Certifications for Food Export

What you need to know about the necessary documentation

When it comes to exports of food products, the main need to be met is that of hygiene and the preservation of food and drinks and therefore in general of product safety towards consumers.

It is essential to ensure a certain transparency and for this some documents are required which attest to the integrity of the various marketing phases.

The export legislation is constantly evolving and as regards the documentation relating to the goods transported, it is necessary to refer to the local policies and internal procedures and regulations of each reference country.

However, there are documents that are always necessary to have and be ready to present to the importer when requested, let’s see which ones.

The documents needed to export food.

For the export of certain products it is necessary to present the Certificate of origin.

Sometimes, even if not considered a necessary document for the country that will import the products, it is possible that the importer himself wants to view it anyway, being a document capable of providing greater protection.

This certificate, in fact, is issued by the Chamber of Commerce, has the purpose of proving the place of origin of the products or of their last substantial transformation and has the value of a substitute declaration of a notary deed being issued in front of a public official pursuant to art. 47 of the Presidential Decree December 28, 2000 n.445. The declarant, legal representative or attorney, therefore assumes full criminal responsibility for what has been declared.

Since June 2019, new provisions have been issued on the issue of these certificates, with the aim of favoring the digitization process through the obligation of telematic applications by operators, through the Cert’O application.

Once issued, the certificate is always valid provided that the data on it has not undergone changes compared to what has been declared.

A second fundamental document is the Certificate of Analysis: the certificate that proves the passing of tests carried out by a competent chemical laboratory in the country of origin of the products, or one in the country of destination. By taking a sample of the goods that will be exported, various characteristics will be found about the product and the packaging and everything will be reported in detail.

Yet another document is the Phytosanitary Certificate for fruit and vegetables.

This is released by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) and signed by an authorized public official. Its purpose is to attest to the fact that the plants or plant-derived products that are exported have been carefully inspected and do not contain harmful organisms, satisfying the phytosanitary safety levels of the country of destination. Also for this type of document, the request must necessarily be submitted online from 2016.

To export to countries outside the European Union, specific Sanitary Certificates are also required for the export of food and beverages attesting to the required sanitation level.

Access to certain countries may require different certifications, born from technical-scientific collaborations. For this reason it is advisable to always inquire in detail about it.

This is the case of Islamic countries, for example, which require Halal Certification, certifying the compliance of Islamic products with the religious orders.

The Exporium team

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