Organic Imports from India

The Department of Agriculture has announced that it is ending a recognition agreement that has allowed certifiers accredited by India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority to provide USDA organic certification in India. USDA states that this decision starts the following transition period that will allow Indian organic operations certified by APEDA-accredited certifiers to apply for direct certification to USDA organic standards by USDA-accredited certifiers.

- By July 12, 2021, to continue to export to the U.S., current organic operations in India will need to have applied for certification with a USDA-accredited organic certifier.

- By mid-March 2021, USDA certifiers will be able to list these organic operation applicants in India in the Organic Integrity Database to help U.S. buyers verify that a farm or business in India has applied for National Organic Program certification.

- After July 12, 2022, USDA organic certification by a USDA-accredited certifier will be required to export organic products from India to the U.S.

USDA states that organic businesses buying from an organic supplier certified by an APEDA-accredited certifier should communicate with that supplier about the need to apply to a USDA-accredited certifier for NOP certification by July 12. After that date, to continue accepting products from such suppliers companies will need to use the Organic Integrity Database to verify that the suppliers are already certified or have applied for organic certification with a USDA-accredited certifier.

Organic businesses certified by an APEDA-accredited organic certifier should communicate with their certifiers about the need to apply for certification to a USDA-accredited certifier by July 12.

Those currently accredited by APEDA for USDA certification in India may apply to the National Organic Program for direct accreditation at any time.

Imports of Sage, Coriander, Coconut, Cucumber Under Consideration

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is considering separate requests to authorize the importation of the following into the continental U.S.

- sage from Ethiopia

- fresh coriander from Kenya

- coconut from Belize

- cucumber and white marrow from Jordan

APHIS has drafted pest risk assessments that list the potential pests likely to remain on these commodities upon importation if no mitigation is applied. Comments on these assessments, including information that might lead APHIS to revise them before identifying pest mitigations and proceeding with the commodity import approval process, are due by Feb. 26 (sage) and March 1 (other).

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