Over the years, a control system has been set up that covers all stages of the organic supply chain, such as production at farm level, food processing, distribution, import and retailing activities. With regard to the controls on imports of organic foods, the European Court of Auditors found weaknesses in the system used for granting authorizations. In an effort to encounter these weaknesses, the European Commission introduced an e-certification system.
Operators will therefore have to depend on the EU electronic system for sanitary requirements (TRACES) to certify their organic food imports. This will become mandatory as of 19 October 2017 following a 6-month transitional period.