US, EU Announce Historic” Reciprocity Arrangement on Organic Standards

Yesterday, the United States and the European Union announced a reciprocity agreement that will allow access to both markets for products certified organic in either market. Beginning June 1, 2012, organic products that meet the terms of the arrangement and are certified USDA organic or EU organic may be sold and labeled as organic in both countries.

The arrangement applies to products that have either been produced within the United States or the European Union, or whose final processing or packaging occurs in the United States or European Union. Fish and shellfish are not within the scope of the arrangement. The two countries will retain differences in the status of products treated with antibiotics. Organic crops of the United States (products either produced in the United States or where final processing or packing occurs in the United States) that are treated with antibiotics must not be shipped to the European Union, and agricultural products of the European Union (products either produced in the European Union or where final processing or packing occurs in the European Union) that are derived from animals treated with antibiotics shall not be marketed as organic in the United States.

We discussed progress on organic standard harmonization between the United States and Canada in a previous post.