The Organic EU Regulation equivalency arrangements
If within the European Union, the organic farming is defined with Reg EC 834/2007, EU has stipulated equivalence agreements with non-EU countries in order to grant the trade of organic certified products to and from extra EU countries.
Biological in equivalence
Organic production in equivalence with the European Union includes agreements with:
- Argentina, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Costa Rica, Japan, India, Israel, United States, Switzerland, Tunisia, New Zealand
Today, it is possible to import organic products certified by authorized certification bodies from all above countries (see Annex III of Reg. EC 1235/2008). The agreements may guarantee consumers and operators that the adopted rules for organic farming are applied and checked at every stage of its production, processing and marketing chain whatever country they come from and are therefore equivalent to Reg. EC 834/2007.
For all other countries, the import of organic products into the EU is possible only if the exporting operator (and operators down the supply chain) is certified by a certification body recognized as equivalent by the EU for the specific product category (see Annex IV of the EC regulation 1235/2008). The agreement foresees that the adopted rules for the organic production are applied and checked at any phase, in this case too.
Principles of equivalence
Equivalent organic production agreements are the result of the constant growth of the organic sector all over the world. They were made to facilitate a dialogue between the systems that otherwise would not be possible or would be but with enormous expenditure of resources and energies (should read: remarkable bureaucracy). This is why the enlargement of equivalences is one of the Union’s priorities.
All agreements may include exceptions: sometimes they do not cover all the products, sometimes they define some specific requirements. However, the key word to benefit from all their effectiveness is reciprocity.