Important Changes in NOP Organic Certification for Exports to USA
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is changing its approach to organic oversight in India. In January 2021, USDA announced that it is ending its recognition agreement that has allowed APEDA-accredited certifiers to provide USDA organic certification in India.
Changes in NOP Organic Certification for exports from India was done because India’s organic control system has been determined to be insufficient to adequately protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal.
This decision starts a transition period with an aim to minimize market disruption. The transition period will allow Indian organic operations certified by APEDA-accredited certifiers to apply for direct certification by USDA-accredited certifiers to the USDA organic standards.
Once transition is complete, organic certification in India will operate like any country that does not have a trade arrangement with the U.S.A. meaning Certification by USDA-accredited certifiers will be required for products exported from India to the United States.
Here’s how the transition will work:
- By mid-March 2021: USDA certifiers will be able to list these organic operation applicants in India in the Organic Integrity Database, to help U.S. buyers verify that a farm or business in India has applied for NOP certification.
- By July 12, 2021: to continue to export to the United States, current organic operations in India will need to have applied for certification with a USDA-accredited organic certifier.
- After July 12, 2022:, USDA organic certification by a USDA-accredited certifier will be required import organic products from India to the United States.
- APEDA-accredited certifiers may apply to NOP for direct accreditation to the USDA organic program at any time.
This transition will help mitigate the market impact of this change. During this period, AMS will work closely with certifiers to communicate the transition process and assess progress, will heighten its market surveillance, and will closely communicate with APEDA about enforcement needs.
If you are an organic business buying from an organic supplier certified by an APEDA-accredited certifier, communicate with those suppliers about the need to apply for NOP certification to a USDA-accredited certifier by July 12, 2021, to continue their business with you. After July 12, to continue accepting products from those suppliers, you will need to use the Organic Integrity Database to verify that any organic supplier is already certified or has applied for organic certification with a USDA-accredited certifier.
If you are an organic business certified by an APEDA-accredited organic certifier, communicate with your certifier about the need to apply for certification to a USDA-accredited certifier by July 12, 2021, to continue to export USDA organic products to the U.S. To identify certifying agents previously approved under the U.S.-India recognition agreement, consult APEDA’s List of Accredited Certification Bodies (pdf) and refer to the “Validity of Current Accreditation” and “Scope of Accreditation” columns. The scope of accreditation shown will be listed as NPOP and USDA NOP.
If you are currently accredited by APEDA for USDA certification in India, you may apply to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) for direct accreditation at any time.
Webinar on Changes in NOP for Organic Exports from India :
To help communicate the transition process to the organic trade, the NOP is hosting a webinar to describe the next steps that India exporters, U.S. importers, and certifiers need to take during the transition period. We are offering the same webinar twice, to provide maximum access for participants in time zones around the world. The same content will be covered on both webinars.
Webinar Details – Register in advance for the meeting you want to attend:
- Session 1: March 31, 2021 – 1PM – 2 PM Eastern
Register in advance for this meeting:
- Session 2: March 31, 2021 – 11 PM – 12AM Eastern
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
After the webinar, meeting materials will be posted on the AMS India Organic Trade webpage.
- Changes to NOP for Organic Exports from India: The entire information on this page has been shared from – AMS.USDA Webpage