Denmark

Mandatory Organic Standards and Labels

In Denmark, the EU legislation on organic farming is fully implemented. Additionally, national rules apply The National Organic Law and five national regulations on organic farming cover rules for the implementation of EU legislation on organic farming as well as for areas not covered by EU legislation, e.g. rearing of pullets for egg production.

The competent authority responsible for the implementation of EU and national organic legislation is the Ministry of Environment and Food. Within the Ministry, the Danish Agrifish Agency is responsible for the inspection of organic farmers and suppliers of organic feed, seeds, cereals, fertilizers and other non-food products, while the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration inspects organic food companies.

Pre-packed organic products sold in Denmark have to be labelled with the EU organic farming logo. For products imported from third countries the use of the EU organic farming logo is optional. A mandatory national organic label does not exist.

Basic Regulation on production and labelling of organic products
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on the organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91.
This basic regulation became effective on 1 January 2009 and describes the objectives, principles and most important rules on production. The basic regulation is complemented by the rules for implementation (see below).
A consolidated version covering all amendments can be downloaded as well as the single legal acts (all corrections, amendments and additions). Updates are performed regularly and promptly.
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Implementing Rules on organic production, labelling and Control
COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control.
The rules for implementation describe detailed production and labelling rules and positive lists for permitted inputs. The objectives, principles and most important production rules are described in the basic regulation (see above).
A consolidated version covering all amendments can be downloaded as well as the single legal acts (all corrections, amendments and additions). Updates are performed regularly and promptly.
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Implementing Rules on the import of organic products from third countries  
COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1235/2008 of 8 December 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 as regards the arrangements for imports of organic products from third countries.
The rules for implementation describe the arrangements for imports of organic products.
A consolidated version covering all amendments can be downloaded as well as the single legal acts (all corrections, amendments and additions). Updates are performed regularly and promptly.
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European Commission
Website of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission with information on organic farming and EU legislation.
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Organic Law No. 1657 of 14 December 2015
The Organic Law (Bekendtgørelse nr. 1657 af 14. december 2015 af Økologiloven) covers rules for the implementation of organic farming in Denmark according to EU legislation.
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Regulation No. 306 of 29 March 2016
The Regulation No. 306 of 29 March 2016 (Bekendtgørelse om økologisk jordbrugsproduktion m.v.) defines rules for the certification and inspection of organic farms and suppliers of organic feed, seeds, cereals, fertilizers and other non-food products.
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Regulation No. 307 of 29 March 2016
The Regulation No.307 of 29 March 2016 (Bekendtgørelse om produktion og markedsføring af økologiske levekyllinger) defines rules for the rearing of pullets for egg production.
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Regulation No. 308 of 29 March 2016
Regulation No.308 of 29 March 2016 (Bekendtgørelse om registrering i database for økologisk frø og vegetativt formeringsmateriale) covers rules for the administration of the computerized seed database in Denmark.
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Regulation No. 488 of 8 May 2014
Regulation No.488 of 8 May 2014 (Bekendtgørelse om produktion af økologiske formeringsdyr til høns og deres centralopdræt) defines rules for the rearing of parent animals for pullets for the production of eggs and poultry for meat production.
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Regulation No. 1053 of 6 September 2010
The Regulation No.1053 of 6 September 2010 (Bekendtgørelse nr. om anvendelse af økologikontrolmærket (Ø-mærket) på økologiske jordbrugsprodukter, der skal anvendes til nonfood) covers rules for the use of the Ø-label on organic Non-food products.
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Ministry of Environment and Food
Website of the Ministry of Environment and Food, the competent authority for organic farming in Denmark.
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Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
Website of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration providing information on organic food and the control of organic production.
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Danish Agrifish Agency
Website of the Danish Agrifish Agency providing information on organic farming in Denmark.
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Voluntary Organic Standards and Labels

In Denmark, there is well known and widely spread state-owned ecolabel, the Danish Organic Logo (Ø logo). Food produced and controlled according to EU legislation on organic farming can voluntarily be labelled with this logo in addition to the EU organic farming label if the latest preparation of the product has taken place in a Danish company inspected by the public authorities. Therefore, the Ø logo can be seen on both foods that originate from Danish organic farms as well as on imported food products that are processed, packed or labelled in Denmark. Most organic products in Denmark are labelled with the Danish Organic Logo.

Private associations play a minor role in Denmark. The only association with own standards and labels is the Danish Association of Biodynamic Farming. The standards are based on the standards of Demeter International. The association Organic Denmark does not have own standards, but has launched ideas to create a new private logo for organic farming in DK.

Regulation No. 1404 of 3 December 2015
Regulation No. 1404 of 3 December 2015 on organic food an aquaculture (Bekendtgørelse om økologiske fødevarer og økologisk akvakultur m.v.) defines amongst other things the requirements for the usage of the Ø logo.
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Danish Organic Logo
Information on the Danish Organic Logo provided by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark.

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Danish Association of Biodynamic Farming
Website of the Association of Biodynamic Farming (Foreningen for Biodynamisk Jordbrug) with information on the association and its members.
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Organic Denmark
Website of the association Organic Denmark (Økologisk Landsforening) with information on the association and its members.

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Control Bodies

The organic control and certification process is performed by two state authorities under the Ministry of Environment and Food: The Danish Agrifish Agency inspects the primary production and suppliers of organic feed, seeds, cereals, fertilizers and other non-food products, while the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration inspects organic food companies. The up-to-date directory of the Danish control authorities is published by the EU.

Control Authorities
List of designated control authorities and approved control bodies in the EU, as well as in the European Economic Area and Switzerland in accordance with Article 35 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.
Provided are respective links to an official, older version and a more current, provisional version.
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Import Requirements

The procedure for the import of organic products into Denmark depends on the country of origin. Within the European Union, organic products can be marketed freely in all Member States. Organic products from countries outside the European Union can be imported into Denmark if the exporting country is listed in the directory of recognised third countries or the products have been certified by a control body authorised by the EU Commission as equivalent.

Sales of organic products from EU countries

Denmark belongs to the European Union. Within the European Union, the principle of free movement of goods applies for organic products subject to Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007. Organic products which have been produced or processed in an EU member state or which are imported from third countries into another EU member state can be marketed freely in Denmark. 

Import of organic products from non-EU countries

Organic products from countries outside the European Union (so-called third countries) can be imported into the EU and can be labelled with reference to organic agriculture and the EU organic logo, if they comply with the legal requirements of EU legislation for organic agriculture and have been controlled and certified on-site at all levels of production, processing, storage and marketing. Organic products from non-EU countries can be imported according to the following two procedures:

  • Procedure 1 – Import from recognised third countries
  • Procedure 2 – Import from all other third countries

Import from recognised third countries

Organic products from non-EU countries can be imported into an EU country and marketed with reference to organic production if the exporting country is listed in the directory of recognised third countries (Annex III of Regulation (EC) No. 1235/2008). With the listing in Annex III of Regulation (EC) No. 1235/2008 the European Union recognises that the rules for production and inspection for certain product categories in these countries are equivalent to the rules of the EU legislation on organic farming. Exceptions for single products and product categories can occur.

The up-to-date directory of recognised third countries can be found in Annex III of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 (see below). For each of these countries it has been specified which product categories are permitted for import (for example unprocessed plant products, live animals and unprocessed animal products etc.), which restrictions are in place, which control authority is responsible and from which control bodies the issued certificates of inspection are recognised.

Import from all other third countries

Organic products from non-EU countries not belonging to the recognised third countries (see above) can be imported into an EU country and marketed with reference to organic production if they have been certified by a third countries’ control body approved by the EU Commission according to Annex IV of Regulation (EC) No. 1235/2008. This list of recognised control bodies and control authorities also specifies the third countries and product categories for which the recognition applies.

Customs clearance and import notification

Each batch of organic products imported into the EU has to be accompanied by a certificate of inspection as defined in Annex V of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008, which is issued by the control body of the operator conducting the last preparation step in the third country, e.g. packing and labelling the export batches. The import company notifies its control body with a copy of this certificate of inspection about the intended import. At the point of entry, the certificate of inspection has to be presented in original form to the EU customs authority. The certificate is examined by customs for correctness and provided with an endorsement. After customs clearance, the imported lots can be traded freely in all member states of the EU.

Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008: List of Third Countries
Directory of third countries and relevant specifications according to Article 7.
Directory of recognised third countries. The list describes the product categories for which the recognition is valid (including restrictions), the applicable production rules, the responsible authorities, the recognised control bodies, as well as the authorities issuing certifications. Go to the latest consolidated version to receive the latest version of the list.
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Organic Farming Information System: List of recognised Control Bodies and Control Authorities
List of control bodies and control authorities for the purpose of equivalence and relevant specifications referred to in article 10 of Regulation (EC) 1235/2008.
Directory of control bodies recognised as equivalent sorted according to name of control body. Listed are countries and product categories for which the recognition applies. This list is updated irregularly.
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Annex IV of Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008: List of recognised Control Bodies and Control Authorities
List of control bodies and control authorities for the purpose of equivalence and relevant specifications referred to in Article 10.
Directory of control bodies recognised as equivalent sorted according to name of control body. Listed are the countries and product categories for which the recognition applies.
The link leads to an overview page. To find the latest consolidated version, please scroll down until you reach the headline "Relationship between documents". There you find "All consolidated versions". Open the latest consolidated version and scroll down within the document until you reach Annex IV. To find out, which control bodies are recognised for a certain country, you can use the search function and search for the country you are interested in.
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Further Information

General information on organic agriculture in Denmark.

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
Website of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration providing information on organic food and the control of organic production.
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Danish Agrifish Agency
Website of the Danish Agrifish Agency providing information on organic farming in Denmark.
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Trade within the EU
Information on trade of fertilizers, organic produce, organic seed database, legislation concerning organic farming and labelling provided by the Danish Agrifish Agency.
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Danish Agriculture & Food Council: All about organics
The Danish Agriculture & Food Council, an association of farmers and companies in Denmark, published a brochure on the organic sector in Denmark including market information.
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Organic Denmark
The website of Organic Denmark (Økologisk Landsforening), an association of companies, organic farmers and consumers in Denmark, with information on organic farming in Denmark.
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Organic Europe: Denmark
Summary report on organic agriculture in Denmark. The site is updated irregularly.
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Global Organic Trade Guide: Denmark
Website of the American Organic Trade Association (OTA) providing information on international organic trade. Although designed for U.S. exporters, some of the provided information might also be interesting for exporters from other countries.
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