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 or agreements. These recognitions 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:
Additionally, the EU has reciprocal equivalence arrangements or agreements with a number of third countries (Canada, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Tunisia, United States of America and New Zealand, meaning that both parties have recognised each other's organic production rules and control systems as equivalent under their respective rules.
In the EU, these rules are set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 and Commission 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)
Trade opportunities depend on the specific arrangement the EU has with each third country.
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 authorities or bodies for more information.
Further information on imports:
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.