June 5, 2020
AIT/TECRO Equivalence Arrangement Expands
U.S. and Taiwan Organic Export Opportunities
Arlington, VA. – On June 4, 2020, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) signed and exchanged letters on behalf of the United States and Taiwan inaugurating a new organic equivalence arrangement, effective May 30, 2020, allowing organic products certified in the United States or Taiwan to be sold as organic in either market.
This equivalence arrangement streamlines trade in certified organic goods with Taiwan, a key international partner in the organic market sector. The arrangement protects and increases access for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to Taiwan, the fifth largest U.S. export market for USDA certified organic products.
The arrangement eliminates the need for organic operators to have separate organic certification to the U.S. and Taiwan standards, which avoids a double set of fees, inspections, and paperwork. Equivalence paves the way for the expansion of existing fresh fruit, vegetable, and processed food trade and provides new market access opportunities for organic livestock and other products. The arrangement also allows U.S.-based organic food processors to source Taiwan certified organic ingredients, increasing the range of organic products available to consumers.
The exchange of letters also establishes an AIT-TECRO Working Group, which provides a forum for the United States and Taiwan to address matters arising from the implementation of the arrangement.
This exchange of letters builds on the strong people-to-people ties shared by the United States and Taiwan. The United States welcomes Taiwan’s important contributions to the global trade of organic products. Since the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act 41 years ago, AIT and TECRO have worked to encourage deeper cooperation between our two societies, and today’s arrangement is the latest reflection of these efforts.
For questions regarding this exchange of letters, please contact Lillie Zeng, firstname.lastname@example.org, USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service.
Additional details are available on the USDA National Organic Program website: www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/international-trade/Taiwan.