The United States (U.S.) has an equivalence arrangement with Canada. This means that as long as the terms of the arrangement are met, organic operations certified to the USDA organic or Canada Organic Regime standards may be labeled and sold as organic in both countries. Equivalency FAQs (pdf)
Certifying Agents Accredited by:
Agricultural products produced with the use of sodium nitrate shall not be sold or marketed as organic in Canada.
Agricultural products produced by hydroponic or aeroponic production methods shall not be sold or marketed as organic in Canada.
Agricultural products derived from animals (with the exception of ruminants) must be produced according to livestock stocking rates as set out in CAN /CGSB32.310-2006.
Production requirements for organic products from Canada. In order to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic in U.S., organic products must meet the following additional requirements (view memo) (pdf):
- Agricultural products derived from animals treated with antibiotics shall not be marketed as organic in the United States.
Documentation. Written documentation is required to verify that additional production requirements listed above have been met. These attestations can be made by either the operation or the certifying agent. All products that are produced under the terms of the arrangement must be accompanied by documentation stating the following:
Mandatory information must be shown in both English and French. This includes core labeling requirements such as common name and other requirements found in legislation regarding bilingual declaration on the Principal Display Panel.
Regarding the bilingual labeling in Canada, please refer to the Bilingual Labelling page of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.
Also, according to section 21 of the Organic Products Regulations, any claim or statement referred to in sections 24 and 25 must be in English and French (see below for exceptions). The claims and statements in sections 24 and 25 cover the expressions “organic”, the percentage organic ingredients declaration, the name of the certification body and the “Product of”/”Imported” statement.
The following are exceptions and can be labeled in one language (French or English):
- The identify and principal place of business of the person by or form whom the prepackaged product was manufactured, processed, produced or packaged for resale, may be in either English or French [B.01.012(9), FDR; 6(2), CPLR].
- The common name of certain alcoholic beverages, if they appear on the Principal Display Panel exactly as shown in B.01.012(10), FDR.
Technical Working Group. The members of this group work towards consensus on the evolving details of the arrangement, making recommendations to the steering committee. This work includes identifying any variances between the two standards that would require attestations.
NOP Assessment of Canada Organic Office
Canada Organic Office Assessment of NOP
- September 2018 (pdf) - this link takes you to an external website.
- March 2013 (pdf)
- December 2010 (pdf)