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National Organic Program
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National Organic Program
NOP Guidance  

The National Organic Program (NOP) publishes guidance documents to help those who own, manage, or certify organic operations to comply with the USDA organic regulations. To increase the quality and transparency of these guidance documents, the NOP first publishes draft guidance documents with request for public comments.

It is important to note that the National Organic Program (NOP) Handbook is non-binding and any citation issued needs to reference the USDA organic regulations. All documents are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.

Draft Guidance Open for Comment

Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations (NOP 5020)
Comments Open December 29, 2014 – February 27, 2015

Draft Guidance Awaiting Final Guidance

Substances used in Post-Harvest Handling (NOP 5023)

Classification of Materials (NOP 5033)

Materials for Organic Crop Production (NOP 5034)

Final Guidance

After all public comments have been carefully reviewed, guidance documents are finalized and published in the NOP Handbook and in the Federal Register. This publication also contains Policy Memos, Instructions for Certifying Agents, and other resources.

Products in the “Made with Organic ***” Labeling Category (NOP 5032)
Status: Final guidance effective May 1, 2014

Compost and Vermicompost (NOP 5021)
Status: Final guidance effective July 22, 2011

Wild Crop Harvesting (NOP 5022)
Status: Final guidance effective July 22, 2011

Commingling and Contamination (NOP 5025)
Status: Final guidance effective July 22, 2011

The Use of Chlorine Materials (NOP 5026)
Status: Final guidance effective July 22, 2011

The Use of Kelp in Organic Livestock Feed (NOP 5027)
Status: Final guidance effective March 4, 2013

Responding to Results from Pesticide Residue Testing (NOP 5028)
Status: Final guidance effective March 4, 2013

Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock in Organic Crop Production (NOP 5029)
Status: Final guidance effective March 4, 2013

Evaluating Allowed ingredients and Sources of Vitamins and Minerals for Organic Livestock Feed, Feed Supplements, and Feed Additives (NOP 5030)
Status: Final guidance effective March 4, 2013

Certification Requirements for Handling Unpackaged Organic Products (NOP 5031)
Status: Final guidance effective January 22, 2014

Not Pursuing Final Guidance

Outdoor Access for Poultry (NOP 5024)

Contact Information. Please contact us with requests to:
  • Complain that we are not following the OMB Good Guidance Practices or are improperly treating a guidance document as a binding requirement
  • Send print version of a draft guidance document (for individuals without access to computer and printer only)

USDA National Organic Program: Standards Division
Room 2648-S, Stop 0268
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250-0268


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  Last Modified Date: 12/29/2014