NOP Import Certificate requirements for US organic sales grace period ends September 19, 2024. Are you ready? Click here.

NOP Import Certificate Requirements Under SOE

Effective March 19, 2024, all organic imports to the United States must be accompanied by an NOP Import Certificate (NOPIC). This certificate, which is part of the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) final rule published by the USDA in January 2023, aims to enhance the oversight and traceability of organic products entering the U.S. 

Here are the key points certified organic operators need to know to stay or get compliant:

  1. Certification Requirement: Importers of record must be certified organic to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), regardless of their location or certification to other standards. This ensures that all parties in the organic supply chain adhere to the same rigorous standards 
  2. NOP Import Certificate (NOPIC): Starting March 19, 2024, each shipment of organic agricultural products into the U.S. must have an NOP Import Certificate. This certificate is issued by an accredited certifying agent and must be submitted as part of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) entry filing system. 
  3. Grace Period and Enforcement: Although the rule has been in effect since March 19, 2024, the NOP has allowed an informal grace period to enable entities in the supply chain to obtain certification. However, starting September 19, 2024, any organic shipments to the U.S. without a valid NOPIC will not be allowed to be sold as organic in the U.S. To avoid disruptions, ensure that your suppliers are certified organic — this can be verified using the Organic Integrity Database (OID). 
  4. Actions for Exporters: Exporters to the U.S. need to ensure that any NOPIC expiring after September 19th lists a certified organic recipient. If not, the certificate will need to be reissued to identify an organic importer, with applicable fees for revisions or issuance. 
  5. Steps to Obtain Certification: If you need NOP certification as an importer, contact W&A and we can help you get going in the right directionthat’s what our business is all about.

By following these guidelines, certified operators can ensure compliance with the new regulations and maintain the integrity of the organic supply chain. For further details and to access resources, visit the USDA AMS website or the Organic Integrity Database, or just reach out to us