Procedure to Switch from NPOP-NOP to USDA-NOP
As per the notice received from APEDA on January 15, 2021, The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is changing its approach to organic oversight in India. USDA is ending its recognition agreement that has allowed APEDA-accredited certifiers to provide USDA organic certification in India. See USDA Notice.
This decision starts a transition period which will allow Indian organic operations certified by APEDA-accredited certifiers to apply for direct certification by USDA-accredited certifiers to the USDA organic standards. Certification by USDA-accredited certifiers will be required for products exported from India to the United States.
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.
- 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 will be required to import organic products from India to the United States.
- Organic certifiers and operations in India are responsible for ensuring compliance to any additional Government of India export requirements, including TraceNet reporting and documentation.
- OneCert International is the only USDA-accredited CB that is headquartered in India and accredited by APEDA.
Specific Procedures to Switch to USDA-NOP with OneCert International
For OneCert International Certified operators
- An operation that is currently certified to NPOP-NOP by OneCert International may apply for USDA-NOP certification by submitting an application requesting USDA-NOP certification. When the application is received, OneCert International will confirm that they have no outstanding compliance issues or complaints. When that is confirmed, the applicant will be added to the OID.
- Once Applicant name will be submitted to OID, complete USDA NOP inspection will be conducted during the NPOP renewal. This will be conducted during the transition period so they can be certified to the USDA-NOP before July 12, 2022.
- For switching to USDA-NOP additional fees is applicable.
- Timeline for application approval and OID submission: 30 days after receiving complete application. Incomplete information or application may need more time.
For Operators Certified by other APEDA accredited bodies
- An operation that is currently certified to NPOP-NOP by another APEDA-accredited CB may apply to OneCert International for USDA-NOP. In such cases, the applicant must submit a complete application packet
- OneCert International will review the application as per USDA NOP requirements.
- OneCert International will verify current certification status of applicants with their NPOP-NOP Certification Body. This will include any open Non Compliance or Complaint as per NPOP and NOP.
- The applicant will be added to the OID only after full compliance has been verified.
- OneCert International must conduct a full on-site inspection before USDA-NOP certification will be granted. This will be conducted during the transition period so they can be certified to the USDA-NOP before July 12, 2022.
- Timeline for application approval and OID submission: – 60 days after receiving complete application. Incomplete information or application may need more time.
New Applicants for USDA-NOP
- The transition period does not apply to an operation that was not certified to NPOP-NOP prior to July 12, 2021.
- A new applicant may apply directly to OneCert International for USDA-NOP certification at any time.
- When USDA-NOP certification has been granted, the operation will be listed on the OID to show their status as certified.
- Timeline for application approval and certification: generally within 4 months after receiving complete application. Incomplete information or application may need more time.
Sourcing NOP ingredients during the transition period
- After July 12, 2021, only NOP-certified products sold by an operation that is listed on the OID may be used.
- A supplier that is certified by a USDA-accredited CB does not need to make any changes.
- A supplier that is certified by an APEDA-accredited CB must apply for certification with a USDA-accredited CB before July 12, 2021 to continue to sell NOP-certified products.
- Stock that is certified before July 12, 2021 can only be sold as NOP-certified after July 12, 2021 if the supplier is listed on the OID.
Non–discrimination Policy: As required by USDA organic regulations, OneCert International will not “exclude from participation in or deny the benefits of the National Organic Program to any person due to discrimination because of race, colour, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.”
If you have any complaint about the service you have received from OneCert International, please use the form at https://onecertinternational.com/enquiry-form/.