#Certification to the EU

Oregon Tilth offers services to evaluate USDA National Organic Program certified crop and handling operations to the European Union (EU) organic standard.

Certification to the EU standard is required when organic production and product shipment occurs from countries where no equivalency or trade arrangement exists with the EU. OTCO does not offer EU certification to operators within the U.S. or Canada due to existing equivalency arrangements.

Application for EU certification via ACB EU Standard

  • Review the current ACB EU Equivalent Standard and ensure operational compliance
  • Submit a completed EU Supplement along with your Organic System Plan (OSP)
  • Undergo a full on-site inspection and audit to the ACB EU standard
  • A Declaration of Compliance to the ACB EU Standards will be issued upon successful review

Forms & Documents

Download the above and submit it to your client service team. If you applied for certification using our Online OSP via SOW Organic, you can make all of your OSP updates and requests through your account.


The ACB EU Standards are updated when changes to the EU regulations are published. Included is the most recent update in revision mode so that you can easily identify the changes: v18 IACBs Standards (with tracked changes).

#Importing to the U.S. from the EU

Equivalency arrangements between the EU and the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) allow for the export of EU organic products to the U.S. with the following exceptions and requirements:

  • No agricultural products derived from animals treated with antibiotics
  • No aquatic animals (e.g. fish, shellfish)
  • For retail products, labels or stickers must state the name of the U.S. or EU certifying agent and may use the USDA Organic seal or the EU organic logo. Exported products must meet the labeling requirements in the destination country

The certifier of the supplier must complete a U.S. import certificate for all EU organic products traded under the arrangement.

#Exporting to the EU from the U.S.

OTCO provides certification that allows for export of products to the EU.

Equivalency arrangements between the EU and the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) means only certain operations are required to apply for EU certification. 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.

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


Exporting to EU from a different country?
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, e.g., Mexico, additional restrictions may apply. Contact <> for more information.

#Frequently Asked Questions for TRACES

What does TRACES stand for?
Trade Control and Expert System

Why and when did the online Certificate of Inspection (COI) system start?
As of October 19th, 2017 the EU has only been accepting electronic export certificates, commonly known as Certificates of Inspection (COI) through their new system called TRACES. This new system is designed to increase efficiencies and integrity with the import approval process.

What are the supporting documents that are required for each Certificate of Inspection?
Typical supporting documents include invoices, the packing list(s), and either a BOL (bill of lading) or AWB (airway bill) depending on how the product is being shipped.

Who can request a Certificate of Inspection?
Importers and Exporters have the ability to request a COI if they are set up in the system as operators.

How do I get started in TRACES in order to request a COI?
OTCO clients need to be registered as organic producers and organic exporters in order to be selected in designated boxes. An operator account is needed in order to create a COI. First, create an account on EU Login. Secondly, request an access profile in TRACES NT. Learn more via the instructions on the TRACES NT website.

Who do I inform after submission of my COI?
Please send an email with the COI number as the subject line to <> which includes:

  • Destination address
  • FedEx/UPS/DHL account number for billing purposes (if sending via UPS, please provide the zip code associated with the account to be billed)
  • supporting documents if not uploaded to the request form already

OTCO will provide the tracking number once the shipping label has been created.


Please note that all products on the request form must match the wording on the Organic Certificate. For example, if you are shipping “strawberries” and your organic certificate says “frozen strawberries,” then “frozen strawberries” must be on the request form. In addition, TRACES has yet to create an electronic signature feature. A hard copy of the Certificate of Inspection is required by customs until further notice.

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