The Official Quality and Control Department (SOCFrance)

SEMAE (ex-GNIS), the Official Quality and Control Department (SOCFrance), as the competent authority, is in charge of the public service mission of control and certification of seeds and potato seedlings.

A public service mission

This public service mission is implemented in compliance with the technical regulations approved by the Ministry of Agriculture for control and certification, as well as with the European regulation on plant health for issuing the plant passport.

SOCFrance is also appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture to carry out technical inspection of seeds and potato seedlings for export. The regional food services (SRAL) issue phytosanitary certificates (which certify the compliance of the goods sent with the regulations of the destination countries).

SOCFrance is managed by a public servant from the Ministry of Agriculture, seconded to SEMAE. The department includes a central service, which designs and coordinates the control system, and about fifty inspectors in the 6 regional delegations of SEMAE, who inspect the operators and the production.


An expertise to ensure seedling quality

To carry out the specific inspection of potato seedlings, SOCFrance has dedicated inspectors for the species and also relies on external resources. For the latter, about 70 experts are in charge of sampling and inspecting crops and batches. This service is executed within the framework of a public tender, the latest of which (2022-2025) has been won by the joint group formed by the FN3PT and the regional Producer Organizations (Bretagne Plants, Comité Nord and Comité Centre et Sud). I provides its technical skills and the required equipment to successfully perform the inspection activities.

The official analyses for monitoring harmful organisms are carried out on behalf of SOCFrance by labs approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. For potato seedlings, these laboratories are mostly those of the three producers’ organizations: Bretagne Plants, Comité Nord and Comité Centre et Sud.

Contact details

Official Quality and Control Department (SOCFrance)

44, rue du Louvre, 75001 PARIS

Ph.: 01 42 33 51 12

Fax: 01 40 28 40 16

To go further...

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French and European standards

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Certification framework

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