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USDA Issues Import Guidance for Organic Products Shipped from Mexico

Update – Organic Trade between the U.S and Mexico -The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has delayed implementation of the new requirement for National Organic Program (NOP) Import Certificates for all organic products entering the United States from Mexico – NOP Import Certificates “… verify that organic products shipped to the United States comply with the USDA organic regulations, and are issued by accredited certifying agents. Mexico plans to implement a similar requirement for organic products entering Mexico from the United States later in the year …”

Document Title: * The title of the January 10, 2017 USDA AMS Notice to Trade is “USDA Issues Import Guidance for Organic Products Shipped from Mexico”
* The title of the December 22, 2016 USDA AMS Notice to Trade is “USDA Implements Import Certificate Requirement for Organic Products Shipped from Mexico”
* The title of the October 19, 2016 USDA AMS Press Release is “U.S and Mexico Establish Committee to Support Organic Trade Partnership”

Organization: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Source: January 10, 2017 and December 22, 2016 USDA AMS Notices to Trade

October 19, 2016 USDA AMS Press Release

Web site: The January 10, 2017 USDA AMS Notice to Trade is posted at
http://www.ams.usda.gov/content/usda-issues-import-guidance-organic-products-shipped-mexico

The December 22, 2016 USDA AMS Notice to Trade is posted at
http://www.ams.usda.gov/content/usda-implements-import-certificate-requirement-organic-products-shipped-mexico

The October 19, 2016 USDA AMS Press Release is posted at
http://www.ams.usda.gov/press-release/us-and-mexico-establish-committee-support-organic-trade-partnership

Additional information about the Joint Organic Compliance Committee is posted at
http://www.ams.usda.gov/services/enforcement/organic/joint-committee

The previous FIEN message related to this topic is posted at
http://www.fien.com/articleDisplay.php?id=39063

Contact: Questions related to the National Organic Program may be directed to Miles McEvoy who is the Deputy Administrator of the NOP at 202 720 3252; fax: 202 205 7808; e-mail: Miles.McEvoy@USDA.gov

Summary: The text of the January 10, 2017 USDA AMS Notice to Trade follows:

In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Mexico’s National Service for Animal and Plant Health, Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA) established an agreement to require import certificates for all organic products traded between the United States and Mexico.

Certified organic handlers shipping organic products to the United States from Mexico should provide a National Organic Program (NOP) Import Certificate to the certified handler receiving the products in the United States. Certified handlers located in the United States should expect to receive an NOP Import Certificate for organic products they receive from Mexico. AMS previously noted an effective date of January 16, 2017, but is delaying this requirement until a future date. AMS will notify stakeholders once the new effective date has been determined.

NOP Import Certificates verify that organic products shipped to the United States comply with the USDA organic regulations, and are issued by accredited certifying agents. Mexico plans to implement a similar requirement for organic products entering Mexico from the United States later in the year.

USDA has established several resources to assist stakeholders in the United States and Mexico to begin using the NOP Import Certificate.

* Stakeholder Webinars:

On January 10, 2017, the NOP will host webinars for certifying agents and importers to help them understand the requirement and prepare for its implementation. The webinars will help participants understand each parties’ role in implementing the requirement – providing details of how to request, complete and issue an import certificate. In addition, the webinars will offer an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

* New Web Page for International Trade with Mexico:

This web page (http://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/international-trade-mexico ) connects certifiers and certified importers with resources to help them further understand and implement this new requirement. The page provides access to the NOP Import Certificate, instructions for completing it, and links to other helpful resources.

Access online information regarding imports from Mexico:
http://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/international-trade-mexico

For details on how to participate in the upcoming webinars, visit:

* Certifier Webinar
http://www.ams.usda.gov/event/webinar-certifiers-mexico-import-certificates

* Importer Webinar
http://www.ams.usda.gov/event/webinar-importer-mexico-import-certificates

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