Korea

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

  • Plan to export CCOF certified organic products to Korea from the United States
  • Design labels for products that will be sold in Korea
  • Sell CCOF certified organic products to any buyer who requires international verification certification for Korea

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

Read the complete GMA Manual here: GMA Manual

US/Korea Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details 

Operations located in the United States and certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to Korea through the US/Korea Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the Korean standard as equivalent, with minor critical variances. The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) signed the organic standards equivalency arrangement on July 1, 2014.

This arrangement only covers processed products, as defined by the Korean Food Code, produced in either country. Raw or unprocessed products cannot be traded between the United States and Korea through this equivalence.

Requirements for Exports to Korea from the United States

  • NOP certified products must be either produced within, or have final processing occur within the United States.
  • Products must meet the critical variances and arrangement terms.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and the Korean organic logo may be used on certified products, in addition to the certifier’s logo.
  • Product labels must comply with Korean labeling regulations. Visit our Labeling and Logos page for guidance.
  • Product exported to Korea must be accompanied by an NAQS Import Certificate of Organic Processed Foods.

Critical Variances for Product Entering Korea

  • Apples and pears must be produced without antibiotics.
  • Only processed products, as defined by the Korean Food Code, are allowed to be exported to Korea.

Requirements for Imports in to the United States from Korea

  • Products must be either produced within Korea, or have final processing or packaging occur in Korea.
  • Products must meet the critical variances and arrangement terms.
  • Both the Korean organic logo and USDA organic seal may be used, in addition to the certifier’s logo.
  • Product labels must comply with NOP labeling regulations.
  • Imported products must be accompanied by an NOP Import Certificate, issued by the Korean exporter’s certifier and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual organic inspection.

Critical Variances for Product entering the United States

  • Livestock products must be produced without antibiotics, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.

Exclusions to the US/Korea Equivalence Arrangement

  • Organic raw or unprocessed products are not allowed to be exported under this arrangement.

Korean Food Code Definition of “Processed Food”

"Refers to a food manufactured, processed, and packaged by adding food or food additives to food raw materials (agricultural, forestry, livestock, or marine products), transforming food raw materials (such as grinding or cutting) till their original forms cannot be recognized, or mixing such transformed ones or adding food or food additives to such mixture. However, where, without the use of food additives or other materials, the agricultural, forestry, livestock, or marine products are simply cut, peeled, salted, ripened, or heated (except the cases where heating is performed for sterilization or heating causes significant changes to those products) till their original forms can be recognized or where sanitary risks from treatment processes are not expected and food raw materials are simply treated so as to allow organoleptic identification of food quality, such food products are excluded from the definition of the processed food.” 

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Korean Labeling Requirements and Use of the Korean Organic Logo

CCOF has developed a helpful International Market Labeling Guide to explain labeling requirements for organic products sold in Korea. All products shipped to Korea must meet Korean labeling requirements. Send all labels to CCOF for approval prior to printing. To learn more, read the MAFRA Organic logo and labeling information instructions.

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