International Trade Policies: Korea

The U.S. has an organic equivalence arrangement with Korea for organic processed foods. This means that, as long as the terms of the arrangement are met, certified organic operations in Korea or in the U.S. may sell their products as organic in either country.

Korean Organic Act (Coming Soon)
 
Scope. Beginning July 1, 2014, the arrangement covers products which:
 
  • Are certified to the USDA or Korean organic regulations
  • Are “processed foods” as defined by the Korean Food Code | View Guidance - (zip file - Open Article 1 and go to page 10) 
  • Contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients
  • Have their final processing (as defined in the Korean Food Code) occur in the U.S. or Korea
  • U.S. products: do not contain apples or pears produced with the use of antibiotics
  • Korean products: do not contain livestock products produced with the use of antibiotics
 
Documentation – U.S. Organic Products. Products exported to Korea under the arrangement must be accompanied by:
 
 
U.S. operations should inform their USDA-accredited certifying agent that they wish to ship products to Korea. Certifying agents will complete the form, and return them to the operator for inclusion with their shipment of organic products. The documentation must include this statement: “Certified in compliance with the terms of the US-Korea Organic Equivalency Arrangement.”
 
Documentation – Korean Organic Products. Products exported to the U.S. under the arrangement must be accompanied by:
 
NOP Import Certificate, issued by a Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA)-accredited certification body. Instructions
 
U.S. labeling Requirements. Korean products processed under the terms of the arrangement must be labeled according to USDA organic labeling requirements and may display the USDA organic seal and/or Korean organic food label. Organic Labeling | USDA Organic Seal (link to Organic Seal page)
 
Korean Labeling Requirements. U.S. products produced under the arrangement must be labeled according to MAFRA’s organic labeling requirements and may display the Korean organic food label and/or USDA organic seal. Korean labeling requirements | Korean Organic Seal (links open zip files on Korean website)
 
Oversight. The U.S. and Korea will conduct reviews and audits of each other’s systems on a regular basis to ensure that the arrangement upholds organic integrity. Both parties will notify each other of any changes which could affect the terms of the arrangement. Any concerns will be addressed by a joint Organics Working Group, which will include experts from both countries.
 
Peer Reviews. The U.S. and Korea will conduct mutual peer reviews under the arrangement.
 

Historical Documents

Equivalency announcement: Press Release | USDA Blog (Coming Soon)