US-Canada Equivalency Arrangement
Under an equivalency arrangement signed by the USDA and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), raw agricultural products and processed products that are certified to the USDA National Organic Standards, are not required to obtain additional Canadian certification. Full implementation of the U.S.. - Canada arrangement came into effect on July 1, 2011. Details of the USDA and Canada Equivalency Arrangement can be found on the National Organic Program website.
In addition to certification to the USDA organic regulations, products must meet the following requirements in order to be sold as organic in Canada:
- Crops must be produced without sodium nitrate.
- Crops must not be grown using hydroponic or aeroponic production methods.
A formal export document is not required to accompany each shipment from the US to Canada. However, written documentation with the below statement is required to verify that additional requirements have been met. These attestations can be made by either the operation or the certifying agent.
All products that are produced under the terms of the arrangement must be accompanied by documentation stating the following: “Certified in compliance with the terms of the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement”.
The statement may be written directly by the certified operation on a bill of lading, purchase order, or any other affirmative attestation. Products that do not have accompanying documentation with this statement may be refused entry into Canada.
If requested, a compliance affirmation may be issued to the producer or handler that notes compliance of crops or products that meet the additional requirements of the US-Canada Equivalency Arrangement.
CDA certified operations may submit the CDA Canada Equivalency Affidavit and additional information to the CDA office.