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Organic products are regulated in USA with a specific Federal Law, issued on 21st February 2001, known as NOP (National Organic Program) and managed by USDA (United States Department of Agricolture).

How NOP works

Italian and European operators willing to sell Organic products in the USA are due to be certified in compliance with the NOP Regulation by USDA accredited Certification Bodies. CCPB is one of those (it being the first Italian Certification Body to gain this acknowledgment). In this case all the agiculture origin ingredients wich are part of the certified product need to be certified in compliance with the NOP regulation by recognized Certification Bodies

USA - EU Equivalence

For the EU Reg 834/2007 certified products the sale in the USA is possible thanks to the equivalence agreement negotiated between EU and USA. In this second case the certification release by the EU recognized certification body through the import certificate.
After a long negotiation in fact, in february 2012 a partnership agreement has been signed between the two, basing on which the two systems are recognized as equivalent, therefore the certified organic products in compliance with the existing regulations in one of the two countries can be sale freely with the organic logo of the destination country.

The agreement includes some limitations, which can be synthetized as follows:

  • Animals must be breeded without antibiotics; it will not be possible to export in USA animal origin products derived by animals treated with antibiotics and, in order to cover this aspect it's been included, with the EU Reg. n. 126/2012, the introduction of a complementary purchase document to be released to the intrested operators, in which is attested that those are "Animal products obtained without using antibiotics". The presence of that document, or of a conformity certificate on which is iindicated the same sentence, will have to be checked towards all the operators of the supply chain up to the end-product exported in the USA;
  • The products need to be followed by the dal NOP IMPORT CERTIFICATE issued by a EU authorized Control Body;
  • The products can be produced inside or outside the EU, then imported in the EU in compliance with the dispositions of Reg. CE 834/2007 and by the EU Reg. 1235/2008, with the aim of their subsequent transformation, package and sending in the USA.

Products of acquaculture are at the moment excluded from the EU - USA agreement.

NOP Import certificate

From 1st June 2012, with the only EU certification for the Organic Productions it will be possible to export in the USA. The shipments from EU towards USA will have to be followed by a certification document (NOP IMPORT CERTIFICATE). This document includes also: indications on town and state of destination, name and address of the exporter and of the importer, name of the Certification Body that issues the certificate, net weight of the shipment and the total number of the containers, name of the product and HT Code, informations on the shipping methods, identification of the "final handler" and of its CB, when different from the exporter. The operators which export towards the USA and therefore need the NOP IMPORT CERTIFICATE can download all documents at the bottom of the page.


The labelling will have to be carried out in compliance with the NOP specific regulation, in the nelle categorie previste: “100% organic”, “Organic” e “Made with organic ingredients” (the category “Less than 70% organic products” is not included in the agreement). In the labels the sentence “Certified organic by …” followed by the name of the EU authorized CB (in compliance with EU Reg. 834/2007) will always have to be present. The attribution number for the CB given by the Authority could also appear (for CCPB is IT BIO 009). The products of the first two categories can also report the logo USDA Organic and/or the Organic EU logo. It has to be remembered that the single clauses for each category will have to be respected : in 100% organic, all the ingredients will have to be organic and it will be possible to use just Organic fabrication auxiliaries.

Organic wine

For what concerns the wine, after the pubblication of the EU regulation 203/2012 the EU-USA working group is assessing how Organic wine can enter in the equivalence agreement. In the transition period the conditions for exporting in USA Organic wine are connected to the respect of the USA labelling requirements (“Organic”, when no Sulfur dioxide is added; “Made with organic grapes”, if Sulfur dioxide is added, with a maximum level present in the finished product of 100 parts per million. In case of the label “Made with organic grapes”, the dimension of the sentence can not ecceed of one half the dimension of the major font present on the major label).For both types of wine, it must be verified the non use of the forbidden substances in compliance with the § 205.605 of the NOP regulation. The wine obtained can be exported also in the equivalence agreement issued on 1st June 2012.