Canada

Response times may be slow due to COVID-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections may be delayed for businesses affected by this crisis. Visit our COVID-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Nuestros tiempos de respuesta pueden ser lentos debido al COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones pueden ser demorados para los negocios que se ven afectados por esta crisis. Visite nuestra página web de COVID-19 para encontrar información específica a la Pandemia »

You need to enroll in the Global Market Access (GMA) program for Canada if you:

  • Plan to export CCOF certified NOP organic products to Canada from any location.
  • Plan to export CCOF certified COR organic products to the US from Canada.
  • Design labels for NOP products that will be sold in Canada.
  • Design labels for COR products that will be sold in the US.
  • Sell CCOF certified organic products to any buyer who requires international verification certification.

To enroll send a completed Global Maket Access (GMA) application to inbox@ccof.org.

Read the complete GMA Manual here: GMA Manual

US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement: Export and Import Details

Operations certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to Canada through the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the Canadian Organic Regime (COR) standards as equivalent, with minor critical variances. The USDA NOP and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) signed the organic standards equivalence arrangement on June 17, 2009.

Requirements for Exports to Canada

  • Product from anywhere in the world certified to NOP standards may be shipped to Canada and use the Canadian Organic Logo as long as the critical variances and the arrangement terms are met.
  • Both the USDA Organic Seal and the Canadian Organic Logo may be used on certified products, in addition to the certifier’s logo.
  • Product labels must comply with destination market labeling regulations. Visit our Labeling and Logos page for guidance.
  • Product entering Canada through this equivalence arrangement must be accompanied by an attestation statement issued by the certifying agent confirming compliance with the terms of the equivalence arrangement. CCOF’s GMA program certificate fulfills this requirement.

Critical Variances for Product Entering Canada

  • Products must be produced without the use of sodium nitrate (Chilean nitrate).
  • Products must not be produced using hydroponic or aeroponic methods.
  • Livestock products (other than from ruminants) must be from animal systems that meet the stocking rates as set forth in the Canadian Standard (CAN/CGSB 32.310-2006).

See the Critical Variance Verification section below for details on demonstrating compliance to these critical variances.

Exclusions to the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement

  • Products outside the scope of the Canadian Organic Regime, such as pet food, personal care products, natural health products, and aquaculture (nori, spirulina, chlorella, kelp) may not be exported to Canada under this equivalence arrangement. More information regarding natural health products can be found here.
  • NOP certified products outside the scope of COR may be sold in Canada as NOP certified without additional verification. In these cases, reference to COR is prohibited.

Requirements for Imports into the United States

  • Product from anywhere in the world certified to the Canada Organic Regime (COR) standards may be shipped to the United States and use the USDA NOP logo as long as the critical variance and the arrangement terms are met.
  • Both the Canadian Organic Logo and the USDA Organic Seal may be used on certified products, in addition to the certifier’s logo.
  • Product labels must comply with destination market labeling regulations. Visit our Labeling and Logos page for guidance.
  • Product entering the US through this equivalence arrangement must be accompanied by an attestation statement issued by the certifying agent confirming compliance with the terms of the equivalence arrangement. CCOF’s GMA program certificate fulfills this requirement.

Critical Variances for Product Entering the United States

  • Livestock products must be from animals not treated with antibiotics as attested by supplier certifiers.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Canadian Labeling Requirements and Use of the COR LogoCOR Logo

CCOF has developed a helpful International Market Labeling Guide to explain labeling requirements for organic products sold in Canada. All products shipped to Canada must meet the COR labeling requirements. Send all labels to CCOF for pre-approval prior to printing. To learn more, read the CFIA Food Labelling for Industry Requirements.

Download the COR logo and learn more about international labeling requirements by visiting CCOF's Labeling and Logos page. Use of the COR logo is optional for imported products. If the COR logo is used, additional requirements apply.

Export Documentation

All certified product entering the United States or Canada through the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement must be accompanied by an attestation statement issued by the certifying agent confirming compliance with the terms of the arrangement, including meeting the critical variances of the destination country. 

CCOF certified operations can obtain the required attestation statement by enrolling in the CCOF Global Market Access (GMA) Program. After CCOF staff verify your product(s) meet the terms of the equivalence arrangement you will be issued a GMA certificate, with the required attestation statement: “Certified in compliance with the terms of the U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement”.

Provide your GMA certificate and CCOF Organic Certificate with all shipment documentation.

Critical Variance Verification of products entering Canada

All exporters must enroll in the GMA program. However, not every ingredient supplier in the supply chain is required have COR equivalence listed on their certificate. This section outlines information required to verify critical variances for ingredient suppliers who do not have COR equivalence listed on their certificate.

Ingredients must be produced without the use of sodium nitrate (Chilean nitrate), must not be produced using hydroponic or aeroponic methods, and non-ruminant livestock ingredients must be from animal systems that meet the stocking rates as set forth in the Canadian Standard (CAN/CGSB 32.310). Many crops are not at risk of being grown using one of the production techniques outlined as a critical variance. To ensure the Equivalence Arrangement verification process is as simple and efficient as possible, CCOF has created a list of crops that are at high risk of being grown using one of the prohibited production techniques.

Suppliers of high risk crops: CCOF will accept a supplier self-attestation or certifier verification that the crops were grown without the use of sodium nitrate and/or hydroponic or aeroponic production.

Suppliers of crops not identified as high risk: CCOF will not seek additional documentation that the crops meet the critical variances, a USDA NOP organic certificate is sufficient.

Suppliers of non-ruminant livestock products: All livestock products from non-ruminants, such as eggs from poultry, must be verified as having met the stocking density critical variance. CCOF will accept a supplier self-attestation or certifier verification of this requirement.

Suppliers of ruminant livestock products: CCOF will not seek additional documentation, a USDA NOP organic certificate is sufficient.

High Risk Crops for use of Sodium Nitrate:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • The following cole crops: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • The following leafy greens: lettuces, escarole, endive, spring mix, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula, and chard
  • Grains grown for livestock feed in the Midwest United States
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Tobacco
  • Citrus from the Southeast United States

High Risk Crops for Hydroponic or Aeroponic Production:

  • Container grown annual crops (excluding annual seedlings)
  • Container grown strawberries