will be a manual process.

A copy of the CoI template along with GB CoI explanatory notes will be shared with the CFIA accredited CBs certifying organic products in Canada.

Certificate of Inspection (CoI) template:

Certificate of inspection for import products from organic production into Great Britain

1. Issuing control body or authority (name, address and code):

____________________

2. Council Regulation (European Commission (EC) ) No 834/2007, as it has effect in Great Britain:

  • Article 33(2) or
  • Article 33(3)

Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, as it has effect in the European Union:

  • Article 33(2) or
  • Article 33(3)

3. Serial number of the certificate of inspection:

____________________

4. Exporter (name and address):

____________________

5. Producer or processor of the product (name and address):

____________________

6. Control body or control authority (name, address and code):

____________________

7. Country of origin:

____________________

8. Country of export:

____________________

9. Country of clearance/Point of entry:

____________________

10. Country of destination:

____________________

11. Importer (name, address and Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) number):

____________________

12. First consignee in Great Britain (name and address):

____________________

13. Description of products

  • CN code
    ____________________
  • Trade name
    ____________________
  • Number of packages
    ____________________
  • Lot number
    ____________________
  • Net weight
    ____________________

14. Container number

____________________

15. Seal number

____________________

16. Total gross weight

____________________

17. Means of transport before point of entry into Great Britain:

Mode

____________________

Identification

____________________

International transport document

____________________

18. Declaration of control authority or control body issuing the certificate referred to in box 1

This is to certify that this certificate has been issued on the basis of the checks required under Article 13(4) or regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 and that the products designated above have been obtained in accordance with rules of production and inspection of the organic production method which are considered equivalent in accordance with regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

Date ____________________

  • Name and signature of authorised person
    ____________________
  • Stamp of issuing authority or body
    ____________________

19. Customs warehousing Inward processing

Name and address of operator:

____________________

Control body or control authority (name, address and code):

____________________

Customs Declaration Reference Number for customs warehousing or inward processing:

____________________

20. Verification of the consignment and endorsement by Great Britain's competent authority.

Authority:

____________________

Date:

____________________

  • Name and signature of authorised person
    ____________________
  • Stamp
    ____________________

21. Declaration of the first consignee.

This is to certify that the reception of the products has been carried out in accordance with Article 34 of regulation (EC) No 889/2008.

  • Name of the company:
    ____________________
  • Date:
    ____________________

Name and signature of the authorised person

____________________

Instructions:

Exports from Canada to Northern Ireland will continue to adhere to the EU procedures and will continue to require an EU Certificate of Inspection for Import of products from Organic production into the European Community - PDF (2,125 kb) (the "Certificate of Inspection") as per Article 13 and Annex V of Commission Regulation (EC) Number. 1235/2008.

Organic products must be certified to the Canadian organic standards by a CFIA accredited CB and accompanied by the certificate of inspection issued by a CFIA accredited CB.

The CBs operating in Canada must prepare, sign and stamp this CoI. In Box 2, the certification body operating in Canada must mark the box associated with "Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007, Article 33(2)".

The certificates of inspection are utilized by UK port of entry officials, control bodies and control authorities to verify compliance with the applicable legislation.

2. Canada's import requirements

2.1 UK organic products covered under UKCOEA

The following products certified in conformity with Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 by a UK approved control body are accepted as organic in Canada:

This recognition is limited to organic products that have been either:

CBs based in the UK that have clients outside the UK and wish to certify them to the Canadian Organic Standards must maintain their accreditation with the CFIA.

Organic products that are grown, produced or packaged outside of the UK are not within the scope of this recognition, even if they are certified to UK organic requirements.

Currently, aquaculture organic products, with the exception of seaweed products, are excluded from the scope of the UKCOEA arrangement.

2.2 Canada's labelling requirements

UK operators can use the Canada organic logo in accordance with part 13 of the SFCR.

Products must meet all Canadian organic labeling requirements (including compliant use of the Canada organic logo).

A copy of the logo must be requested from the Control Bodies responsible for the certification.

2.3 Documentation required for UK organic products exported to Canada

For UK organic products intended to be imported to Canada, the products should first meet the requirements specified in the UK legislation.

All products traded under the UKCOEA must be accompanied by an export organic certificate issued by a UK approved control body recognized under the organic equivalency agreement between Canada and the UK and listed in the approved UK organic control bodies.

A copy of the template is shared with Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) approved control bodies that will issue export organic certificate for shipments destined to Canada.

All relevant Canadian legislation will also continue to apply for the imported product.

Under the SFCR, certain food businesses (such as many importers) will require a food license to conduct 1 or more activities.

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