International Organic Accreditation Service
Welcome to the November, 2006 issue of the email update service provided by the IOAS and prepared specifically for regulatory authorities and related bodies active in the oversight of the organic food and farming sector.The mailing is now going to over450 professionals in this sector. Its purpose is to provide regular, clear and concise information about the IOAS, its work and the wider organic regulatory world. Please pass it on to any colleagues you think may be interestedor request that it be sent direct to your desktop. There is no charge, the distribution list is anonymous and unsubscribing can be done at any time just by responding firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian regulation- The proposed Organic Products Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette on September 2, 2006? and are open for a 75-day comment period to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency up to November 16, 2006. The proposed regulations will govern the use of a new federal organic agricultural product legend (or logo) and will include mandatory certification requirements for organic products in Canada. The Canada Organic Regime(COR) is based on four main documents; the regulation(http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/reg/consultation/20072_e.shtml), the Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards, CAN/CGSB-32.310, the Organic production Systems Permitted Substances List, CAN/CGSB-32.311 (both at http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/organic/index-e.html) and a Quality Management Systems Manual.?The regime?will be overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency acting as the competent authority using?approved accreditation bodies to assess domestic certification bodies who will in turn inspect organic operators.Accreditation and certification requirements are based on ISO/IEC17011 and ISO/IEC65 with additional requirements in places. IOAS will apply to be an approved accreditation body under the COR.
Canadian regulation - imports-To facilitate and regulate ?imports the COR will have a system?for 'foreign country recognition/equivalency negotiations', a system for ?'unilateral recognition of?national control systems' and a system for 'recognition of accreditation bodies operating in a voluntary system', provided that in the two latter?cases,that products are certified in accordance with the Canadian standards. In addition the COR proposes to allow for 'direct recognition of certification bodies in foreign countries'.
EU Regulation 2092/91 revision - on October 25th, 2006 a further draft of the revision was released by the Finnish Presidency who are hoping that agreement could be reached before the end of 2006. A majority of member states appear to want the EU logo to be obligatory and that country of origin should appear on labels,?and this draft makes this clear. These requirements are however, optional for imported products.?This new Presidency draft also proposes 3 organic categories of processed products (95%+, 70-95% and less than 70%), a change on previous drafts that proposed only the 95%+ category. On imports the new draft distinguishes two routes; one of compliance in which certification bodies must be accredited to ISO65 with scope of the EU Regulation and one of equivalence which allows for either recognition of third countries (as now) or direct recognition of certification bodies. In both latter cases the assessment of equivalence will 'take into account' the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines CAC/GL32. There is also provision for possible site visits in both these cases.
International Certification Servicesof Medina, North Dakota, USA were in September granted accreditation against Guide ISO/IEC65 with scope of Farm Verified Organic private standards which have been assessed as equivalent to EC2092/91 and US NOP Production standard.
Jan Deane, IOAS Programme Manager will be speaking at the IFOAM Certification Conference taking place in Rome, next week November 15-17th, 2006. See http://www.ifoam.org/events/ifoam_conferences/certification/index.html?Her topic will be the international accreditation services that IOAS provides and will focus on the concept of one visit, multiple approvals, especially topical in the light of the Canadian and European developments reported above.
Felicia Echeverria?has just been appointed as a new Board member of the IOAS. She replaces Jenny Barnes of AQIS, Australia who, due to a change in her role at AQIS was unable to take up her position this year and recently resigned. Felicia is well known to many from her work as Manager of the National Organic Agriculture Programme of Costa Rica between 1999-2006 during which time Costa Rica attained third country recognition with the EU.
IOAS training-?a training course for government authorities and accreditors on assessment of organic certification bodies?will?take place?in Switzerland on November 20-23, 2006? We hope to make the course an annual event with the collaboration of FiBL and expect that it will take place in September/October of each year. Other courses in other regions may be offered based on demand or specific request. Contact IOAS at email@example.com? for more information.
Israel recognised?-?under CFR 205.500(c)(1) of the NOP rule the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has recognised the conformity assessment system in Israel as sufficient to ensure conformity to NOP standards.?This allows organic certification organizations recognised by the Israeli Plant Protection and Inspection Service, to apply the NOP technical standards to certify operations that produce or handle Israeli agricultural products that will be sold, labelled or represented as organic in the United States. Israel joins India, New Zealand, Quebec, United Kingdom, Denmark, British Colombia and the Standards Council of Canada on the list of conformity assessment systems recognised by USDA.
ISO/IEC Guide 65 revision-The ISO Conformity Assessment Committee (CASCO) agreed last week to proceed with the revision of 'ISO65' in early 2007. Its revision?is expected to follow some of the changes made to ISO61 which resulted in ISO17011.
Call for comments- IOAS invite comments on the performance (relevant to accreditation norms) of the following certification bodies,about to or are, currently undergoing evaluation or re-evaluation:ARANEA of Sweden, Biokontroll of Hungary, CCPB of Italy,GÄA of Germany, ICEA of Italy, IMC of Italy, OCIA of USA (all against IFOAM Norms) and Organska Kontrola, Bosnia & Herzegovina (against IFOAM and ISO65).
IOAS meetings- IOAS are planning Board and Accreditation Committee meetings for 2007 in Bangkok in March, Quebec City in June?and Budapest in October.
For a complete list of IFOAM and ISO65 Accredited certification bodies, their scope and countries of activity, please go to www.ioas.org?and follow the links.
For specific information about individual Accredited certification bodies, please go to http://www.ioas.org/0601ACB_webpage.htm
For more general information about IOAS, please visit www.ioas.org
The IFOAM Norms can be obtained through the IFOAM web site http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore/index.php?cPath=24
For specific enquiries or comments, please contact David Crucefix, IOAS? Assistant Executive Director on firstname.lastname@example.org
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