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.”
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.
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 our Intact Platform that facilitates the mandatory uploading of certification data to TRACES.
For all our customers, the standard module will be included in the existing Intact Platform solution without additional SaaS costs. In addition to that, Intact also offers customized solutions if required.