EU Certification Program
Brief overview of the OTCO's EU certification program and related FAQs
In 2012 several regulations become effective which preclude the need for most OTCO clients to carry EU certification significantly simplifying the EU Import/Export Market. OTCO continues to offer EU Organic Certification to clients who need it.
This page is designed to provide overview information with links to more detail.
EU-NOP Equivalency Arrangement
On February 15 2012 the National Organic Program [NOP] and the European Union [EU] signed a bilateral Equivalency Arrangement, which takes effect on June 1 2012. This historic arrangement between the worlds’ two largest organic markets will give NOP certified Farms and Handlers in the US export and import access to the European organic market.
EU-Canada Equivalency Arrangement
On 5 July 2011 the European Commission and the Canadian Organic Office announced a bilateral Equivalency Arrangement giving Canada Producers and Processors access to the European Organic Market.
The Arrangement allows full access to the Canadian Market by EU Member State producers however it limits access to the EU market to products grown in Canada.
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) offers a proactive service to further evaluate USDA National Organic Program NOP certified crop and handling operations for equivalence with European Union (EU) organic standards established in European Council Regulations EC 834/2007 and 889/2008. This service will benefit OTCO operators whose NOP certified crops and products are sold to a processor, handler and/or distributor exporting to the EU.
Evaluation of equivalence is done through the use of a set of Private Standards titled ACB EU Equivalent Standard, formally named; Accredited Certification Bodies Equivalent European Union Organic Production & Processing Standard for Third Countries. In addition to the NOP Organic System Plan (Application), operators will need to submit an International Supplement. Then, in conjunction with evaluation for NOP certification, OTCO inspectors will report on additional EU requirements. Upon successful evaluation, OTCO will issue a Declaration of Compliance for crops and products that meet the EU standards. This document will support sale of organic products as EU-compliant and expedite the issuance of Certificates of Inspection currently required for all shipments of organic products to the EU.
OTCO Included in List Of EU Approved Certifiers
Oregon Tilth continues to negotiate to be listed for approved for direct export to EU Member States after 1 July 2012. Recognition as an Approved 3rd Country Certifier will allow OTCO clients certified to the EU Regulation direct market access to any of the 27 EU Member States.
On June 20 2012 the European Commission published the second list of approved foreign (Third Country) certifiers. The list includes OTCO for all of the countries where we certify operators to the EU Standard including;
EU certified clients in these countries have market access to any EU Member State and will no longer need to go through the Import Authorization Application process.
A Certificate of Import [COI] for every shipment must be issued by OTCO as before.
A copy of Regulation EU 508/2012 with OTCO Approvals circled in red for quick reference can be found here. The regulation also lists the Equivalency Arrangements with Canada and the US. Since the Canada Equivalency Arrangement is limited to 100% Canada grown products and therefore does not cover most processed products, Third Country Certifier listing provides Canada clients with EU market access.
Please contact Jim Pierce at OTCO for more information.
- ACB EU Equivalency Standard
- OTCO Procedures Manual
- International Supplement (Crop/Livestock) (Handling)
- EU Import/Export Regulation
- EU Labeling Guide Overview (pdf)
- EU Labeling Guide and Regulations (pdf)
- Certificate of Import Request Form
- Handler Affirmation - US-EU Equivalency (doc)
- Farm Affirmation - US-EU Equivalency (doc)
- EU Logo