The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has recently revised their import policy for USDA certified organic products traded under the U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement (USCOEA).
As of April 30, 2020, all certified USDA organic products imported to Canada must be accompanied by an organic certificate that includes the following attestation statement:
This means that certifiers must verify compliance to the terms of the U.S.-Canada organic equivalence and include the attestation statement on organic certificates for USDA organic products exported to Canada.
This is a change from the previous requirements that a certified operator may “self-attest” to the compliance of their products.
OneCert certified operations can find that their organic certificates already include the attestation statement: “Certified in accordance with the terms of the U.S. – Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement.” If your organic certificate does not include the attestation statement, contact OneCert to see if you meet the requirements.
A refresher of the requirements for those operations importing or exporting certified organic products under the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement are below:
The United States facilitates trade with many trading partners. This opens new markets and provides diversity for consumers. The National Organic Program works with the Foreign Agricultural Service and Office of the United States Trade Representative to establish international trade arrangements for organic products. The goal of the international trade policies is to facilitate trade and enhance market access of certified organic products.
The US-Canadian Organic Equivalence Arrangement includes all USDA Organic products, regardless of where they are produced and handled. This means an operation certified to the NOP standards in Thailand can export their certified organic product to a US certified entity if all the requirements of the equivalence arrangement are met.
Required Documentation & Production Methods:
- US Import Documentation
- Certificate of Canadian operation with attestation statement: “Certified in accordance with the terms of the U.S. – Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement.”
- Shipment documentation
- Agricultural products derived from non-ruminant animals must be produced according to the stocking rates in CAN /CGSB32.310-2006
- Must be certified in the Organic or 100% Organic categories
Prohibited Production Methods:
- Agricultural products derived from animals treated with antibiotics
- Agricultural products produced with the use of sodium nitrate
- Agricultural products produced by hydroponic or aeroponic production methods
For Retail Product Labels:
* must meet additional Canadian labeling requirements (see below)
- Must state the name of the US certifying agent
- Must be in English and French*
- May use the USDA Organic seal or the Canada Organic Biologique logo*
- For products containing 70-95% organic ingredients, a % organic content statement may be displayed*
- “100% Organic” products may only be labeled as “Organic”
Wholesale (all are required):
- Name and address of certified operation
- Name of product and its organic status
- Name of certifier (or logo)
- Lot number
Canadian Labeling Requirements
All mandatory information must be in both official languages of Canada: English & French. Note that numbers are considered bilingual and measurements must use the metric system.
For non-food products:
- Product Identity
- Product Net Quantity
- Dealer’s Name and Principal Place of Business
For food products:
- Common name
- Net quantity declaration
- Dealer name and address
- List of ingredients (including food allergens)
- Nutrition Facts table
- Durable life date
For more information, on the updated requirement for the attestation statement visit the Required Documentation page on the CFIA website.
For more information on international trade visit the International Trade Partners page on the NOP website or view the OneCert FAQ on Traceability Documentation in the Organic Supply Chain.