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Introduction to the Mutual Equivalence Agreement for Organic Processed Foods

Equivalence Arrangement

ROK-U.S. Equivalence Arrangement

ROK-U.S. Organic Equivalence Arrangement

  • The arrangement between Republic of Korea and the U.S. became effective on July 1, 2014 pursuant to Article 25 of the Act on Promotion of Environmentally-Friendly Agriculture and Fisheries and Management of and Support for organic food, etc. (hereinafter referred to as "Korean Organic Food Act")
  • As long as processed products that are certified as organic in either country meet the following requirements, the products may be labeled as organic in both countries without additional certification procedures.
  • 1. Counterpart country: the United States of America
  • 2. The scope of recognition covers products which:
    • ① are certified to the USDA or Korean organic regulations and have their final processing within U.S. or Korea
    • ② are "processed foods", as defined by the Korean Food Code
    • ③ contain at least 95% organic content
  • 3. Effective period: till further discussion
  • 4. Critical limits
    • ① U.S. apples or pears produced with the use of antibiotics should not be labeled as organic in Korea and Korean livestock products produced with the use of antibiotics should not be labeled as organic in the U.S.
    • ② Both U.S. and Korean organic regulations prohibit using prohibited substances or methods (e.g. synthetic pesticides, GMO, or irradiation). The importing country’s audit and subsequent actions will be applied in case the use of prohibited substances during clearance and distribution.
    • ③ The importing country’s regulations should be applied to labeling contents.
  • 5. Original copy of the arrangement: Korea->U.S.(English version, Korean version), U.S-> Korea(English version, Korean version)
  • Information on NOP certified operations can be verified at USDA Organic Integrity Database (organic.ams.usda.gov/Integrity/)
  • Please refer to Q&A if you have any other questions.