Importing organic products – East Midlands Airport

If you wish to import organic foods into Great Britain, there are a number of steps that you must follow:

  • You must register with an organic control body – the Port Health Authority will need to see proof of registration e.g. Certificate of Conformity from a UK Control Body.
  • You must get a Certificate of Inspection from the control body that certified the exporter before it arrives in the UK.
  • You must pre-notify Port Health at North West Leicestershire District Council about your import.  You can do this by emailing, providing a copy of any commercial documents (bill of lading, invoice and packing list), a copy of the CoI and proof of registration with UK control body (certificate/trading schedule).
  • You must submit to Port Health at the address below the original GB CoI within 10 days of the consignment arriving.  Please note, that we cannot receive a photocopy or an electronic version of the CoI.   

Environmental Health
North West Leicestershire District Council
PO Box 11051
LE67 0FW

If these documents are valid, the original CoI will be endorsed and the import can undergo Customs Clearance and be released for free circulation into the UK.  The original CoI will be returned to the first consignee and can be used as proof that these checks have been carried out successfully.   


DEFRA has announced changes to the Certificate of Inspection (COI) template for organic food and feed imports into Great Britain, as well as a delay to the requirement for COIs from the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Certificate of Inspection template amendment.

The COI and guidance notes have been amended (see links above), specifically box 2 to remove redundant tick boxes, this new template should be used for imports into GB from 1 September 2023, consignments that have left the country of export before this date will be accepted with the previous COI template.

The two options in box 2 are:

Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007:

Article 33(2) – confirms that the products are imported under Annex III, equivalent third countries.

Article 33(3) – confirms that the products are certified as equivalent to GB Regulations in the third country and are certified by a control body listed on Annex IV.

The boxes that should be checked will depend on whether the import is from a third country listed on Annex III or is certified by a control body appearing on Annex IV as approved to operate in the third country the products originate from.

Delay to the requirement for COIs for organic products from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

The decision has been taken to delay the requirement for COIs for organic products from the EU, EEA and Switzerland until 1 February 2025 to allow more time to explore what potential improvements might be implemented to the existing processes.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) stipulates that products must be produced or processed in the European Union to be accepted in Great Britain and vice versa. Although the requirement for Certificates of Inspection (COIs) has not been implemented for organic products imported from the EU, products must still adhere to the rules of the TCA. This has been included in guidance since we left the EU.

If you have any questions on the information above please contact

There is a £59.00 charge for carrying out these checks and these charges must be made before the consignment can be cleared for free circulation.

Further Information

List of UK approved organic control bodies and further information on this process can be found at the Gov.UK website which can be found at

For guidance on importing and exporting organic food please refer to DEFRA

Last updated: Thu 25 April, 2024 @ 12:23