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Facilitating Trade in Organic Products is Focus of U.S.-Mexico Committee

Friday, October 21, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced Oct. 19 plans to establish a Joint Organic Compliance Committee that will strengthen monitoring and enforcement controls and improve the traceability of organic products traded between the U.S. and Mexico.

An AMS press release states that Mexico will fully implement guidelines and regulations for organic production and marketing in 2017. To maintain market access for U.S. organic products, the two sides are working toward achieving equivalency in organic production and trade; i.e., allowing organic products certified in one country to be sold as organic in the other. Over the past six years the U.S. has established organic equivalency arrangements with Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, and Switzerland.

Once convened, the joint committee will establish requirements for the use of import certificates to provide verification of each shipment of organic products between the U.S. and Mexico. In addition, the committee will implement sampling of organic products for chemical residues and share sampling results with regulatory authorities. The committee will further engage with certifiers operating in Mexico by conducting listening sessions to determine any additional training, oversight, or policy guidance needs.

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