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Korean Import Restrictions Going into Effect January 1, 2014

After at least two extensions for processed organic products entering Korea, it has become clear that the Korean government will enforce its regulation requiring certification to Korean standards effective January 1, 2014. Fresh products are already subject to this requirement.

Organic processed products that clear customs prior to January 1, 2014, will reportedly continue to be recognized as organic in Korea.

Mexico Trade Update

CCOF is diligently working to meet the needs of CCOF clients in Mexico and those who sell products to Mexico. Mexico’s organic standards are moving forward with a final implementation date of April 2015. CCOF participated in Governor Jerry Brown’s Mexico Trade Delegation and is working directly with Mexican officials, CDFA, the NOP, clients and others to ensure the smoothest possible transition and certification to the new Mexican standard.

New USDA Trade Mentorship Tools

Are you interested in accessing international markets? The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently announced a new initiative to support and help coordinate services to agricultural operations wishing to explore international exports. Visit the USDA FAS Getting Started page to access state and regional resources, technical and financial assistance, and other resources into international market expertise.

NOP Import Certificate Update for Mexico and Other Countries

Organic import (export) certificates are often required to accompany shipments of organic products to and from nations where the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) has achieved an organic standards equivalency agreement or is working towards one.


Where an import certificate requirement exists, U.S. organic importers are expected to receive import certificates from their supplier for all shipments. These should be kept on file for verification by NOP inspectors and/or USDA NOP or State Organic Program representatives.

Prórroga en Proceso de la Fecha de Implementación para las Normas Orgánicas Mexicanas

El gobierno de México recientemente publicó una noticia de propuesta prórroga para la implementación completa de los estándares orgánicos mexicanos. La prórroga propuesta extendería el plazo de implementación para productos orgánicos importados a México de países que se encuentran en discusiones sobre la equivalencia, como los Estados Unidos. El público puede emitir sus comentarios sobre la prórroga propuesta aquí.

Quebec Adopts Canadian Organic Standards

Quebec recently announced that effective January 1, 2012, it will adopt the Canadian Organic Standards and harmonize labeling requirements between the former provincial standard and the Canadian national standard. Quebec's labeling requirements are similar to the existing Canadian Organic Standards but have additional details and specificity. To simplify clients processes, CCOF will remove the Quebec compliance program from the existing Global Market Access program in the coming months.

Saving You Money: EU Program Disappearing

Many CCOF operations are enrolled in a program they do not need. CCOF is saving 600+ operations $125 each during the 2015 renewal by processing this withdrawal internally.

Why? After reviewing our records we discovered that 600+ CCOF growers have not withdrawn from the US/EU Equivalency status under CCOF’s Global Market Access program, even though they no longer require the program. The historic US/EU Equivalency Arrangement, that CCOF worked directly to help achieve, requires that you enroll only if you:

U.S.-Japan Bilateral Export Agreement

Great News! Just recently, the USDA National Organic Program and the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) signed a bilateral equivalency agreement, going into effect January 1, 2014. This agreement eases the process for organic exports to Japan by eliminating additional requirements for exported products and providing new options for use of the Japanese organic seal (“JAS seal”).

CCOF Applauds USDA Announcement of Organic Equivalence Agreement with Japan

(September 25, 2013) Santa Cruz, CA - USDA and Japan announced Thursday at Natural Products Expo East a new organic equivalency agreement, finalizing many years of perseverance toward equivalence without critical variances. As of January 1, 2014, the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will recognize the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). CCOF engaged early in the agreement process, representing our more than 2,600 members by hosting visits with Japanese officials here in the United States.


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