In addition to the phytosanitary inspection, conformity to the marketing standard is checked on fruit and vegetables. Article 1 of Regulation (EU) n° 1308/2013 stipulates for which sectors a common organization of the market exists. Fresh fruit and vegetables are indicated in paragraph 1 and listed in annex 1, parts IX and XI (bananas) of the Regulation. Marketing standards may apply to several products/sectors including the fruit and vegetable sector (art. 75, paragraphs 1 & 2). Such products can only be marketed in the EU if they are conform to the marketing standards (art. 75, paragraph 3). Fruit and vegetables intended to be sold fresh to the consumer must be of good marketable quality and must indicate the country of origin (art. 76, paragraph 1). The marketing standard applicable to the fruit and vegetables sector, shall apply at all stages of commercialization, including import (art. 76, paragraph 2).
The FASFC monitors compliance with the marketing standards using selective inspections based on a risk assessment (art. 76, paragraph 4). For products originating in third countries, a check on their conformity with the marketing standards must be carried out before release for free circulation within the EU.
Inspections and decision
The consignment must be notified in advance. "Consignment" refers to a quantity of products transported using a single means of transportation, and accompanied with a single transport document (e.g. bill of loading, AWB, CMR).
Notification must be made using a specific notification form (created by the FASFC), 24 hours in advance for maritime traffic and 6 hours in advance for air traffic. In the form, the operator indicates the expected date, time and place where the products will be available for conformity check. Checks on the marketing standard for fruit and vegetables must be carried out at the latest before release for free circulation.
- Proof of notification: For a consignment that is not selected for import control, the FASFC issues a proof of notification in order to inform customs.
- Certificate of conformity to the marketing standards: The integrated certificate contains the certificate of conformity to the standard, the declaration of non-conformity and the certificate for industrial processing.
Products that meet the marketing standard during conformity check receive a certificate of conformity to the marketing standards.
If the products do not meet the prescriptions of the marketing standard in question, a declaration of non-conformity shall be issued. The operator shall inform the FASFC of the destination he will give to non-conforming products.
If possible, the operator can bring his products into compliance with the marketing standards (e.g. by sorting, re-labelling). The operator may also dispose of the products via industrial processing, animal feed or through another use than food. Products for industrial processing are firstly considered as products intended to be processed into derived food or feed. Such products must comply also with the legal requirements for food or feed.