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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index

Extra Papers

Third Country Access to EU Organic Market E1

Schmidt, Hanspeter

Sternwaldstraße 6a, D-79102 Freiburg im Breisgau

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Article 11 of Regulation 2092/91/EEC opens the EU Organic Food Market for products from third countries. The access to the European Organic Food Market is guided by the concept of equivalency. Agricultural production, food processing, documentation, inspection and certification are required to be equivalent, which means that they must be of comparable effectiveness as those prescribed for operators within the EU. Article 11 does not require identical procedures. It does not require congruence as a formality, but allows third countries to develop their genuinely own organic food production and certification systems. While interpreting the legal consequences of the concept of equivalence one should keep in mind that its objective is to give equally effective systems a fair chance and not to decide on the basis of pure formality.

Article 11 has been changed several times: In 1991 it had been inacted to allow only the import of organic food products from countries explicitly listed by a Commission Regulation. In 1992 Council Regulation 2083/92/EEC introduced a second path of access: A case-to-case review procedure executed by local authorities within the EU Member State, into which the merchandise was first imported. This case-to-case review requires local food authorities to review complex facts in third countries. As a rule, these authorities lack the required competence. Therefore, this measure is regarded as a provisional set-up. In June 1995 Council Regulation 1935/95/EC introduced the possibility, that not only the government of a third country may apply for its general recognition as an exporter of organic agricultural commodities, but that also a Member State of the EU may suggest the inclusion of a Certification Scheme in a Non-EU-country for inclusion in the Article 11 list of accepted importers.

Schmidt, Hanspeter; Manon, Haccius (1994): EG-Verordnung »Ökologischer Landbau«, Eine juristische und agrarfachliche Kommentierung, Verlag C.F. Müller, Karlsruhe