Importing organic products

Port Health undertake border checks on organic products to ensure they comply with organic production standards. 

The rules

A Certificate of Inspection (COI) is required for all imports of organic products into Great Britain. The purpose of the certificate is to enhance traceability of imported organic products and reduce potential fraud.

Defra certificate templates and guidance documents can be found on the Organic Farmers and Growers website.

What do I need to do?

Importers of organic food must pre-notify Crawley Borough Council Port Health by completing an organics pre-notification form at least 6 working hours before the arrival of the goods.

A copy of both sides of the original COI and all supporting documents must also be emailed to at least 6 working hours before the arrival of the imported goods.

If we are satisfied that the COI is complete, the copy of the COI will be temporarily endorsed and e-mailed back to the agent.

The original Certificate of Inspection must be sent within 10 working days by post to the address below. Ensure you include details of the address to where the original document should be returned to:

Crawley Borough Council – Port Health Division 
Room 122
Timberham House
Gatwick Airport
West Sussex 

Important points to remember

Failure to notify us will prevent endorsement of the COI. The relevant authorities will be notified.

If we have temporarily endorsed a copy COI and do not receive the original within 10 working days, the certificate will not be endorsed.

The DEFRA Organic Farming Branch, the appropriate Trading Standards department and relevant organic control body will be notified of the foodstuffs, which if marketed as ‘organic’ would be an offence.

Products which fail checks may be re-exported to a country outside the EU or re-labelled under Trading Standards supervision, where all references to the term ‘organic’ will have to be removed. 

Fees and charges

Fees and charges are payable for checking documentation, examining or sampling consignments if necessary. See our Port Health fees and charges page for the list of costs.

Email to set up a payment account prior to the arrival of an import.