This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
EU rules on producing and labelling organic products (from 2022)
It aims to revise and strengthen the EU’s rules concerning organic production and the labelling or organic products in relation to:
In this way, it seeks to:
The regulation broadens the scope of the existing legislation on the production and labelling of organic products (Regulation (EC) No 834/2007) to cover products closely linked to agriculture such as cork, salt, essential oils, cotton or wool.
Moreover the regulation harmonises the rules applicable to EU and non-EU country organic operators through the introduction of the system of compliance.
It also simplifies the access to the scheme for small operators.
It reviews the livestock organic production rules and introduces rules for new species such as rabbits.
Organic production should:
Among other things, organic farming must:
To avoid adverse effects on the environment and on animal and plant health, producers must:
When a farm wishes to produce organic products, it has to go through a conversion period during which it must be managed according to organic production rules, although its products at this stage are not considered to be organic. It can only place its products on the market as organic products once this conversion period has elapsed and has been checked.
Following the conversion period, any EU farm wishing to move to organic production must be fully managed in line with organic production requirements.
The regulation also allows parallel farms (i.e. non-organic, in-conversion and organic) provided that these activities are clearly and genuinely separated.
Operators (producers, processors and distributors) must notify their activities to the competent authorities to become officially certified that they comply with the organic production and labelling rules.
The regulation introduces a new system of group certification* for small farmers making it easier for them to switch to organic farming.
Official controls and labelling
The control system is strengthened by means of stricter precautionary measures and more robust risk-based controls of the supply chain. In principle, there are on-the-spot checks on operators once a year. However, where previous controls have not revealed any instance of non-compliance over the previous 3 years, the period between 2 physical on-the-spot inspections may be extended to up to 2 years.
If a control body suspects an operator of trying to place a non-authorised product on the market as ‘organic’, it must formally investigate and temporarily ban the placing on the market of that product pending the investigation’s outcome. In the event of serious or repeated infringements, operators may be prohibited from selling products described as organic for a given period or may have their certificate withdrawn.
Specific controls on organic farming will be complemented by the EU’s general rules on official controls along the agri-food chain.
A product may be imported from a non-EU country to be sold in the EU as an organic product if certain conditions are met. It must:
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/464 lays down certain rules for applying Regulation (EU) 2018/848 as regards:
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/279 lays down rules for:
It applies from 1 January 2022 (its application date having been postponed by 1 year by Regulation (EU) 2020/1693 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related public health crisis). It replaces and repeals Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.
For more information, see:
(a) products produced from GMOs are derived in whole or in part from GMOs, but do not themselves contain or consist of GMOs (e.g. potatoes produced from GMO seed potatoes);
(b) products produced by GMOs are derived using a GMO as the last living organism in the production process, but do not themselves contain, or consist of GMOs, nor are they produced from GMOs (e.g. sugar and starch manufactured from a GMO vegetable source).
Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 (OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, pp. 1-92)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2018/848 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/464 of 26 March 2020 laying down certain rules for the application of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the documents needed for the retroactive recognition of periods for the purpose of conversion, the production of organic products and information to be provided by Member States (OJ L 98, 31.3.2020, pp. 2-25)
See consolidated version.
Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, pp. 1-142)
See consolidated version.
Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (OJ L 189, 20.7.2007, pp. 1-23)
See consolidated version.
last update 22.03.2021