EU farmers face increasing requests to comply with legal as well as private agribusiness and retail standards. Both requests potentially raise farmer’s administrative burden. This paper discusses the potential synergies between cross-compliance and third-party certification schemes. In selected aspects cross-compliance and several certification schemes ask similar measures. However, both regulatory approaches differ considerably in other areas. The heterogeneous nature of the various certification schemes in place prevent a general conclusion. As a tendency systemic standards like organic agriculture provide the largest overlap with cross-compliance. Certificates of origin, on the opposite side, have no relation with cross-compliance.