As a reminder, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published final rules on the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Act on January 19, 2023.  The compliance deadline for the rule is March 19, 2024. This rule could mean that importers and others in the supply chain need to be organically certified that were not required to be certified before March 19.  Please review the USDA information on who needs to be certified to ensure your supply chain is covered.

Another main change from the new rule is the requirement for an Import Certificate for any organic agricultural product imported into the U.S. The FPAA worked extensively with USDA and other groups during the rulemaking process to ensure that companies can work with their certifiers allowing a certifier to issue one Import Certificate for multiple shipments in a given timeframe or volume of product. This could span a season, estimated volume totals, or other ways a certifier and the exporter determine a given timeframe or volume.

Members and their growers should work with their certifiers as soon as possible to ensure the certifiers can issue Import Permits for your grower’s exports to the U.S. and that the exporter and certifier agree on a timeframe for issuing one blanket Import Certificate instead of individual certificates for individual loads. Also work with your customs broker to ensure your organic exports accompany your Import Certificate starting on March 19, 2024.

The USDA has developed resources for the industry to help companies know what they need to do to comply. Additionally, attached is a general guidance document from the International Fresh Produce Association on the new requirements.

Following are some helpful links for you and your growers.

By talking with your certifier and ensuring the appropriate companies in your supply chain are certified, this will prevent issues on the enforcement deadline of March 19, 2024. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Organic Information from IFPA Here