Japan

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US/Japan Equivalence    |    Canada/Japan Equivalence 
Japanese Labeling and JAS Seal    |    Exporting from Mexico


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

  • Plan to export CCOF certified organic products to Japan from the United States or Canada
  • Design labels for products that will be sold in Japan
  • 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/Japan Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details

Operations located in the United States and certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to Japan through the US/Japan Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) as equivalent, with no critical variances. The USDA NOP and the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) signed the organic standards equivalence arrangement on September 26, 2013, which went in to effect on January 1, 2014.

Additionally, in 2013, MAFF also created new opportunities for the use of Japan’s organic seal, called the “JAS seal.”

Requirements for Exports to Japan from the United States

  • NOP products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging occur within the United States.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers organic plant and plant based processed products.
  • Use of the USDA organic seal is voluntary, while use of the JAS seal is mandatory. The JAS seal may be applied in Japan by a JAS certified importer or applied by U.S. companies through a Consignment Contract with a JAS certified importer.
  • Product labels must comply with destination market labeling regulations. Visit our Labeling and Logos page for guidance.
  • Exported product must be accompanied by a Japan (TM-11) export certificate.

Requirements for Imports in to the United States from Japan

  • JAS certified products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging occur within Japan.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers organic plant and plant based processed products.
  • Use of the USDA organic seal is voluntary
  • Product labels must comply with NOP labeling regulations.
  • Exported products must be accompanied by an NOP Import Certificate, signed by the exporter’s certifier and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual organic inspection.

Exclusions to the US/Japan Equivalence Arrangement

  • Livestock and alcohol, and non-food processed products are not covered under this agreement. They may be traded between the U.S. and Japan but cannot bear the destination country’s organic seal/logo and do not require export/import certificates.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Canada/Japan Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details

The Canadian Organic Regime (COR) has an organic equivalence arrangement with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). This arrangement establishes the Canadian COR standards and the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) as equivalent, with no critical variances. For CCOF operations certified to the COR standards, the CCOF Global Market Access (GMA) program verifies compliance to the Canada/Japan Organic Equivalence Arrangement.

Requirements for Exports to Japan from Canada

  • COR products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging within Canada.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers organic plant and plant based processed products.
  • Use of the COR organic seal is voluntary, while use of the JAS Seal is mandatory. The JAS seal may be applied in Japan by a JAS certified importer or applied by the Canadian company through a Consignment Contract with a JAS certified importer.
  • Product labels must comply with destination market labeling regulations. Visit our Labeling and Logos page for guidance.
  • Product must be accompanied by a COR/Japan Export Certificate.

Requirements for Imports in to Canada from Japan

  • Product from Japan that is certified to the JAS organic standards may be shipped to Canada and use the COR logo as long as the arrangement terms are met.
  • Product labels must comply with destination market labeling regulations. Visit our Labeling and Logos page for guidance.
  • Exported products must be accompanied by an NOP Import Certificate, signed by the exporter’s certifier and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual organic inspection.

Exclusions to the Canada/Japan Equivalence Arrangement

  • Livestock and alcohol, and non-food processed products are not covered under this agreement. They may be traded between Canada and Japan but cannot bear the destination country’s organic seal/logo and do not require export/import certificates.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Labeling Requirements and Use of the JAS SealJAS

CCOF has developed a helpful International Market Labeling Guide to explain labeling requirements for organic products sold in Japan. All products shipped to Japan must meet the JAS labeling requirements. Send all labels to CCOF for approval prior to printing. To learn more, read MAFF’s JAS labeling requirements.

Learn more about international labeling requirements by visiting CCOF's Labeling and Logos page. Use of the JAS seal is required for all organic products.

U.S. and Canadian exporters can meet the JAS labeling requirements in three ways:

1. JAS certified importer applies their JAS seal in Japan

  • Export the product without the JAS seal and have the JAS certified importer apply their seal once it reaches Japan, before sale.

2. JAS Seal Consignment Contract with a JAS certified importer

  • Sign the Consignment Contract with your JAS certified importer to apply their JAS seal directly to your products in the United States or Canada. Additional details below.
  • CCOF can help you navigate the Consignment Contract and provide required reporting under the JAS system. Note, the JAS seal is unique to each JAS certifier.

3. Direct JAS certification through a JAS accredited certifier

  • CCOF has an inspection partnership with ACO Certification Services to offer direct JAS certification, giving you access to your own JAS seal.
  • CCOF has observed that this option is time consuming and costly and only recommends it if your export volume justifies it.
  • If you are interested in direct JAS certification contact export@ccof.org.

JAS Seal Consignment Contract

Sign the JAS Seal Consignment Contract with your JAS certified importer to apply the JAS seal directly to your USDA NOP or COR certified products in the United States or Canada. Under this contract system, the CCOF certified exporter must identify a responsible employee, demonstrate compliance with the contract training, and maintain records of the number of seals used for each shipment to Japan.

With enrollment in the GMA Japan program, CCOF staff will guide you through the Consignment Contract process and facilitate maintenance of the required records. CCOF has analyzed the process and provides a variety of tools and processes based on MAFF’s instructions. See below.

Consignment Contract Process and Graphic

  1. Contact your JAS certified importer in Japan and sign the JAS Seal Consignment Contract. Send a signed copy to CCOF.
  2. Complete the Training for Attaching JAS Seals and send the signed documents to your importer for their records. Send a signed copy to CCOF.
  3. Your importer will send their JAS seal for you to use on your products.
  • Each JAS seal is specific to the importer’s certifier, so you must be careful to apply the correct seal if you have multiple contracts.
  • You are only allowed to apply the JAS seal on products destined to the specific importer you have subcontracted with.
  1. Submit the new labels for international sales to CCOF.
  2. Apply the JAS seal to the products that your importer has requested.
  3. Use the Report of Attached JAS Seals to document how many seals were used for each shipment. Send this document to CCOF with your Japan TM-11 export certificate request.

Send the CCOF-issued Japan TM-11 export certificate and the Report of Attached JAS Seals with each shipment. CCOF will keep copies of these documents for your recordkeeping requirement.


Click to enlarge image.

Exporting from Mexico to Japan

If you are located in Mexico and plan to ship products directly to Japan, you must achieve certification directly to the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS). CCOF has an inspection partnership with ACO Certification Services to offer certification to the JAS standard directly.

Fees:

  • $520 (AUD) One-time application fee
  • $475 (AUD) JAS certification fee
  • $500 (AUD) Administrative fee for operations located of Australia

To enroll contact CCOF at export@ccof.org for more information and a JAS application.