The USDA is changing their approach to organic oversight in India. Currently, USDA does not have direct visibility or enforcement authority over many organic certifiers and operations in India that sell into the U.S. market. USDA has determined this will change since they need a more active oversight presence in India to more directly protect organic integrity. As such, AMS has informed India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) that the USDA is ending the U.S-India organic recognition, which was established in 2006. This decision starts a transition period.
Here’s how the transition will work:
- By July 12, 2021, to continue to export to the United States, current organic operations in India will need to have applied for certification with a USDA-accredited organic certifier, such as LETIS.
- By mid-March 2021, USDA certifiers will be able to list these organic operation applicants in India in the Organic Integrity Database, to help U.S. buyers verify that a farm or business in India has applied for NOP certification.
- After July 12, 2022, USDA organic certification by a USDA-accredited certifier, such as LETIS, will be required to import organic products from India to the United States.
If you are an organic business buying from an organic supplier certified by an APEDA-accredited certifier, communicate with those suppliers about the need to apply for NOP certification to a USDA-accredited certifier by July 12, 2021, to continue their business with you. After July 12, to continue accepting products from those suppliers, you will need to use the Organic Integrity Database to verify that any organic supplier is already certified or has applied for organic certification with a USDA-accredited certifier.
Further updates will be posted to the NOP web page for India.