Specific procedure

Certification procedure and security features

Certification is always carried out by official agents of the FASFC.

A business operator willing to have his products certified for export has to address a written demand to the FASFC local control units of the provinces where the products are located.

Following the submission of a certification demand by a business operator, and prior to the delivery of an export certificate, the FASFC will control the certification demand and when necessary perform a control of the products. The way the FASFC controls the exported goods and accompanying documents will depend on the risk presented by the consignment to certify and the requirements applied by the importing country.

After having completed the certificate, the FASFC certifying agent will give it a unique reference number, which will be repeated on each page of the certificate. The reference number is constructed on the following model: BE/EX/PCU/YYYY/IDEN/SERN#, where

  • BE stands for “Belgium”,
  • EX stands for “Export to third countries”,
  • LCU stands for one of the Local Control Units and can be one of the following: WVL, ANT, OVB, VLI, LIE, LUN, BNA, HAI, BRU,
  • YYYY stands for the year of issuance of the certificate,
  • IDEN stands for the unique identification number of the FASFC official certifying officer (every FASFC official certifying officer is assigned a unique number),
  • SERN stands for the serial number given by the official certifying officer when issuing a certificate,
  • # ends the unique reference number.

No requirement on the certificate may be deleted unless specifically mentioned it is allowed. When a paragraph may be deleted and if the  FASFC certifying agent does so, he will initial and stamp this deletion.

The FASFC certifying agent will stamp the certificate with his personal official stamp. This stamp mentioned the IDEN number (see above) of the  FASFC certifying agent, which should match the IDEN number mentioned in the reference number of the certificate.

Once a certificate is issued and signed, a copy of this certificate as well of all the documents which have been used to verify compliance with the requirements before signing, is kept and archived by the FASFC for at least 5 years.

The certificate is also added to the register of certificates which has to be kept during at least 5 years as well.

A signed certificate may not be amended. A signed certificate can be cancelled and replaced, but specific requirements have to be complied with for this to be allowed.

  • A new certificate will only be delivered for reasonable motives: loss, degradation, splitting of a consignment, change of destination, …
  • All data not related to the motive have to remain identical, with the exception of the reference number and the date of signature.
  • If the consignment has already departed, a new certificate will only be issued if the requirements to be certified are exactly the same.
  • The following mention has to be applied on the replacement certificate: “Cancels and replaces certificate nr xxx issued on dd/mm/yyyy”.
  • The business operator requiring a cancel and replace procedure has to give the original certificate back to the certifying officer or provide him with a proof of loss. The original certificate is annulled by crossing it out.

 

The products are no longer located on Belgian territory. Can a certificate still be provided for these products?

Products that are no longer located on Belgian territory can no longer be checked by the FASFC.
Because these products can no longer be checked by the FASFC, the FASFC cannot deliver a certificate for the products.

This may be possible in exceptional circumstances.

If the operator wants a certificate for products that are no longer located on Belgian territory, he/she must submit the request to the Local Control Unit (LCU).

In the request, the operator must set out the circumstances relating to why the shipment departed without a certificate.

If the conditions with which the products must comply are unknown by the FASFC, the operator must request these from the competent authority in the third country and add them to the request.

The request will then be evaluated.

If the FASFC is of the opinion that the request is admissible, the FASFC will check whether the products fulfil the conditions that are set by the competent authorities in the third country for the corresponding import.
This may include a check being carried out at the location of the shipment, by a certifying body. All of the costs for this are borne by the operator.

If all of the conditions are met, the FASFC will supply the requested certificate.
The date mentioned on the certificate will be the actual date of delivery.

The FASFC cannot provide any guarantee that the competent authority in the third country will permit import.

 

Refusal to import - re-import

If the shipment is refused entry at its destination by the competent authority in the third country and the operator requires an intervention by the Belgian authority in order to de-block the shipment, the FASFC's website provides a document to notify an import refusal in a Third country.

If the operator, after rejection in a third country, would like to re-import the goods, the operator must be in possession of a re-import authorisation, delivered by the FASFC.
With the exception of products that fall under phytosanitary regulations, the products must then return to the company of origin where the FASFC certificate was provided.

If the operator wishes to submit a request to obtain a re-import authorisation, the operator sends the document request for re-import authorisation for products to the FASFC via the email address given in the document itself, together with the following documents:

For products that fall under veterinary legislation:

  • a legible copy or scan of the FASFC certificate (1);
  • a legible copy or scan of the CMR, AWB or B/L;
  • an official document/official notification with an explanation of the reasons for import being refused in the third country, supplied by the competent authority in the third country;
  • a non-manipulation declaration:
    • for non-sealed containers and for containers where the seals have been broken: a non-manipulation declaration, certified by the competent authority in the third country, which states that the conditions relating to storage and transport of the products are fulfilled and which specifies that the products have not been subject to any processing. The document non-manipulation declaration can be used or the competent authority in the third country can draft its own document.
    • for sealed containers where the seals are still intact: a statement from the transporter indicating that the contents have not been processed or unloaded.
  • a document, signed by the operator of the company of origin to which the FASFC certificate was supplied, in which the operator states that he is recovering the products.

(1) Products that fall under veterinary legislation and were exported without FASFC certificate are not eligible for re-import.

For products that fall under phytosanitary legislation:

  • if a phytosanitary certificate was supplied by the FASFC: a legible copy or scan of the FASFC certificate;
  • a legible copy or scan of the CMR, AWB or B/L;
  • an official document/official notification with reasons for import being refused in the third country, supplied by the competent authority in the third country;
  • a non-manipulation declaration:
    • for non-sealed containers and for containers where the seals have been broken: A non-manipulation declaration, supplied by the competent authority in the third country, which states that the conditions relating to storage and transport of the products are fulfilled and which specifies that the products have not been subject to any processing. The document non-manipulation declaration can be used or the competent authority in the third country can draft its own document.
    • for sealed containers where the seals are still intact: a statement from the transporter indicating that the contents have not been processed or unloaded.

The FASFC shall then investigate the request and shall supply, if there is a favorable assessment, a re-import authorisation.
The re-import authorisations shall be paid for pursuant to the Royal Decree of 10 November 2005 regarding fees set by Article 5 of the Act of 9 December 2004 on the financing of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain. The fees for the requested work shall be invoiced to the requesting party.

In the event of an unfavorable assessment, the operator shall be informed by letter, and this letter shall be sent by email.

Re-import is not permitted in the event of an unfavorable assessment.

Open lists - closed lists - export approval

The minimal requirement for export to third countries is approval/authorisation/registration for intra-Community trade for the products that are intended for export, on the condition that the products fulfil the third country's requirements.

For some third countries, this approval/authorisation/registration for intra-Community trade is sufficient. In that case, we refer to an open list.

For certain third countries, an approval/authorisation/registration for intra-Community trade is not sufficient. For these third countries, an operator needs to obtain export approval for that third country.

All operators that have additional export approval for a particular third country, are specified in the closed list for that specific country.

These closed lists are published on the FASFC website.

Last updated: 09/10/2019