Agricultural Marketing Service
About AMS Newsroom Opportunity Online Forms Help Contact Us
Search AMS
   Browse by Subject
National Organic Program
You are here: Home / National Organic Program / International Trade Policies: European Union
National Organic Program
International Trade Policies: European Union  
The U.S. has an equivalence arrangement with the European Union (EU). This means that as long as the terms of the arrangement are met, organic operations certified to the USDA organic or EU organic standards may be labeled and sold as organic in both countries.



In 2015, the European Commission announced that it had reviewed the operation of the EU-US organic equivalence arrangement established in 2012 and found the arrangement instrumental in increasing market access for producers, expanding consumer choices, and facilitating regulatory cooperation. The review also found the Organic Working Group to be crucial in the development of the EU-US trade relationship. See letter from the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development.


Scope. Beginning June 1, 2012, the equivalence arrangement only covers products exported from and certified in the United States or the European Union.

Requirements. The following limitations apply to organic agricultural products traded under the arrangement:

The following U.S. organic products may not be exported to the EU
  • Crops produced using antibiotics (streptomycin for fire blight control in apples and pears).

The following EU organic products may not be exported to the U.S.
  • Agricultural products derived from animals treated with antibiotics.
  • Aquatic animals (e.g. fish, shellfish).

Documentation – USDA Organic Products. A USDA-accredited certifying agent must complete an EU import certificate for all USDA organic products traded under the arrangement.

Documentation – EU Organic Products. An EU-accredited certifying agent must complete a U.S. import certificate for all EU organic products traded under the arrangement.

Labeling Requirements. For retail products, labels or stickers must state the name of the U.S. or EU certifying agent and may use the USDA Organic seal or the EU organic logo. Exported products must meet the labeling requirements in the destination country.

Oversight. The U.S. and EU will notify one another with any changes to their organic standards or certifying agent policies. They will also assess each other’s systems on a regular basis to ensure that the terms of the arrangement are being met. Any issues will be resolved by the Organic Working Group, which will have representatives on both sides of the Atlantic.

Historical Documents
Equivalency announcement: Press Release | Video
Equivalency Arrangement: Letter to EU | Letter to U.S. (PDFs)

Receive NOP Updates
  Be an Organic Insider!  
NOP Finder
  NOP Homepage  
  Consumer Information  
  Organic Standards  
  National Organic Standards Board  
  Organic Certification & Accreditation  
  Compliance & Enforcement  
Standards Resources
  Organic Operations  
  Certifying Agents  
  State Organic Program  
  International Trade Partners  
  Last Modified Date: 06/08/2015