Exporting organic products from the U.S. to the EU

For OTCO-certified operators based in the U.S., equivalency arrangements enable you to sell products to a processor, handler or distributor exporting to the EU without further certification.

Are there restrictions for USDA NOP certified products exported to the EU?

Any USDA NOP certified product produced or handled within the U.S. is eligible for export to EU member states with the following restrictions:

  • Product must be shipped from a U.S. port and have its final USDA NOP handling/labeling completed in the U.S.
  • Your product label must comply with EU labeling requirements
  • Every shipment must be accompanied by a Certificate of Inspection (COI) form issued through TRACES, please contact us at export@tilth.org for support

What products are exempt from Equivalency Arrangement?

Personal care products and pet food products are outside of the scope of this arrangement. This means NOP certified personal care and pet food products may be labeled/sold as USDA organic in the EU, and no export approval or documentation is required. They may not bear the EU organic seal.

What do I need to know about exporting organic products to the EU from other countries such as Mexico?

If you are exporting organic products to the EU that are not being shipped or produced from the U.S., you may need to have certification to the EU standards. Even if you are a U.S.-based company with products being shipped from another country, additional restrictions may apply. Contact export@tilth.org for more information.

When should I get my product approved by OTCO for export?

It is important to start planning for the export of your product when you submit your product composition and labeling information to OTCO. Each country has specific requirements as part of their equivalency arrangements with the USDA National Organic Program that you will need to take into consideration. We’ll need to approve your product to ensure that it meets all requirements for export. Telling us that you plan to export a product when you add it to your certification will save you time and avoid costly delays later in the process.

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