CCOF was formally listed in the Official Journal for the European Union as an Equivalent Certifier on December 6, 2011. Under this listing, effective July 1, 2012, CCOF certification under the Global Market Access (GMA) program will allow for export to Europe without requiring import licenses. This is a significant improvement that CCOF and our clients have been awaiting since the application was submitted in October 2009.
CCOF's new control body number will be US-BIO-105. We will communicate with all clients who export as details emerge to ensure that you fully benefit from this new listing.
In more good news, our chief certification officer, Jake Lewin, has been working diligently to streamline international processes as the co-chair of the Organic Trade Association's U.S./ EU Equivalency Task Force. This group is working with the USDA NOP, Foreign Agricultural Service, and the European Commission as they explore options for broader government-to-government equivalency recognition of each other's standards. This could conceivably ease trade and additional standards requirements significantly. We applaud these efforts that could eliminate the need for additional certifications, paperwork, and expenses for our clients. We look forward to a future where we can collectively concentrate on core organic certification issues and shift away from minor differences in international standards.