Trade To and From European Union

Ecocert ICO can help you ship your USDA NOP certified organic product to any European Union (EU) member state! 

On February 15, 2012, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and the European Commission signed a historic organic standards equivalency arrangement.

U.S. operations should inform Ecocert ICO that they wish to ship products to EU by sending in the completed application form, along with the invoice and BOL for the shipment. Ecocert ICO will complete the Certificate of Import into EU, and return them as requested for inclusion with their shipment of organic products.

Under the terms of this agreement:

Product from the United States that is certified to NOP standards may be shipped to European Union member states and use the European Organic logo if the critical variance* is met and product is shipped along with a Certificate of Inspection.

Product from the EU that is certified to EU organic standards may be shipped to the United States and use the USDA NOP logo if the final processing occurred in the EU, the critical variance* is met, and product is shipped along with a Certificate of Inspection.

  • Any products that are certified to the NOP standards and have final packaging or processing in the United States are not required to become certified to European standards. Likewise, organic products from Europe certified to European standards may be recognized as organic in the U.S. and bear the USDA organic seal.
  • Both the USDA organic seal and the EU organic logo may be used on certified products from both countries, in addition to the certifier’s logo.

 Additional Equivalency Arrangement Information:

National Organic Program EU Page - The NOP provides a wealth of information including FAQs and flyers about how to access the EU market.

European Commission Organic Farming Unit Information


Information for U.S. Operations Shipping Products to the European Union


Export Requirements & Critical Variances 

Any NOP-certified product sold as organic in European Union member states must meet the following:

  • Apples and pears must be produced without antibiotics.
  • Wine may not contain any non-organic grapes and must be produced using only the winemaking practices and substances detailed in the EU Organic regulations EEC 203/2012.
  • Products must travel with an EU Certificate of Inspection completed by a USDA-accredited certifying agent.
  • Products must be either produced within the United States or have had final processing or packaging occur within the United States.
  • Products must meet European labeling requirements.

Verifying Compliance with U.S.-EU Organic Equivalency Arrangement

Additional verification is ONLY required for wine, apples, and pears, or products using apple or pears as ingredients.

  • If apples or pears are exported or used as ingredients, Ecocert ICO-certified operations must maintain documentation from the supplier’s certifier that antibiotics were not used in production of that product.
  • If wine is brokered and exported, Ecocert ICO-certified operations must maintain documentation from the winery’s certifier that the wine meets EU winemaking requirements.

Exclusions 

Organic aquatic animals (fish, shellfish) may not be exported from the EU to the United States under this arrangement.

European Imports

Would you like to import EU organic products or ingredients?

EU organic products sold in the United States must meet the following requirements:

  • Wine must meet USDA NOP production and labeling requirements, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.
  • Livestock products must be produced without antibiotics, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.
  • Products must travel with an import certificate that has been completed by an EU-accredited certifying agent.
  • Products must be either produced within an EU member state or have had final processing or packaging occur within the EU.
  • Products must meet USDA NOP labeling requirements.