The National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (NCBFFA) recently released a clarification notice about the new Organics rules set by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) that will take effect on March 19, 2024.
Here’s what importers need to know about the certifications:
While most growers are already certified via the current Organics program, here are some other businesses within the supply chain that will need to be certified as of March 19, 2024:
Here is a reference from AMS that will help you determine if you need to be certified: Strengthening Organic Enforcement – Final Primers (usda.gov)
Since the process of getting certified takes time, those in the supply chain affected by this new rule should find a USDA-approved certifier as soon as possible. Certifiers can be found at the Organic Integrity Database tool (usda.gov).
After starting the certification process, handlers should review and understand the criteria and responsibilities that will be given to them when the new Organics rule goes into effect this March. Insight on this criteria, as well as a self assessment tool, can be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/reports/self-assessment-video-and-tool
Electronic Import Certificates:
The NOP Import Certificates have detailed information about the products and shipments being imported into the U.S. and should be requested by the exporter from a Certifier. Each certificate will have a unique identification number that will be filed with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment system (ACE). Some certifications may take a bit longer to obtain than others depending on the shipment and can have a “blanket” timeframe, so exporters should be aware of the possibility of delayed certificates.
As always, please reach out to your Western Overseas representative with any questions.