TRACES is an online platform run by the European Commission to centralize the issuance of certificates within and outside the EU.

“TRACES is the European Commission’s online platform for sanitary and phytosanitary certification required for the importation of animals, animal products, food and feed of non-animal origin and plants into the European Union, and the intra-EU trade and EU exports of animals and certain animal products.”

Website of the European Commission

It is, therefore a tool for issuing certificates and official documents necessary for imports, exports, and intra EU movements of live animals and goods.

The purpose of TRACES is to track the movements of consignments and enable the exchange of information and risk management within the European Union using the centralized availability of certificates and documents. It also allows the electronic certificates to be stamped with electronic seals by EU and non-EU authorities.

Relevance and Challenges

The issuing of certificates through TRACES becomes mandatory on January 1st, 2023. This concerns all Certification Bodies in the organic sector with headquarters or subsidiaries in the European Union.

Certificates for all EU operators are now to be issued centralized through TRACES and not through internal IT systems anymore. This means a significant amount of additional work for CBs, as all the existing data needed to issue certification has to be transferred to TRACES. There are no standardized protocols for transferring data into the TRACES system.

Moreover, because the process is rather complex, the future certification process will likely be slower. According to our inquiry, CBs of a certain size would require several full-time employees to handle the additional workload. In conclusion, this means that without the necessary preparations, TRACES may cause increased costs as well as diminished efficiency for Certification Bodies.

Our solution

We at Intact are aware of this situation and offer a solution to facilitate transitioning to and working with the TRACES system. We are introducing a new module to the Intact Platform that simplifies the mandatory upload of certification data.

Our solution offers a powerful API, which uploads certificates you create in the Intact Platform to TRACES. The certificate is mapped to your customer account and validated within the TRACES system. If there is no customer account yet, a new one is created automatically.

Once the certificate is validated in TRACES, it is then uploaded to the Intact Platform again. Your existing certificate is overwritten and complemented with the new, validated certificate number.

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