USDA Issues Import Guidance for Organic Products Shipped from Mexico

January 10, 2017

In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Mexico’s National Service for Animal and Plant Health, Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA) established an agreement to require import certificates for all organic products traded between the United States and Mexico.

Certified organic handlers shipping organic products to the United States from Mexico should provide a National Organic Program (NOP) Import Certificate to the certified handler receiving the products in the United States. Certified handlers located in the United States should expect to receive an NOP Import Certificate for organic products they receive from Mexico. AMS previously noted an effective date of January 16, 2017, but is delaying this requirement until a future date. AMS will notify stakeholders once the new effective date has been determined.

NOP Import Certificates verify that organic products shipped to the United States comply with the USDA organic regulations, and are issued by accredited certifying agents. Mexico plans to implement a similar requirement for organic products entering Mexico from the United States later in the year.

USDA has established several resources to assist stakeholders in the United States and Mexico to begin using the NOP Import Certificate.

  • Stakeholder Webinars:

On January 10, 2017, the NOP will host webinars for certifying agents and importers to help them understand the requirement and prepare for its implementation. The webinars will help participants understand each parties’ role in implementing the requirement – providing details of how to request, complete and issue an import certificate. In addition, the webinars will offer an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

  • New Web Page for International Trade with Mexico:

This web page connects certifiers and certified importers with resources to help them further understand and implement this new requirement. The page provides access to the NOP Import Certificate, instructions for completing it, and links to other helpful resources.

Access online information regarding imports from Mexico.

For details on how to participate in the upcoming webinars, visit:

National Organic Program