On the premises of the Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS), a meeting was held on September 12th, 2022 of representatives of ATS, the Ministry of Agriculture and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) with the aim of establishing renewed cooperation in the field of organic within the framework of implementation PSD (Private Sector Development in Serbia) project.
The meeting in front of ATS was attended by ATS Acting Director, Dragan Pušara, Deputy Director Jasna tojanović, assistant director for development and quality Ljiljana Markićević; assistant director for public relations and cooperation with public authorities, Jovana Jovanović; and senior file manager, Vera Apostolović. In front of the Ministry of Agriculture were Branislva Raketić, head of the department for declaring quality policy and organic production, and Jelena Milić, head of the organic production group. GIZ representatives were: Tomislav Knežević, head of the project and Zagorka Marković, consultant for organic agriculture within the GIZ project, as well as Ivana Simić, member of the organization Serbia organica.
During the meeting, a project was presented, i.e. a component related to the segment of quality infrastructure in organic agriculture, i.e. accreditation of certification bodies for the certification of organic products (inspection bodies) in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 848/2018 (EU Regulation on organic production and labeling of organic products), which entered into force on January 1st, 2022.
Until now, ATS has carried out the accreditation of certification bodies for the certification of organic products in accordance with the National Law on Organic Production ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 30/10 and 17/19) and the Rulebook on Control and Certification in Organic Production and Organic Production Methods ( "Official Gazette of RS" No. 95/20 and 24/21), as well as the accreditation of certification bodies for the certification of organic products that are exported in accordance with the standards of organic production and applied inspection measures that are equivalent to Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007, which allowed domestic certification bodies to certify domestic organic products intended for export to the EU.
With the adoption of the new regulation on organic production, there was a need, which was recognized by GIZ and the Ministry of Agriculture, to harmonize not only the national regulations in accordance with the requirements of the new regulation, but also the standards and measures according to which domestic certification bodies certify organic products intended for export in EU. Today's meeting started the first steps in the implementation of GIZ's support to the organic sector through the help of experts from the GFRS certification body from Germany (Jochen Neuendorff, PhD) by providing expertise in presenting the requirements of the new
Regulation 848/2018 to representatives of the Ministry of Economy, ATS, certification bodies and associations for organic production.
It is expected that further cooperation of the mentioned partners in the project will result in successful accreditation, and consequently recognition by the European Commission of certification bodies for the certification of organic products imported into the EU, accredited by ATS in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 848/2018, i.e. recognition of the control authority in accordance with European Council regulations 2021/1697, 2021/1698 (which replace Regulation 1235/2008) and 2021/1342.
After providing expert support during the month of October 2022, it is expected that the GIZ expert team will also participate in support in order to implement the EA document: EA-3/12 EA Policy for the Accreditation of Organic Production Certification, which is mandatory and applied from March 9th, 2023 and the previous version of which was implemented in the ATS management system document Guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies for certification of products in the field of organic prodcution, ATS-UP26.