Importing organic produce

Certificate of Conformity and PEACH


If your business imports organic fresh fruit, vegetables or nuts from any country outside the European Union (EU), you must use the Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH) from the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate, to ensure compliance with horticulture and marketing standards. Read more about using the PEACH system to import plants and fresh produce.

Shipping documents and systems

One of the most important documents that must accompany all your consignments is your invoice, containing as a minimum:

  • the goods description
  • weight (in kilograms)
  • price
  • country of origin
  • signature and date

Some countries you ship to will have special requirements for the layout of invoices. A freight forwarder or your International Trade Team will be able to advise you.

The Single Administrative Document (or form C88) should accompany your invoice, and Certificate of Inspection (if one is required). This is commonly used for importing goods from outside the EU. You'll also need to check which other documents your consignments may need. Your consignments will also require a Standard Shipping Note (SSN), if arriving by sea.

All of your import documentation must contain the Commodity Code. This is a ten-digit number that describes the items in your consignment. Each Commodity Code has a rate of duty allocated to it. Any restrictions or licences are also listed against each Commodity Code in the Tariff. Read more about classification rules and the Tariff.

Customs Handling of Imports and Exports Freight (CHIEF) is an electronic system which tracks the movement of imported and exported goods travelling by land, sea or air. All of your imports will come into contact with the CHIEF system, so it's imperative that you or your agent knows how it works. Read more about Customs Freight Simplified Procedures.