European Union (EU) and Switzerland

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

  • Plan to export CCOF certified organic products to the EU from the United States or Canada
  • Produce wine in the United States that may be exported to the EU
  • Design labels for products that will be sold in the EU
  • Sell CCOF certified organic products to any buyer who requires international verification certification

You need to enroll in the GMA program for Switzerland if you:

  • Export CCOF certified organic products to Switzerland from the United States or Canada
  • Produce wine in the United States that may be exported to Switzerland
  • Design labels for products that will be sold in Switzerland
  • 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/EU Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details

Operations located in the United States and certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to any EU member state through the US/EU Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the EU organic standards as equivalent, with minor critical variances. The USDA NOP and the European Commission signed the organic standards equivalence arrangement on February 15, 2012.

Requirements for Exports to the EU from the United States

  • NOP certified products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging occur in the US.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers live or unprocessed agricultural products and vegetative propagating materials and seeds for cultivations, as well as processed agricultural products for use as food and feed.
  • Products must meet the critical variances.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and the EU 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.
  • Exported products must be accompanied by an export certificate processed in the TRAde Control and Expert System (TRACES).

Critical Variances for Product Entering the EU from the US

  • Wine may not contain any non-organic grapes and must be produced using only the winemaking practices and substances detailed in the EU Organic regulations EEC 203/2012. You will need to complete the GMA Wine Approval Application in addition to the GMA application.

Requirements for Imports in to the United States from the EU

  • EU certified products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging occur in the EU.
  • Products must meet the critical variances.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and the EU organic logo may be used on certified products, 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 EU exporter’s certifier and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual organic inspection.

Critical Variances for Product Entering the United States from the EU

  • Wine must meet USDA NOP production and labeling requirements, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.
  • Livestock products must be produced without antibiotics, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.

Exclusions to the US/EU Equivalence Arrangement

  • Organic aquatic animals (fish, shellfish) may not be exported from the EU to the United States under this arrangement.
  • Personal Care products

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

 

US/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details

Operations located in the United States and certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to Switzerland through the US/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the Swiss Organic Ordinances as equivalent, with minor critical variances. The USDA NOP and the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) signed the equivalence arrangement on July 9, 2015.

Requirements for Exports to Switzerland from the United States

  • NOP certified products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging occur in the US.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers live or unprocessed agricultural products and vegetative propagating materials and seeds for cultivations, as well as processed agricultural products for use as food and feed.
  • Products must meet the critical variances.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and the EU 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.
  • Exported products must be accompanied by an Certificate of Inspection (COI) export certificate. Starting January 1, 2019, all Swiss export certificates will be processed in the TRAde Control and Expert System (TRACES).

Critical Variances for Product Entering Switzerland from the US

  • Wine may not contain any non-organic grapes and must be produced using only the winemaking practices and substances detailed in the Swiss Organic Ordinances. You will need to complete the GMA Wine Approval Application in addition to the GMA application.

Requirements for Imports in to the United States from Switzerland

  • Swiss Organic Ordinances certified products must be either produced within Switzerland, or have final processing or packaging occur within Switzerland.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and any applicable seal, including the EU organic logo, may be used on certified products, 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 exporter’s certifier and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual organic inspection.

Critical Variances for Product Entering the United States

  • Wine must meet USDA NOP production and labeling requirements, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.
  • Livestock products must be produced without antibiotics, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

 

Canada/EU Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details

Operations located in Canada and certified to the Canada Organic Regime (COR) can ship to any EU member state through the COR/EU Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the COR standards and the EU organic standards as equivalent, with no critical variances. Terms of the agreement must be met. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the European Commission signed the organic standards equivalence arrangement on June 21, 2011.

Requirements for Exports to the EU from Canada

  • COR certified products must be either produced within Canada, or have final processing occur within Canada.
  • Unprocessed plant products, live animals or unprocessed animal products and vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation have to be grown in Canada.
  • "Processing" means any action that substantially alters the initial product, including heating, smoking, curing, maturing, drying, marinating, extraction, extrusion or a combination of those processes. Packaging is not considered processing for EU compliance.
  • Both the COR organic seal and the EU 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.
  • Must be accompanied by an export certificate processed in the TRAde Control and Expert System (TRACES).

Requirements for Imports in to Canada from the EU

  • EU certified products must be either produced within EU, or have final processing or packaging occur within the EU.
  • Both the COR organic seal and the EU organic logo may be used on certified products, in addition to the certifier’s logo.
  • Must meet Canadian labeling requirements
  • Must be accompanied by an NOP Import Certificate issued by an EU Control Body listed here and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual inspection.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

 

Canada/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement: Export and Import Details

Operations located in Canada and certified to the Canada Organic Regime (COR) can ship to Switzerland through the COR/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the COR standards and the Swiss Organic Ordinances as equivalent, with no critical variances. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) signed the equivalence arrangement on December 18, 2012.

Requirements for Exports to Switzerland from Canada

  • COR certified products must be either produced within Canada, or have final processing or packaging occur within Canada.
  • Live or unprocessed agricultural products and vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation must be grown in Canada.
  • Both the COR organic seal and any applicable seal, including the EU 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.
  • Must be accompanied by an Certificate of Inspection (COI) export certificate. Starting January 1, 2019, all Swiss export certificates will be processed through TRAde Control and Expert System (TRACES).

Requirements for Imports in to Canada from Switzerland

  • Swiss Organic Ordinances certified products must be either produced within Switzerland, or have final processing or packaging occur within Switzerland.
  • Both the COR organic seal and the EU organic logo may be used on certified products, in addition to the certifier’s logo.
  • Must meet Canadian labeling requirements.
  • Must be accompanied by an NOP Import Certificate issued by a Swiss Certification/Inspection Body and retained by the purchasing operation for their annual organic inspection.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

 

EU and Swiss Labeling Requirements and Use of the EU Logo

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

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

Operations utilizing the EU logo are strongly encouraged to review the EU Organic Regulations and Logo use documents.

 

Exporting from Mexico to the EU or Switzerland

If you are located in Mexico and plan to ship products directly to the EU or Switzerland, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard Program (ISP). All suppliers must also be certified to a program recognized as equivalent or compliant to the EU standards.

See the CCOF ISP Manual and Grower or Handler ISP applications for program requirements and additional details. The manual outlines CCOF's ISP and practices, and compliance requirements. The CCOF ISP is a private standard equivalent to EU and Swiss organic standards, which focuses on the critical differences in practices, materials, and standards between the USDA National Organic Program and the EU and Swiss Organic standards.

You can find CCOF clients enrolled in the International Standard program for export to the European Union in real time by accessing our online directory.