Recognition of Equivalency with Costa Rica

March 28, 2013

Ing. Magda González Arroyo
Directora Ejecutiva
Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado
Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería

San Jose, Costa Rica

Dear Ms Gonzalez Arroyo,

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reviewed the Costa Rica organic certification program as set out in the Costa Rican Organic Agriculture Regulation- Decree No. 29782 from Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Pursuant to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the CFIA has determined that agricultural products of plant origin which are produced and processed in Costa Rica and which are also in conformity with the Costa Rican Organic Agriculture Regulation- Decree No. 29782, are produced and processed under an organic certification program that provides safeguards and guidelines governing the production and processing of such products, and are deemed equivalent to such products that have been produced and processed in accordance with the Canadian Organic Products Regulations, 2009 (OPR 2009); and subject to Appendix 1, may be sold, labelled or represented in Canada as organic, including by display of the Canadian organic logo as well as Costa Rica's organic seal.

Should the CFIA decide to change its criteria for determining equivalency, it will notify Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado for Organic Agriculture in writing in advance.

This recognition will be effective as of the date of this letter.

The CFIA's Canada Organic Office (COO), which administers the OPR 2009, is committed to working with the Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado Office for Organic Agriculture to carry out what is envisioned in this letter.

Sincerely,

Daniel Miller
Executive Director
Food Labelling and Claims Directorate
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Appendix 1

The equivalency decision of CFIA is subject to the following:

1. The Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado for Organic Agriculture will notify the CFIA in a timely manner of any:

  1. changes with respect to the Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado for Organic Agriculture competent authority and certifying agents;
  2. proposed rulemaking and/or enacted legislation that would modify the Costa Rica Organic Agriculture Regulation - Decree No. 29782;
  3. instances of any significant non-compliance with the Costa Rican organic certification program. For purposes of this equivalency determination, "significant" means any non-conformity that materially affects the integrity of the organic products subject to this recognition.

2. Following advance notice from the CFIA, the Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado for Organic Agriculture will permit the CFIA to conduct evaluations (document review and/or on-site visits) to verify how the Costa Rican certifying agents are carrying out the requirements of Costa Rica's organic certification program. The Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado for Organic Agriculture will cooperate and assist the CFIA, to the extent permitted under its domestic law, in carrying out such evaluations.

3. Should there be any issue raised regarding the application of or the activities covered under this letter, the CFIA and the Costa Rica Servicio Fytosanitario del Estado for Organic Agriculture will participate in discussions or use other means they deem appropriate to resolve the issue.