Labelling Under the USDA Recognition Agreement with India

India’s National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) requires the manufacturer of an organic product to be identified on the product label. What does this mean for products destined for the United States?

Under the terms of the USDA recognition agreement with India, products certified to the USDA organic standards must comply with USDA labeling requirements, which requires that the distributor be specified on the product label per 205.303(b)(2) or 205.304(b)(2), as applicable. India requires that all certified organic products (including for export per US recognition) also comply with NPOP standards. As long as organic products destined for export to the U.S. comply with USDA organic labeling regulations, the NPOP requirement that “The name and address of the person or company legally responsible for the production or processing of the product shall be mentioned on the label” does not violate the USDA organic regulations or terms of the recognition agreement.  

Products exported from India must comply with both US and India laws and regulations, see the APEDA advisory dated August 5, 2019. The purpose of identifying the manufacturer on the label is to increase traceability and deter fraud. Intentionally violating India’s NPOP regulations could lead to the loss of an operator’s organic certification and/or the loss of a certifier’s accreditation. It would also be a loss of integrity for an importer if it were to insist that their suppliers in India intentionally violate the Indian regulations for exports.

Intentionally violating India’s NPOP regulations could lead to the loss of an operator’s organic certification and/or the loss of a certifier’s accreditation.

This requirement is in addition to the requirement that all organic products exported from India be accompanied by a Transaction Certificate issued through India’s Tracenet system. To learn more about this requirement, check out this Blog post from August.