Japan - Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement (JCOEA)
Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, other requirements will be introduced in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.
1. Japan's import requirements
1.1 Canadian organic products covered under JCOEA
Canada has signed an organic equivalence arrangement with Japan. This means that, as long as the terms of the arrangement are met, certified organic products in Japan or in Canada may be sold as organic in either country.
The following Canadian organic products are covered under JCOEA and must bear the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) seal to be sold in Japan:
- plants, including fungi
- processed foods of plant origin
These products may also use the Canada Organic logo in compliance with the Organic Products Regulations.
Canadian exporters may apply the JAS logo to their plants or plant-based processed products in one of two ways:
- Canadian exporters who have a contract with a JAS-certified importer may apply the JAS logo to their products directly for sale in either Japan or Canada. To view the list of JAS-certified importers, see Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) - Organic Foods.
- Canadian exporters who do not have a contract with a JAS-certified importer may not apply the JAS logo to their products prior to export. A JAS-certified importer must import the product, and that importer must apply the JAS logo to the product prior to sale within Japan.
Canadian organic products exported to Japan under the JCOEA must be accompanied by a valid organic certificate issued by a CFIA accredited Certification Body. In addition, a document including the relevant information from Article 35 of the Enforcement Regulations for the Law Concerning Standardization and Proper Labelling of Agricultural and Forestry Products – PDF (111 kb) has to accompany each shipment. The document has to be completed by the CFIA accredited Certification Body.
1.2 Canadian organic agricultural products outside the scope of the JCOEA
JAS non-regulated Canadian organic products (e.g., meat, dairy, honey) certified by a CFIA-accredited Certification Body in Canada will continue to have access to the Japanese market but will not bear the JAS logo.
All certified products under the Canada Organic Regime must comply with the Organic Products Regulations, including labelling requirements for the use of the Canada Organic logo. These products must be accompanied by a valid organic certificate.
If the alcoholic beverage is labelled with the word "organic" in the Japanese language, then a certificate that includes the name of the certified alcoholic beverage, the name and the address of the certified farm or brewery, the number and date of certification, the address and name of the operator, the country of origin, and the address and name of the certifying body is required to accompany export. The certificate must be issued by a CFIA accredited certification body.
1.3 Japan's labelling requirements
All organic products covered in this arrangement and imported into Japan must comply with the Japanese labelling requirements, the Food Sanitation Act and other related registration, see Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) - Organic Foods.
2. Canada's import requirements
2.1 Japanese organic products covered under JCOEA
In the letter from Canada to Japan, Canada has acknowledged that, pursuant to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act, plants, including fungi and processed foods of plant origin, produced and processed in accordance with the Japanese Organic System, are produced and processed under an organic certification system that provides safeguards and guidelines governing the production and processing of such products that are equivalent to the requirements of the Canadian Organic Products Regulations, 2009.
All JAS certified organic plants, including fungi, and plant-based processed products that have been produced in Japan or whose final processing or packaging occurs within Japan and are certified by a Japanese Registered Certification Body can be imported under this arrangement and are accepted as organic in Canada without additional certification.
Japanese organic products must be accompanied by an organic certificate issued by a Japanese Registered Certification Body listed in the List of Registered certifying bodies (Organic products (domestic)) – PDF (145 kb).
- Export Certificate (Export from Japan to Canada) – PDF (112 kb)
- Instructions for Completing an Certificate – PDF (259 kb)
2.2 Japanese organic agricultural products outside the scope of the JCOEA
Japanese organic products that are not covered by the JCOEA (e.g., meat, dairy, honey) can be imported and sold in Canada as organic as long as they are certified to the Canadian Organic Standard by a CFIA accredited Certification Body. The Japanese certification Bodies will continue to maintain their accreditation by the CFIA for these activities after the Arrangement is signed and implemented. Imported organic products must be accompanied by a valid organic certificate issued by a CFIA accredited Certification body.
2.3 Canada's labelling requirements
All Japanese organic products covered under this arrangement imported into Canada must meet Canadian labelling requirements and may bear the Canada Organic logo. A copy of the logo will have to be requested from the registered Certification Body responsible for the certification.
All the foods imported to Canada must meet the regulatory requirements under Canada Agricultural Products Act and Regulations, Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and Consumer Packaging and labelling Act and Regulations applicable to the food.
3. Questions and answers about exportation and importation under organic equivalency recognition between Canada and Japan
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