National regulation and legal framework

Laws and regulations

With coming into force of the new EU regulations on organic production, the Law on organic production was passed in Serbia (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 30/10), and its enforcement started on 1 January 2011.
Everything relating to the organic production methods, technological procedures in processing, storage, transport, control and certification, management of records kept by controlling organizations, and use of the national mark on organic products is stipulated in the Rules on control and certification in organic production and methods of organic production (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 48/11).

At the very beginning of organic production in Serbia, customs records on import and export of organic products were not kept. However, on the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance amended the Rules on the form, content, the manner of submission and filling out of the declaration and other forms in the customs procedure (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 29/2010) which ensured monitoring of organic products export.

The Rulebook to regulate import and sales of organic produce was adopted in 2016.

Conditions and method of selling organic products and documentation submitted to the authorized control organization for the purpose of issuing a confirmation that the certified organic product being imported is produced in accordance with national regulation  are regulated by Rulebook on documentation submitted to an authorized control body for the purpose of issuing a conformation, as well as on conditions and method of sale of organic products (Official Gazette of RS, No 88/16).

This Rulebook prescribe in detail the documentation submitted to the authorized control organization for the purpose of issuing a confirmation that the certified organic product being imported is produced in accordance with national regulation as well as the conditions and method of selling organic products.

Within the Ministry of Agriculture, the competent body and authority in charge of the work of controlling organizations and organic production methods is the Group for Organic Production, within the Directorate for National reference laboratories. The Group has the following tasks:

• Prepares the professional basis for drafting the regulations in the area of organic production;
• Collects annual statements of the controlling organizations;
• Cumulative records on organic production;
• Keeping the list of authorised controlling organizations;
• Decisions on fulfilment of conditions for performing control and certification;
• Approval of deviations from the methods of organic plant and livestock production and the processing rules in organic production;
• Approval of the use of reproduction material from conventional production after the period of conversion;
• Shortening or extension of the period of conversion
Within the Department for agricultural policy of the Ministry, the Group for quality, labelling and marking
of food proposes the agrarian policy measures, participates in the preparation of measures and programmes for use of budget funds to encourage organic agriculture development. The group also participates in
elaboration of strategic documents and preparation of professional basis for elaboration of regulations on
organic production, coordinates the work of the Professional Council for organic production, and cooperates with the international and domestic professional organizations.

Inspection control of enforcement of the Law on organic production, and implementation of the regulations adopted thereunder, is carried out by Inspectors for organic production.

History

The frst Law to regulate organic farming in Serbia was the Law on Organic Production (RS Ofcial Gazette no 28/2000). The procedure of passing the new Law, entitled the Law on Organic Production and Organic Products (RS Ofcial Gazette no. 62/2006), was completed in 2006. By the end of that year the national logo for labelling of certied organic products was also introduced. Since the EU adopted new legislation relevant for this eld, in 2010 there was a need for Serbia to update the legal framework for organic farming. The result of this initiative was the adoption of the Law on Organic Production in May 2010 (RS Ofcial Gazette no. 30/2010), to be applied as of January 2011. This Law was drafted so as to be in compliance with the new EU regulation on organic farming (Regulation EC no 834/2007 and implementing regulations). In July 2011 the new Rulebook on control and certication in organic production and on organic production methods (RS Ofcial Gazette mo 48/2011) was adopted.

The Rulebook to regulate import and sales of organic produce was adopted in 2016.

Conditions and method of selling organic products and documentation submitted to the authorized control organization for the purpose of issuing a confirmation that the certified organic product being imported is produced in accordance with national regulation  are regulated by Rulebook on documentation submitted to an authorized control body for the purpose of issuing a conformation, as well as on conditions and method of sale of organic products (Official Gazette of RS, No 88/16).

This Rulebook prescribe in detail the documentation submitted to the authorized control organization for the purpose of issuing a confirmation that the certified organic product being imported is produced in accordance with national regulation as well as the conditions and method of selling organic products.

Pursuant to the new Law, in late 2010 the competent authority for organic farming was established as part of the Directorate for National Reference Laboratories of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, and started operating in January 2011. The process of fully bringing Serbian legislation into compliance with the EU regulations in organic farming has not yet been completed, thus the initiative for amending the currently applicable Law. The proposed amendments are at present being drafted, and the nal version of the document is expected soon. For several years the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS) and control bodies, to develop quality infrastructure in line with the EU standards. Special support in capacity building was provided to ATS, to offer the service of  preparing assessment report for inspection bodies wishing to be directly recognised by the EC, in accordance with Article 33 of the Commission Regulation (EC) no 834/2007. Note should be taken that in May 2012 the ATS signed the Multilateral Agreement (LA) with the European accreditation organisation EA on recognising accreditations.

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