The European Union (EU) has recognised several third countries as having equivalent organic production rules and control systems. Some third countries have also recognised the EU as equivalent through equivalence arrangements. These recognitions and arrangements enable European consumers to choose from a wide range of organic products whilst providing export opportunities for EU producers.
Third countries recognised by the EU are listed in Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008. These countries are the following:
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States of America as well as members of the European Economic Area (Norway and Iceland)
Additionally, the EU has equivalence arrangements with a number of third countries (Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Tunisia, USA, Norway and Iceland), meaning that both parties have recognised each other's organic production rules and control systems as equivalent under their respective rules .
Trade opportunities depend on the specific arrangement the EU has with each third country.
Certifying organic production for export to the EU
Has your organic product not been grown or processed in one of the above-listed countries?
The European Union recognises control authorities or control bodies for certifying organic production outside the Union according to equivalent production rules.
These authorities or bodies are authorised to issue documentary evidence attesting that organic products and organic operators comply with organic rules equivalent to those of the EU as well as certificates of inspection for import of organic products into the EU. Please contact individual control bodies for more information.
Further information on imports:
 In the EU, these rules are set out in Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 ( OJ L 189, 20.7.2007, p. 1–23) and Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control ( OJ L 250, 18.9.2008, p. 1–84)
DISCLAIMER: This document has been conceived as an informative document. It does not intend to produce legally binding effects and by its nature does not prejudice any measures taken by the Commission or by a Member states within the implementing prerogatives under European Union legislation, nor any case law developed with regard to such legislation.