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Change to OTCO's EU Program

Oregon Tilth recently made minor, but significant changes to our European Union Program, which will allow Certification Agencies to be approved for direct export to the EU.


On April 7th Oregon Tilth made changes to our European Union Program in response to European Commission Regulation EC 1235/2008, designed to allow Certification Agencies outside of Europe to be approved for direct export to the EU. Once OTCO is listed on the Approved List of Third Country Certifiers, we will no longer be obligated to issue a Certificate of Inspection for each shipment to the EU. Operators have been notified and supplied with appropriate forms to comply with this change.

What we did:

In October 2009, OTCO applied to the European Commission for Recognition of Equivalence according to EC Regulation 1235/2008. As part of the application process we were informed that we could no longer evaluate our clients directly to the EC organic regulations 834/2007 and 889/2008 but needed to do so through a set of equivalent private standards.  In response we adopted a set of Private Standards titled OTCO ACB EU Equivalent Standard, formally named; Accredited Certification Bodies Equivalent European Union Organic Production & Processing Standard for Third Countries.  The standards themselves have not changed, in fact by combining 834 and 889 into one document they have become easier and clearer to comprehend.

Key Message: 

We are now using a different vehicle to get to the same destination.  We are using the ACB standard for gaining certification equivalent to that described in (EC) 834/2007.  OTCO Controlled Documents still refer to European Union Organic Standards (EC 834/2007) with the added caveat: Assessed via the ACB EU Equivalency Standard.

Key Concepts to understand:

1) From this point on OTCO Staff and Clients should ONLY be referencing the ACB EU Equivalent Standard. NOT to EC 834/2007 and 889/2008.

2) The ACB Standard is EQUIVALENT TO EC 834/2007 and EU 889/2008.

3) COMPLIANCE to the ACB standard verifies that a client has satisfied the requirements of the EC 834 standard. 

4) The goal for clients has not changed; COMPLIANCE TO the ACB Standard assures ACCESS TO the EU Market.


Find out more at our EU Certification Program page.


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