National Organic Program Handbook

Guidance & Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents & Certified Operations

The goal of the Handbook is to provide those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations. 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.

Available Formats

The NOP is no longer publishing print versions of the Handbook. It is now designed to be used electronically.  The handbook sections can also be printed by the user.

Staying Current

The NOP adds, edits, and removes documents from the Handbook as needed to reflect emerging issues and policy decisions. Subscribe to the NOP Organic Insider to be notified of Handbook updates.

Current Handbook Edition

Revised January 8, 2015

Contact Information

Please contact us with requests to:

  • Issue, reconsider, modify, or rescind a guidance document in this Handbook
  • Complain that we are not following the OMB Good Guidance Practices or are improperly treating a guidance document as a binding requirement

USDA National Organic Program: Standards Division
Room 2648-S, Stop 0268
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250-0268
NOP.guidance@ams.usda.gov
202-720-3252