Trade Alert

USDA Organic Imports Require Certification

By In USA Trade Alerts On 28th March 2024

Beginning on March 19th, 2024, agricultural organic products regulated by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) arm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will require a National Organic Program (NOP) Import Certificate at the time of import under the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Final Rule.  Each certificate must be issued by a USDA-accredited Certifier with a unique identification number and list only one commodity. 

Covered products

  • Organic Crops
  • Livestock
  • Processed Agricultural Products

Not Covered

  • Textiles and Apparel
  • Cosmetics
  • Personal Care Products
  • Seafood


Who issues the NOP Import Certificate?

A USDA-accredited certifier.


Who must be Certified?

All parties within the supply chain who handle a covered organic product must be certified. The list of parties who must be certified includes:

  • Importers
  • Foreign Exporters
  • Processors
  • Packagers
  • Warehouses that store bulk or unpackaged organic products

Do Customs Brokers need to be certified?

No. Customs Brokers who do not ‘handle’ the goods are exempt under 7 CFR 205.101(g).

What is the definition of handle?

To sell, process, or package agricultural products, including but not limited to trading, facilitating sale or trade on behalf of a seller or oneself, importing to the United States, exporting for sale in the United States, combining, aggregating, culling, conditioning, treating, packing, containerizing, repackaging, labeling, storing, receiving, or loading. 7 CFR 205.2 “Handle”

For additional information, visit the following webpages:

USDA AMS Organic

USDA AMS Strengthening Organic Enforcement

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