Application / Re-application: Operator applies / re-applies for certification by submitting the completed Application Form to

Application Review, Approval, Offer & Contract: The responsible SRS staff reviews the application and may ask for further information to approve the application and issue an offer. Together with the approval, the operator will receive the certification contract to be signed and submitted to SRS.

Submission of the Organic Project Description (OPD) / annual OPD update: After SRS receives the signed contract, an OPD form will be sent to the operator who will fill it out and return it along with requested information and payment of the certification fee. Operators requesting re-certification submit the current, i.e. updated operation description.

OPD Review & Feedback: SRS staff will review the OPD and prepare a risk assessment, give feedback of it to the operator before the inspection is planned. An SRS inspector will receive a detailed assignment for the inspection. The date for the inspection will be fixed after communication with the operator (for announced inspections) or internally without operator notification (in case of unannounced inspections).

Reply to SRS & Prepare Inspection: The operator submits to SRS additional information or documents according to the feedback and prepares for the inspection.

Annual Inspection: The very first inspection will always be announced. The SRS inspector will conduct the on-site inspection, covering all areas of the organic operation in depth and communicate all findings to the operator before leaving. During the inspection, samples may be taken. Shortly after the inspection, the SRS inspector will complete the inspection report, and submit it for review and certification to SRS.

Inspection Report Review: The inspection report and (if applicable) the sample analyses results will be evaluated by the SRS Evaluation Officer. These are sent to the operation together with the evaluation result. Should residues of prohibited substances or contaminants be found in the taken samples, an investigation process will be initiated by informing the operator.

If during the inspection no non-compliances (NCs) are found, the operation will receive a notification letter with the certification decision and the certificate will be issued.

In case NCs are detected, the operator will be requested to submit the corrective measures to SRS. If the client was successful in demonstrating that NCs were corrected and a plan for corrections is plausible, the final certification decision will be sent to the operator and the certificate will be issued. In case the detected NCs were not corrected by the operator in the agreed timeline or NCs are not correctable, SRS will implement the adequate sanctions: Denial, Suspension, Revocation.

The operator has the option to withdraw its certification request at any time under particular conditions.

Surveillance: After initial organic certification, for the purpose of surveillance, regular & additional inspections, announced or unannounced will be conducted and samples may be taken.

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