Hungary

Mandatory Organic Standards and Labels

In Hungary, EU legislation on organic farming is fully implemented. Additionally, a national decree applies that mainly regulates the implementation of EU legislation and defines details of production, control, certification, labelling and marketing of organic products. 

The National Food Chain Safety Office is the competent authority responsible for the implementation of EU and national organic legislation as well as for the approval and monitoring of the control bodies.

Pre-packed organic products sold in Hungary 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 logo 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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MARD Decree 34/2013. (V. 14.)
Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It defines detailed rules of certification, production, marketing, labelling and control of agricultural products and foodstuffs according to the requirements of organic farming.
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Ministry of Agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the organic legislation and the surveillance of the National Food Chain Safety Office, which is the competent authority for organic agriculture in Hungary. 
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National Food Chain Safety Office
Website of the National Food Chain Safety Office (Nemzeti Élelmiszerlánc-biztonsági Hivatal), the competent authority for organic agriculture in Hungary. 
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Voluntary Organic Standards and Labels

In Hungary, private standards and labels play a minor role. For the Hungarian market the EU label is sufficient. There are three organic farmer’s associations, none of them has own standards. 

Biokultúra Alliance
Website of Biokultúra, an organic farmers’ association in Hungary. Its members are regional associations. It has an own label, but not an own standard. The label is not relevant for the Hungarian market.
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Organic Farmers’ Association in the Carpathian Basin (KÖSZ)
KÖSZ is an umbrella organisation for the organic associations in the Carpathian Basin. It does not have own standards or labels.
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Association of Hungarian Organic Farmers (MÖSZ)
MÖSZ is an organic farming association with a few larger farms. It does not have own standards or labels.
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Control Bodies

The organic control and certification process is performed by private control bodies approved by the National Food Chain Safety Office. The up-to-date directory of Hungarian inspections bodies 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 Hungary 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 Hungary 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

Hungary 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 Hungary. 

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 Hungary.

National Food Chain Safety Office (NEBIH - Nemzeti Elelmiszerlanc-biztonsagi Hivatal)
Website of the National Food Chain Safety Office (NEBIH - Nemzeti Elelmiszerlanc-biztonsagi Hivatal) with information on organic agriculture in Hungary.
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Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKI)
Website of the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture providing information on the organic sector in Hungary.
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Organic Europe: Hungary
Summary report on organic agriculture in Hungary. The site is updated irregularly.
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Global Organic Trade Guide: Hungary
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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