Organic Products Certification Body

Last Update on 17/09/2020

Operating a Control and Certification Body for Organic Products

General Information

In order to operate a Control and Certification Body for organic production in the Republic of Cyprus, one needs to obtain an authorization for a private control and certification body from the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.

The term “Control body” means an independent private third party carrying out inspection and certification in the field of organic production, whereas the term ‘Organic production’ means the use of the production method compliant with the rules established in the Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007 at all stages of production, preparation and distribution.

The Department of Agriculture grants an authorization for private control and certification body for organic products provided that the Department is satisfied that the legal entity:

  • Has the expertise, equipment and infrastructure required to perform the tasks delegated to it;
  • Has a sufficient number of suitable qualified and experienced staff;
  • Is impartial and free from any conflict of interest regarding the exercise of the tasks delegated to it;
  • Has laboratory facilities or collaborates with a laboratory;
  • Is accredited to the most recently notified version, by a publication in the C series of the Official Journal of the European Union, of European Standard EN 17065 (General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems).

Moreover, the Department of Agriculture takes into account the following criteria:

  • The standard control procedure to be followed containing a detailed description of the control measures and precautions that the body undertakes to impose on operators subject to its control;
  • Measures that the control body intends to apply where irregularities and infringements are found;
  • Reliability, objectivity and independence of the body;
  • Curriculum vitae of auditors and members of the Technical Committee of the Body, which evaluates applications for certification;
  • The location of the registered offices of the Organization; and
  • The Constitution and the Organizational chart.

The application for authorization for a private control and certification body can be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or directly to the competent authority:

Department of Agriculture
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment
Louki Akrita, 1412 Nicosia
Tel.: +357 22464038, +357 22464071
Fax: +357 22658157
E-mail: doagrg@da.moa.gov.cy
Website: http://www.moa.gov.cy/moa/da/da.nsf

  1. The application should be accompanied by the following documents:

    • Copy of the Constitution and organizational chart;
    • Copy of evidence that the applicant holds the necessary expertise, equipment and infrastructure;
    • Copy of evidence that the applicant has a sufficient number of suitable, qualified and experienced staff;
    • Copy of evidence of impartiality from any conflict of interest regarding the exercise of duties to be delegated;
    • Copy of the organization logo placed on the packaging of organic products and foodstuff upon certification;
    • Copy of evidence of the laboratory infrastructure or disclosure of collaborating laboratories;
    • Copy of documentation regarding the standard control procedure to be followed, containing a detailed description of control measures and precautions which the body undertakes to impose on operators subject to control;
    • Copy of documentation regarding the measures the control body intends to implement in cases of irregularities and / or infringements are found;
    • Copy of the registered office address;
    • Copy of evidence of the organisation’s experience in monitoring and certifying organic products;
    • Copy of documentation regarding the reliability, objectivity and independence of the organisation;
    • Curriculum vitae of the inspectors and members of the Technical Committee of the organisation.

There are no fees applicable.

The applicant is informed regarding the authorization decision within three months from the date that the application form and supporting documents were duly submitted.

The licence is valid for 1 year from the date of issue and can be renewed on a yearly basis.

Administrative Action Against a Competent Authority’s Decision

Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative court against a decision, act or omission of any competent authority or body.

Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.

The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action

After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.

Appeal Information

An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such decision was given.

At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated for. However, such revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.

The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.

The Control and Certification Body is obliged to implement the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 and Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and Council of 29 April 2004, as well as the provisions of the Organic Production Law of 2004.