Trade To and From Canada

Ecocert ICO can help you ship your USDA NOP certified organic product to Canada!

On June 17, 2009, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and the Canadian Organic Regime (COR) signed a historic organic standards equivalency agreement.

U.S. operations should inform Ecocert ICO that they wish to ship products to Canada by sending in the completed application form. Ecocert ICO will complete the COR Affidavit, and return to the operator (COR affidavit for your suppliers)


Under the terms of this agreement:

Product from anywhere in the world certified to NOP standards may be shipped to Canada and use the Canadian Organic Logo as long as the product meets three critical variances* and is shipped along with a COR Affidavit.

Product from anywhere in the world certified to Canadian standards may be shipped to the United States and use the USDA NOP logo as long as the product meets the critical variance*.

  • Product certified to NOP standards is not required to become certified to COR standards. Likewise, Canadian organic products certified to COR standards anywhere in the world may be sold or labeled as organic in the United States.
  • Both the USDA Organic Seal and the Canadian Organic may be used on certified products from both countries, in addition to the certifier’s logo.

Labeling Requirements for Organic Products Sold in Canada

All products shipped to Canada under the U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalency Agreement must meet the COR labeling requirements. Submit all labels to Ecocert ICO for approval prior to printing. Additional information on labeling is available from CFIA. These requirements apply whether the product originates from outside or inside Canada. 

Canadian Imports

Would you like to import Canadian organic products or use COR-certified ingredients in your products? Canadian organic products sold in the United States or used as ingredients must meet the following requirements:

  • Livestock products must be produced without antibiotics as attested by suppliers or supplier certifiers.
  • Products must meet USDA NOP labeling requirements.

Information for USDA NOP Certified Operations Shipping Products to Canada

*Critical Variances

Any NOP-certified product sold as organic in Canada must meet Canadian labeling requirements and the following three critical variances:

  • All products must not be produced using sodium nitrate (Chilean nitrate).
  • All products must not be produced using hydroponic or aeroponic methods.
  • All non-ruminant animal products must be from animals that were raised according to the livestock stocking rates as set forth in the Canadian Standard (CAN/CGSB 32.310-2006).

Attestation Requirements

All NOP-certified products crossing the border into Canada must be accompanied by an attestation statement that the product has been produced in compliance with the terms of the U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement, including meeting the three critical variances described above. This attestation statement must be included on accompanying documents or packaging for ALL shipments of organic products exported to Canada from the United States. Products that do not have accompanying documentation with this statement may be refused entry into Canada.

If you are an Ecocert ICO USDA NOP certified operation, there are two ways for you to provide the required attestation statement:

  1. Complete the COR Affidavit According to the terms of the U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement, the attestation statement does not need to be provided by the certifier (Ecocert ICO). This statement may be made by the members of the supply chain. If you have reason to believe that your product meets the terms of the arrangement, you may complete this attestation document and provide it to Canadian border authorities as requested.
  2. If verification is necessary at the certifier level, upon request, Ecocert ICO will verify adherence to the equivalency arrangement by signing the COR Affidavit submitted upon review.

Exclusions

Products outside the scope of the Canadian Organic Regime, such as pet food, personal care products, and aquaculture products (nori, spirulina, chlorella, and kelp) may not be exported from the U.S. to Canada under this equivalency arrangement. NOP-certified products outside the scope of COR may be sold in Canada as NOP certified without additional verification or reference to COR.

Additional Equivalency Agreement Information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency information