22/03/2022

Guidelines to help interpret EU Organic Regulation now online

After a 10-year long process, the new EU Organic Regulation has started to apply on 1 January 2022. The basic Regulation (EU) 2018/848 was published in June 2018, while the secondary legislation was developed in the following 2.5 years, with the last secondary regulations published on the EU Official Journal on 29 December 2021.

For more information on the main changes the EU Organic Regulation brings, please refer to this article.

The new EU Organic regulation: Much more difficult to read

To date, the following secondary legislation has been adopted and published:

  • 15 delegated regulations, and
  • 7 implementing regulations.

In addition, 7 regulations and 6 corrigenda have been published to correct mistakes of the secondary legislation. This means that a total of 35 different documents need to be opened and consulted to have a full picture of the new EU Organic Regulation and other documents will follow in the coming months.

The new EU Organic Regulation also contains many references to other EU horizontal legislations (on food, official controls, fertilisers, flavourings, etc.).

As you will understand by now, reading the new EU Organic regulation is far from easy!

But do not worry, IFOAM Organics Europe developed guidelines to help you navigate such legal labyrinth! Following a process that took a bit longer than we planned, they are finally available on regulation.organicseurope.bio.

How our regulation guide will help you!

As we wrote, there are many references across other (legal) texts, so we structured items to provide clarity:

  • The new EU Organic Regulation and its secondary legislation are consolidated by grouping areas. For example, organic food processors find all the requirements relevant to their activities presented in a logical order and without having to open and consult many different legal acts;
  • Definitions and recitals are available with a single click;
  • Articles of other EU legislations mentioned in the new EU Organic Regulation are also available with a single click;
  • We highlighted main changes compared to previous EU Organic Regulations;
  • We also provided comments and explanations of unclear points or of points where there is room for interpretation.

As of now, 9 chapters have been developed and ready to be consulted and 4 chapters are being finalized:

  1. Scope
  2. Organic plant production
  3. Organic poultry
  4. Organic herbivores
  5. Organic pigs
  6. Organic aquaculture (available soon)
  7. Organic beekeeping (available soon)
  8. Organic food processing
  9. Organic wine
  10. Labelling (available soon)
  11. Control and certification
  12. International trade and imports
  13. Group certification (available soon)

We encourage you to provide us with feedback while you are using the guide, please do so emailing us at organicregulation@organicseurope.bio. As you will see, this was (and is) a big amount of work and some things could still be fixed. We welcome your feedback!

What can you find in each chapter? 

The legal text is put in a logical order, including basic regulation and relevant secondary regulations.

On the left side, you find the line number. When this number is underlined, you can hover over that number with the mouse and an annotation will pop up showing the legal reference of that text. It will tell you from which regulation and article that text comes from.

  • In the text, you will find many links (they will be underlined). Those links will open other pop-up windows with:
  • Articles of other EU legislations (e.g., wine, fertilisers, etc.), so that you will not need to look for and consult this other EU legislation. Sometimes it happens that such article in the pop up makes references to even other legislations. You will also find the articles of this third legislation in a second pop up;
  • Comments explaining the legal text;
  • The explanation of what changes compared to the previous EU Organic Regulation or whether that text is brand new;
  • If you see a (R), by clicking on it, the recital relevant to that article will pop up as well.

The annexes of the regulation are reported as PDF-document. You can find the simple versions as well as the versions with the Track Changes compared to the previous organic regulation.

How to access the guidelines

(Are you already a sponsor? Find out how to access the guidelines in the next section)

Every IFOAM Organics Europe member will have one yearly access for free! Please coordinate internally and let us know whom in your organisation will benefit from this free access- this should be an individual email address (ie. jane.doe@organicseurope.bio, not info@organicseurope.bio).
If you are an IFOAM Organics Europe member and you would like more accesses or accesses for your members, a (reduced) yearly contribution will be asked.

Members of IFOAM regional bodies and IFOAM– Organics International will also benefit from a reduced yearly contribution. The secretariat of each regional body will also get one free yearly access. Please email the contact details of this person to organicregulation@organicseurope.bio.

For non-members, the full price will apply (see below). Reach out to membership@organicseurope.bio if you have any questions about membership.

Please note that access to the guidelines will be granted to individual’s professional email addresses, so for example jane.doe@organicseurope.bio, not jane.doe@gmail.com or info@organicseurope.bio.

Are you interested in getting more accesses for your organisation? Consider becoming a sponsor and get free access! Reach out to organicregulation@organicseurope.bio

For access:

  1. Go to regulation.organicseurope.bio;
  2. More than 1 access in your organisation? You can streamline this process and register and pay for all users at once when you login for the first time- select ‘add another account’ in the registration window.
  3. Register your professional email address and information onto the website and choose the category that applies to you (see below table, we will verify this information);
  4. Follow the payment instructions that will appear. Payment can be made with PayPal (has an option for Visa and Mastercard);
  5. After successful payment, you can login with your professional email address and the password you selected;
  6. Bookmark regulation.organicseurope.bio for easy access later.

How to access the guidelines as sponsors

Depending on your sponsorship category, you can have free yearly accesses to these guidelines- 99 for golden sponsors, 50 for silver sponsors and 30 for bronze sponsors.

For access, send us the information of those in your organisation who should have access.

Once we have added you:

  1. Go to regulation.organicseurope.bio;
  2. Register your professional email address and information onto the website and choose the category that applies to you ‘Sponsors of the Developing Organic: Regulation Guidelines project’;
  3. After filling in all your information using your organisation’s address (so, jane.doe@organicseurope.bio, not janedoe@gmail.com), you will have free access;
  4. Bookmark regulation.organicseurope.bio for easy access later.

If you still have any questions after reading this or want to receive more information, please reach out to organicregulation@organicseurope.bio.

We want to thank our sponsors who made setting up this guide possible. Without you, it would not be here. If you also want to become a sponsor (and get free yearly access to the guide), please email organicregulation@organicseurope.bio.

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