The United States (U.S.) has an organic equivalency arrangement with Switzerland. This means that as long as the terms of the arrangement are met, organic products certified to the USDA organic regulations or the Swiss organic ordinances may be labeled and sold as organic in both countries.
- Questions and Answers (pdf)
- USDA Organic Standards
- Swiss Organic Ordinances - Scroll to the bottom of the Organic Farming page and click on the Legal Basis tab to access the Swiss Organic Ordinances
- Organic Certifying Agents Accredited by: U.S. | Switzerland - Scroll to the bottom of the Organic Farming page and click on the Documentation tab to access the current list of Swiss Certification Bodies
Scope. This equivalence arrangement is limited to country-to-country trade. For U.S. exports: It is limited to products certified to the USDA organic regulations that are produced or have had their final processing occur within the U.S. For Switzerland’s exports: It is limited to products certified to the Swiss organic ordinances that are produced or have had their final processing occur in Switzerland.
Allowed product categories: Crops, Wild Crops, Livestock, Processed Products.
Documentation – U.S. Organic Products. A USDA-accredited certifying agent must complete a Certificate of Inspection (COI) through the European Union’s TRACES for all USDA organic products exported to Switzerland under the arrangement. The COI must be issued by the USDA-accredited certifying agent at the moment the consignment leaves the U.S. port of export. *
*Shipments of USDA organic products that leave the U.S. port without a COI, or with a COI is issued after departure, run the risk of the foreign port authorities refusing entry to, seizing, or destroying the goods.
Documentation – Swiss Organic Products. A Swiss-accredited certification body must complete a NOP Import Certificate for all Swiss organic products exported to the U.S. under the arrangement.
NOP Import Certificate (pdf) | Instructions (pdf)
U.S. Labeling Requirements. Swiss organic products exported to the U.S. must be labeled according to USDA organic labeling requirements and may display the USDA organic seal.
USDA Organic Labeling | USDA Organic Seal
Swiss Labeling Requirements. U.S. organic products exported to Switzerland must be labeled according to Swiss organic labeling requirements and may display the USDA organic seal. There is no Swiss organic seal.
Swiss Labeling Requirements - Scroll to the bottom of the Organic Farming page and click on the Legal Basis tab to access the Swiss Organic Ordinances.
Oversight. The USDA NOP and the Switzerland Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) will notify one another of any changes which could affect the terms of the arrangement. Both will also assess each other’s systems on a regular basis to ensure that the terms of the equivalency arrangement are being met. Any issues will be resolved by an Organic Working Group, which will include experts from both countries.
Equivalency Arrangement: Letter to USDA (pdf)
Equivalency Arrangement: Letter to Swiss FOAG (pdf)
Equivalency announcement: Press Release