Control Union proposed to be recognised as a Certification Body for the new EU organic regulation (EU 2018/848) in 142 countries

Control Union proposed to be recognised as a Certification Body for the new EU organic regulation (EU 2018/848) in 142 countries

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Control Union Certifications is proud to announce it has been accredited and is proposed to be recognised to certify to the new EU Organic Regulation (EU) 2018/848) – one of so far only a handful of Certification Bodies to achieve this status.

The EU Organic Regulation ((EU) 2018/848) sets out the rules on production, certification, labelling and advertising of organic food and feed, and other products such as cotton and essential oils.

All products in Third Countries (those outside the EU) need to be audited against the new EU organic regulation as of 1 January 2025. It is, however, important that as soon as certification bodies are recognized by the European Commission for the new organic regulation, auditing services against the new regulation commence.

Since the beginning of regulated European Union (EU) organic certification, Control Union have served companies all over the world with a wide range of services including organic certification and the issuance of the Certificate of Inspection (C.O.I.), recently through the EU Commission based tool ‘TRACES’.

In Bulgaria, Control Union Certification has been an approved certification body of organic production since 2007 under code number BG-BIO-07. In EU member states, Regulation (EU) 2018/848 applies from the beginning of 2022, and since then Control Union Certifications has been providing certification services in Bulgaria according to the new legislation.

Commenting on Control Union’s approval for EU Organic accreditation, Jan-Frans Bastiaanse, Director at Control Union Certifications, said: “We are delighted to be proposed for recognition as one of the few Certification Bodies for EU Organic 2018/848.  This means that we can continue to ensure effective trade of our clients, and confidence and trust in supply chains, across more than 140 countries.

“It’s important for all producers, processors and traders to be aware of the regulation, as they must be certified to export their organic products to the EU.”

For further information or guidance please contact Control Union on

Control Union and the carbon footprint of operators in Bulgaria

In response to the climate change we are witnessing today, international, regional, national and local initiatives are being developed and implemented to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. This article examines efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and the role of the Control Union in facilitating and consistent GHG quantification, monitoring, reporting and validating or verifying GHG emissions and removals in support of sustainable development through a low-carbon economy and for the benefit of organizations, project promoters and stakeholders worldwide.


Carbon Footprint in Bulgaria: Overview


According to the European Commission Report on greenhouse gas emissions from all countries in the world for 2023, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Bulgaria for 2022 is equal to 68.41 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mton CO2eq), as the largest share of emissions is due to the energy sector, followed by the transport sector, manufacturing, building stock, etc.


Control Union Contribution


Control Union, with its experience in the field of certification services and sustainable development, supports the efforts of businesses in the various sectors (energy, agriculture, forestry, textiles, manufacturing, etc.) to develop specific targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieving climate neutrality goals, as well as their targeting, validation and implementation in corporate strategy and policy.


Case studies in Bulgaria

  1. Increasing the share of electricity produced from renewable sources: Bulgaria obliged energy producers and suppliers to include a certain share of energy from renewable sources in their production and supplies through a national support scheme. Control Union’s certification services support this policy by providing evidence of compliance with sustainability criteria and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Transport sector: Promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles, reduction of LPG emissions. The transport sector, responsible for 15% of emissions, has reduced its carbon footprint by almost 5% over the past decade. Control Union’s certification, verification and inspection services can be a key factor in proving this business progress.
  1. Circular economy – more efficient use of raw materials and reduction of waste and emissions: The European Union and Bulgaria implement measures and policies to promote the transition to the circular economy, achieve environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality by 2050, with a particular focus on resource-intensive sectors such as electronics and communications, plastics and textiles, and construction. Control Union helps businesses meet existing and future requirements for sustainable business management.


Professional opinions

Experts in the field of environment and sustainable development in Bulgaria emphasize the importance of an integrated approach to reduce the carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Scientists are adamant about the need to implement more targeted policies, technological innovations and public awareness, areas , in which Control Union’s services are highly suitable.


Control Union’s commitment and efforts to achieve sustainability are not only related to compliance with existing regulations, but also for targeted support and contribution to the change of the Bulgarian model of business and public self-awareness. Through the variety of services offered, adapted to the specific challenges of the Bulgarian market, Control Union supports our country’s quest for a greener and more sustainable future.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) final rule on January 19, 2023.

The rule goes into effect on March 20, 2023, with a transition period of one year to comply. This means that the USDA-NOP is giving until March 19, 2024, to implement the rule.


What is SOE?

Strengthening Organic Enforcement, or SOE, is a rule amending the USDA organic regulations with the purpose of strengthening oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic agricultural products. The SOE is intended to reduce fraud in the organic marketplace, strengthen oversight of organic producers, handlers, and certifiers; and improves USDA’s enforcement mechanisms.


What Does SOE Do in a Nutshell?

The SOE rule protects organic integrity and bolsters consumer confidence in the USDA organic seal.

The final SOE rule:

  • Reduces the number of uncertified entities in the organic supply chain.
  • Requires use of electronic import certificates.
  • Strengthens recordkeeping and supply chain traceability.
  • Clarifies Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) authority to oversee and enforce organic trade.
  • Strengthens oversight of accredited certifying agents


Who is Impacted by SOE?

Currently Certified Organic Operations

  • Are required to maintain records that trace products back to the last certified operation – This is another key benefit of getting everyone in your supply chain certified!
  • Are required to document the monitoring practices used to prevent fraud and verify suppliers and products.
  • Are required to clearly identify products as organic on records and labels
  • Submit updates to OSPs during certification renewal
  • Certifiers and operations must use the electronic NOP Import Certificate for organic products imported to the U.S.


Uncertified Brokers, Traders, Brand Owners, Importers and Exporters

SOE reduces the number of uncertified entities in the organic supply chain and puts an emphasis on registration over exemption. If you are involved in the organic supply chain, do business in USA or with USDA-NOP certified products, and you are not yet certified, then you will be impacted.  While some exemptions to certification exist, the USDA is indicating an emphasis on voluntary certification for these operators.


SOE expands the types of operations that must be certified.

  • Any operation that produces or handles organic products must be certified, unless they are exempt.
  • Handle includes trade, export, import, or facilitate the sale or trade of an organic product.
  • Some supply chain intermediaries that currently do not require certification, such as traders, commodity brokers, or importers, must become certified.


SOE allows limited exemptions for some low-risk businesses.

  • An operation with annual sales less than $5000
  • A retail establishment that does not process the organic products, or only processes them at point of final sale.
  • Some shipping and handling operations, under very limited conditions (e.g., they only handle products sealed in tamper evident packaging).
  • Customs brokers


Exempt businesses are only exempt from certification. They still have handling and recordkeeping requirements.


Even businesses that do not physically handle products may still need to be certified.

  • A broader range of retailers are exempts from certification (including restaurants and stores that cook or prepare food).
  • Online retailers that process but don’t have a physical location where they sell products must be certified.
  • Wholesalers that only sell retail-packaged products are exempts from certification.
  • Wholesalers that sell bulk products or nonretail-packaged products must be certified.
  • Warehouses and storage operations that only store packaged organic products are exempt. This includes both retail and nonretail packaging.
  • Operations that store bulk or unpackaged products must be certified.
  • Transportation or transporting from one certified organic operation to the next or to the final retailer does not require certification
  • However, unloading or loading of unpackaged products into or from storage can not

be exempted.


Uncertified operations that will now be required to be certified as of March 19, 2024 can apply for certification at

The certification process may take up to 12 weeks and thousands of operations will need certification. Do not wait, contact us today!


Where can I find more information on SOE?

The USDA has provided a host of informative tools on the Strengthening Organic Enforcement webpage.  These include a Fact Sheet as well as a comprehensive side by side comparison.  The new requirements have also been fully incorporated into the National Organic Program rules online. In addition, NOP recently published in the Organic Integrity Learning Center, NOP-350: Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Final Rule Core Course. Communication to clients by CUC: Communication – SOE




Control Union Certifications is continuously working on improvements to provide professional service to our clients. We offer an impartial and objective service to provide what our customers need when they need it.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at!

Happy Birthday to us. We are officially 100 years young

Today is a very special day for all of us at Peterson and Control Union; It’s our 100 year birthday.
We would have loved to celebrate this day with all of our colleagues and clients around the world, but the current situation prevents this. So we are instead giving a big (socially distanced) shout out to everyone who has been part of our success over the past 100 years.

We are very proud of each and every person who has been part of Peterson and Control Union now and over the years. Their enthusiasm and hard work has been the basis for this success.

We also want to sincerely thank our clients. We value and are deeply grateful for the relationship that we have with you.

We could not have done this without you all and we look forward to building an even brighter future for Peterson and Control Union with you.

Stay safe, stay healthy