Quality control of agricultural products and food products produced on its basis is one of the highest priorities for the state, since the health of the population depends on the effectiveness of this task. Vegetables and fruits are checked with special care, because depending on the season they can constitute a significant portion of the diet. The procedure of mandatory certification of vegetables is designed to minimize the hit in the free sale of substandard products, in particular containing significant concentrations of harmful chemicals.

Normative base

Starting from 01.07.2013 on the territory of the Russian Federation (as well as other countries participating in the Customs Union) the sale of fruits and vegetables can be carried out only after confirmation of compliance. Producers or distributors of agricultural products are obliged to conduct pre-sale certification in the form of declaration. The list of documents regulating and regulating the certification process includes:

Governmental decree adopted on December 1, 2009 (No. 982);

Approved on April 28, 1999 decree of the State Standard (№ 21).

The Governmental decree among other things contains a complete list of product categories for which the need for declaration has been established. These include:

Vegetables and fruits of quick freezing (except potatoes);

Dried fruits of fruits and vegetables;

Food products made from potatoes;

Marinated fruits, pickles;

Semi-finished products and raw materials for further processing.

The procedure for declaring is not obligatory and does not apply to agricultural products (particularly vegetables and fruits) that have been grown in a dacha or homestead plot. This rule is valid only if the crop is intended for personal consumption, and not for sale on the open market.

The order of certification

In the process of declaring the manufacturer, it is necessary to provide the certification body with evidence of its compliance, prepared independently or collected by an outside organization. In total, technical regulation 021/2011 describes seven separate schemes for the declaration of vegetable products, but for some typical general stages:

Collection of technical documentation by the applicant relating to the direct receipt of goods in the open sale;

Provide production control by the manufacturer;

Conducting research activities to study the consumer qualities, chemical composition and other parameters of selected samples of certified products;

After acceptance by the certification body of the prepared documents and approval of a positive evaluation, the manufacturer draws up and registers a declaration of conformity;

A special sign may be placed on the packaging of the sold goods, informing the buyer about its compliance with the norms of a certain technical regulation.

The issued declaration of conformity is registered without fail, key data is entered in the state register. This requirement is regulated by a separate order of the Ministry of Economic Development (No. 76), adopted on February 21, 2012.

An important feature of the declaration of conformity issued for vegetable products is the limited duration of its validity. It can not exceed the shelf life of the declared goods, however it can be indicated by the manufacturer independently.

Evidence base gathering

The key stage in the formulation of the declaration of conformity is the collection of documentary evidence confirming the quality of products and compliance with technological norms for its production. The Applicant undertakes to provide technical documentation for the staff of the certification center, describing the technology of growing and harvesting, the conditions for storing vegetables and fruits, and the specifics of the packaging and transportation process.

The main type of documents submitted to the certification body are the protocols compiled on the basis of laboratory tests of product samples. The enterprise can involve its own laboratory and scientific personnel, or engage an outside organization by signing an appropriate agreement with it.

Unlike the certification procedure, when declaring the collection of necessary documents can be carried out by the direct manufacturer of the product or the trading company-intermediary. At the same time, the applicant is also responsible for the completeness and reliability of the information provided.

Application for registration of the declaration of conformity

The current rules of declaration do not provide for the use of special forms when submitting an application. However, this document should contain a certain set of data and its form must comply with a set of rules. The applicant must provide the following set of information:

Full name of the company supplying vegetables, detailed contact information;

Technical information on vegetables and fruits necessary for their accurate identification;

The name of the technical regulation, the norms of which the applicant is guided to confirm compliance;

Written statement, acting as a guarantee of safety for the health of the buyer;

Also in the application it is necessary to designate the date of expiry of the declaration.

To date, a full list of standards has been developed only for crops growing on the territory of the Russian Federation. Importing companies that sell exotic fruits, during the declaration process, must manage the TU. In addition, each consignment of imported agricultural products, including fruits and vegetables, must be accompanied by a separate phytosanitary certificate.