International Trade Policies: India, Updated: January 23, 2023

On January 11, 2021, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) ended its recognition agreement with India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The recognition agreement allowed APEDA to accredit certifiers to provide USDA organic certification in India. This change adapted to the evolution of organic supply chains over time and allowed AMS to protect its certified farms and businesses around the world.

Upon ending the recognition agreement, AMS provided an 18-month transition period for Indian organic operations that were certified USDA organic by an APEDA-accredited certifier under the recognition agreement to become certified directly by a USDA-accredited certifier. That transition period ended on July 12, 2022.

Importing Organic Products from India. Certified USDA organic products imported to the U.S. from India must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent. As required under the USDA organic regulations, this applies to all operations in the supply chain. Importers and buyers can verify an operation’s status as “Certified” in the NOP’s Organic Integrity Database.

Documentation. Organic products imported to the U.S. from India must be accompanied by an electronic NOP Import Certificate  issued by an accredited certifying agent. Certifiers and operations in the U.S. are responsible for verifying the organic integrity of all shipments coming into the U.S., which includes ensuring compliance with the NOP Import Certificate requirement. These certifiers and operations may also require any other documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance of the full supply chain, which may include organic certificates and other supply chain documentation. 

USDA-accredited certifiers and operations in India are also responsible for ensuring compliance to any additional Government of India export requirements, which currently includes TraceNet certificates for all applicable exports from India. See APEDA Trade Notice: Issuance of Transaction Certificates for Export of Organic Products.

Certifier Directives. Organic certifiers are responsible for carrying out any directives issued by the NOP. All operations in India, including operations in the supply chain, must comply with all the requirements of the directives in order to continue to export to the United States.