On 10 July 2018, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted at the second reading bill No. 5448 "On general principles and requirements to organic production, trade and labeling of organic production".

The adopted bill aims to regulate the production market for organic foodstuffs and other products and to bring Ukrainian legislation into line with European standards and requirements.

The labeling requirements for organic products shall be applied both for the products being sold in Ukraine as well as the products being exported.

Initially, the bill will oblige operators producing or distributing organic farm products to obtain a certificate of conformity for production of organic products and also to apply for recertification on an annual basis.

Secondly, after the bill enters into force, operators shall take out of circulation all products which do not meet the new labelling requirements, especially products which are marked as "organic", "biodynamic", "biological", "ecological" and similar words coined from "bio-" or "eco-" prefixes, in any language.

Thirdly, the bill obliges organic product operators to provide unobstructed access to their facilities to enable officials and inspectors to obtain and review samples of their products. Moreover, the bill obliges organic products operator to report on the volumes of organic products in circulation.

Finally, the organic product labelling shall be approved by a certification institution.

As with the organic products themselves, the use of the words "organic", "ecological" &c. in product names and trademarks also requires certification. However, it may be that existing names &c. may continue to be used during the 18 months starting from the day of the bill becomes effective.

The new bill affects the advertising world as well; advertising non-organic products as organic shall be considered as unfair.

Particular attention is paid to the process of organic production itself. The new bill directly forbids the use of agrochemicals, pesticides, and products that have been produced by using genetically modified organisms.

The new document determines sanctions for violation of provisions of the bill, with fines ranging from three to twenty-four times the minimum wage.

The bill enters into force on the day following its publication, and shall become effective one year after its entry into force.

The full text of the bill (in Ukrainian) may be found here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.