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Overview: Canada Taiwan Organic Equivalency Arrangement (CTOEA)

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

On May 30, 2020 Canada and Taiwan signed letters recognizing the two national organic systems as equivalent. The recognitions apply to agricultural products of plant origin, and processed foods of plant origin, livestock and livestock products as well as aquaculture products grown or produced in each jurisdiction or whose final processing or packaging occurs within each jurisdiction.

1. Taiwan's import requirements

1.1 Canadian organic products covered under CTOEA

Canadian certified organic products may be sold as organic in Taiwan, as long as the terms of the Taiwan's recognition letter are met

Starting May 30, 2020 the following Canadian organic products are covered under CTOEA and can be sold in Taiwan:

  1. Agricultural products of plant origin
  2. Processed foods of plant origin
  3. Livestock products (limited to the Taiwan organic specified scope of livestock)
  4. Processed food products containing livestock ingredients (limited to the Taiwan organic specified scope of livestock)
  5. Aquaculture products

These products may also use the Canada Organic logo in compliance with Part 13 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

Canadian exporters may not use the Taiwanese organic logo which is reserved for Taiwanese organic products only.

Canadian organic products exported to Taiwan under the CTOEA must be accompanied by a Certificate for Transactions of Organic Products which is issued by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) accredited Certification Body (CB) attesting compliance with the terms of the Canada Taiwan Organic equivalency recognition letters.

The Certificate for Transactions of Organic Products has to accompany each shipment. Copy of the template is shared with the CFIA accredited CBs certifying organic products in Canada.

The list of the CFIA accredited CBs can be found here: Organic product certification bodies accredited by the CFIA: in Canada

Canadian organic products containing prohibited substances, as defined in Article 15 of the Organic Agriculture Promotion Act will not be sold or marketed as organic in Taiwan.

1.2 Taiwan's organic regulations

All the above regulations can be found in the website: Agriculture and Food Agency – Regulations.

1.3 Taiwan's labelling requirements

All organic products covered in Taiwan's recognition letter and imported into Taiwan must comply with the Taiwanese labelling requirements specified in Article 18 of the Organic Agriculture Promotion Act

2. Canada's import requirements

2.1 Taiwanese organic products covered under CTOEA

In the CFIA letter to Taiwan, CFIA has acknowledged that, pursuant to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act and the Safe Food For Canadians Act, agricultural products of plant origin, and processed foods of plant origin, livestock and livestock products as well as aquaculture products produced and processed in Taiwan or whose final processing or packaging occurs within Taiwan are produced and processed under an organic certification system that provides the necessary safeguards and guidelines that are equivalent to the requirements of Part 13 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and are accepted as organic in Canada without additional certification.

Starting May 30, 2020 the following Taiwanese organic products covered under CTOEA and subject to the conditions set forth in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the CFIA recognition letter can be sold in Canada:

  1. Agricultural products of plant origin
  2. Processed foods of plant origin
  3. Livestock products (limited to the Taiwan organic specified scope of livestock)
  4. Processed food products containing livestock ingredients (limited to the Taiwan organic specified scope of livestock)
  5. Aquaculture products

Taiwanese organic products must be accompanied by a Certificate for Transactions of Organic Products issued by an Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) supervised CBs recognized under an existing organic equivalency recognition between Canada and Taiwan that attests to compliance with the terms of the CFIA letter. Copy of the template is shared with the AFA supervised CBs that are trained and are qualified to issue a Certificate for Transactions of Organic Products for shipments destined to Canada.

The list of the AFA supervised Certification Bodies can be found here: Agriculture and Food Agency - List of Organic Accreditation Bodies.

AFA supervised CBs will notify the CFIA in advance of any organic product shipment and CFIA may verify the validity of the Certification for Transactions of Organic Products prior to authorizing the importation of the organic product.

CFIA will send a confirmation email back to the CB. Copy of this email should be added to the export documentation accompanying the shipment.

2.2 Taiwanese organic agricultural products outside the scope of the CTOEA

Taiwanese organic products that are not covered by the CTOEA (e.g., 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 CBs. Imported organic products must be accompanied by a valid organic certificate issued by a CFIA accredited CB.

2.3 Canada's labelling requirements

All Taiwanese organic products covered under the CFIA recognition letter imported into Canada must meet Canadian labelling requirements and may bear the Canada Organic logo. A copy of the logo must be requested from the Taiwanese CBs responsible for the certification.

All foods imported to Canada must meet the regulatory requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations and the Food and Drug Act and Regulations.

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