QAI provides organic certifications to help you access the Mexican, Canadian, European, Japanese and Korean markets. QAI can provide worldwide support via a global network of strategic partners and offices in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Japan and Australia.
QAI provides organic certification for products sold in Mexico through the Organic Products Law Standard (LPO: Ley de Productos Orgánicos). All companies selling products in, or exporting products to, Mexico must be certified to the LPO or an equivalency agreement. The law was published in February 2006, but the federal organic regulation program wasn’t in operation until three subsequent publications: the Regulation of the Organic Products Law in April 2010 and the Operational Guidelines and the General Rules for Use of the National Seal in 2013.
The LPO standard encompasses nine main scopes: crop production, wild crop harvesting, domestic animal production, animal production from natural ecosystems or non-domestic, insect-class production (including honey production), fungi-class production, processed products from agricultural activities and commercialization of products from agricultural activities. This standard is very similar to the NOP standards, with a few critical differences: hydroponics, aeroponics and Chilean nitrate (NaNO3) are not permitted in organic production, and organic certificates have a one-year expiration date from the date of inspection.
The Secretariat of Agriculture in Mexico (SAGARPA), through the National Service for Agro Alimentary Health, Safety, and Quality (SENASICA), is the organic production authority that oversees the organic standard and approves organic certification bodies. SENASICA is in the process of negotiating a standard and equivalency agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the European Commission (EC) for Agriculture and Rural Development. It expects to have a draft of the agreement with the USDA by the end of 2017.
QAI’s office in Mexico (NSF de México S de RL de CV, part of NSF International, QAI’s parent company) is approved by SENASICA to issue LPO certification for organic products or food claiming to be "100% organic," "organic" or "made with organic" to be sold in the Mexican marketplace, and for organic ingredient importers that want to enter the country with the third largest number of organic food producers.
A proposal to modify the LPO Operational Guidelines has been submitted to the Federal Commission of Regulatory Enhancement (COFEMER), and after a public comment period, it is expected to be published and enforced by SENASICA. The full record is available on COFEMER’s website under the case file number 12/0109/271016.Find more resources for Mexico
Canada & Quebec
QAI provides organic certification for products sold in Canada through the Canadian Organic Regime (COR) and the Quebec Organic Reference Standards, and can help you leverage your USDA organic certification via the U.S.-Canada Equivalency Arrangement.
Operators based in Canada who want to claim their product as organic must be certified to COR. The main standard documents for this certification are Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards (CAN/CGSB 32.310-2015) and Permitted Substances List (CAN/CGSB 32.311-2015).
For operators based in the province of Quebec, compliance to Quebec Organic Reference Standards is overseen by the Conseil des appellations reservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV). Quebec's scope is the same as COR with some additional requirements. For certified operators shipping product to Quebec, the rules, including labeling, are outlined in the Quebec Organic Designation Specification Manual.
To learn about using the Canadian organic marks, please visit our Certification Marks guide.
Get started on your Canadian or Quebec organic certification by completing and submitting the application forms.Find application forms for Canada & Quebec
QAI provides organic certification to the EU organic standards for producers, processors, distributors, traders and warehouses based on EC 834/2007 and EC 889/2008 legislation. The EU organic regulations are effective in the 28 member nations of the EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have systems that are comparable to the EU system.
Under the U.S.-EU Equivalency Arrangement, U.S. and EU organic products are allowed to be exported to each region provided the products were not produced using antibiotics. Visit the USDA website to learn more about the arrangement.
Under the Canada-EU Equivalency Arrangement, Canadian organic products with all their ingredients grown in Canada may enter the EU market. Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website to learn more about the arrangement.
For Canadian COR-certified companies looking to export to the EU, that do not meet the arrangement’s exclusions, QAI can verify your organic operation under the Equivalent European Union Organic Production & Processing Standard for Third Countries.
To learn about using the EU organic mark, please visit our Certification Marks guide.
Get started on your EU organic certification by completing and submitting the application forms.Find application forms for the EU
To access the Japanese organic market, U.S. and Canadian processors, producers and repackers can ship their certified organic products to Japan under the U.S.-Japan Equivalency Arrangement or the Canada-Japan Equivalency Arrangement, or they can become certified under the Japan Agriculture Standard (JAS).
Under both the U.S.-Japan and Canada-Japan Equivalency Arrangements, all U.S. and Canadian certified organic plants (including fungi) and plant-based processed products with a minimum of 95 percent organic content may access the Japanese market and vice versa. USDA or Canadian certified organic products exported under this arrangement must meet all Japanese organic labeling requirements including use of the JAS seal. Other USDA or Canadian certified organic products not covered by the agreement such as dairy, meat and alcoholic beverages can still be exported to Japan and be labeled “organic” in English or Japanese, but they are not allowed to use the JAS seal.
Visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website to learn more.
For companies located outside of the U.S. and Canada, QAI offers Japan Agricultural Standard (JAS) organic certification. To learn more about the JAS organic certification standards, please visit Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fishery (MAFF) website.
To learn about using the JAS mark, please visit our Certification Marks guide.
We developed additional resources for companies seeking JAS certification.Find JAS resources
The U.S.-Korea Equivalency Arrangement covers processed products with a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients that were processed in either country. For products not covered by this arrangement, such as unprocessed foods, agricultural and forest products, raw food and livestock, QAI has partnered with Australian Certified Organic to bundle Korean and U.S. organic certification. Visit the USDA website to learn more about this arrangement.
Get started on your Korean organic certification by completing and submitting the application forms.Find application forms for Korea
In Taiwan, USDA organic certified products are recognized as organic, but there are additional requirements that exporters, distributors and traders should be aware of such as a stringent market surveillance and residue testing program. Additionally, the government of Taiwan requires an export certificate (TM11) for all products being sold as organic in Taiwan, which we will create for QAI certified organic products. For more information, please read our memo on the issue and the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s Guide to Exporting to Taiwan.Find resources for Taiwan