Usda's National Organic Program Recognized in Taiwan
The American Institute in Taiwan has been informed that Taiwan's Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) of the Council of Agriculture (COA) announced on March 18, 2009 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) has been recognized by the COA as equivalent to Taiwan's new organic standards.
The COA announced on January 22 the transition period which would allow any organic products manufactured before January 31, 2009 to be sold in Taiwan without following their new labeling procedures until July 31, 2009.
There is great demand for organic and natural food products in the Taiwan market, and AIT is pleased that US exporters will be able to resume sales to meet the needs of Taiwan consumers. The products carrying USDA Organic are based on USDA organic standards, which ensure they are produced, processed, and packaged through a certified "organic" process.
AIT's Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) will work with USDA on a step-two export arrangement by creating a standard USDA export certificate for Taiwan that will allow US exporters to provide the necessary information required by the COA. In the future, upon receipt and approval of the export certificate by the COA for each shipment, local importers will be able to generate a serial number to be included on the Chinese-language label for each product on a batch basis. More details regarding timing, import documentation procedures, and the contents of the export certificate will be provided in the coming days. Please refer to the two-step guidance provided by the COA's AFA: http://www.afa.gov.tw/saftyAgriculture_index.asp?CatID=240
Regulated by the internationally recognized NOP standards, U.S. organic products are enjoyed around the world. After Taiwan's strict review of the USDA NOP standards, Taiwan consumers can be confident that the USDA organic standards meet Taiwan's own organic standards. The recent recognition of USDA's organic standards will guarantee that Taiwan consumers will continue to have a wide variety of organic food products from which to choose.
USDA's NOP is very transparent and well established since 1990 as a leading model for practical organic standards around the world. In fact, USDA-accredited certification agencies can certify that products produced outside the United States also meet the USDA NOP requirements, providing consumers with more confidence that the food they are buying meets strict USDA standards.