European Union and Switzerland

US/EU Equivalence    |    US/Swiss Equivalence   |   Labeling for the EU and Switzerland   |   Exporting from Outside the United States

European Union Exports – US/EU Equivalence Arrangement

EU organic logo

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 historic organic standards equivalence arrangement on February 15, 2012.

Achieve compliance verification to the US/EU Equivalence Arrangement by enrolling in the Global Market Access (GMA) program for the EU. Send a completed GMA application to inbox@ccof.org to enroll in the program!

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

  • Want to maximize market opportunities and ensure your products will be accepted by most foreign markets and buyers
  • Export CCOF certified organic products to the EU from the United States
  • Produce wine 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

Terms of the US/EU Equivalence Arrangement

  • Product from the United States certified to NOP standards may be shipped to any European Union member state and use the EU Organic logo as long as the critical variances and the arrangement terms are met.
  • Product from the EU that is certified to EU organic standards may be shipped to the United States and use the USDA NOP logo as long as the critical variances and the arrangement terms are met.
  • Products must be either produced within the United States or an EU member state, or have final processing or packaging occur within the United States or an EU member state.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and the EU organic logo may be used on certified products from either location, 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 product from either location must be accompanied by an export certificate.

Critical Variances for Product Entering the EU

  • Apples and pears must be produced without antibiotics.*
  • 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.

* NOP certified apples and pears produced after October 21, 2014 do not require additional verification. Streptomycin and Tetracycline use in apples and pears expired from the National List Section 205.601(i) on October 21, 2014.

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.

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.

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Swiss Exports – US/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement

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.

Achieve compliance verification to the US/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement by enrolling in the Global Market Access (GMA) program for Switzerland. Send a completed GMA application to inbox@ccof.org to enroll in the program!

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

  • Want to maximize market opportunities and ensure your products will be accepted by most foreign markets and buyers
  • Export CCOF certified organic products to Switzerland from the United States
  • Produce wine 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

Terms of the US/Swiss Equivalence Arrangement

  • Product from the United States certified to NOP standards may be shipped to Switzerland and labeled as organic as long as the critical variances and the arrangement terms are met.
  • Product from Switzerland that is certified to the Swiss Organic Ordinances may be shipped to the United States and use the USDA NOP logo as long as the critical variances and the arrangement terms are met.
  • Products must be either produced within the United States or Switzerland, or have final processing or packaging occur within the United States or Switzerland.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and any applicable seal, including the EU organic logo, may be used on certified products from either location, 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 product from either location must be accompanied by an export certificate.

Critical Variances for Product Entering Switzerland

  • 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.

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

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 Outside the United States to the EU or Switzerland

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

See the CCOF International Standard Program Manual and Grower or Handler International Standard Program applications for program requirements and additional details. The manual outlines CCOF's International Standard program and practices, and compliance requirements. The CCOF International Standard Program 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.