International Organic Accreditation Service

Welcome to theFebruary, 2007 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 over?500 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 interested or 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 to?

One assessment - multiple approvals-?alongside the?regulatory developments that have recently take place in Canada and Europe (see below), the IOAS will apply and expect to be formally recognised as an accreditor under the Canadian regime and expect to continue offering accreditation and equivalence reports under the EU Regulation, providing access to both markets. With a combination of a new fee schedule in 2007 and new information handling systems, IOAS?are now?offering existing and new clients the possibility of joint accreditation to IFOAM and ISO/IEC 65 (with the various additional requirements of the regulations as needed) using one assessment process and one fee. For our new fee schedule, vist our web site at

Canadian regulation?- on December 21, 2006, the Organic Products Regulations of Canada were finally published bringing in requirements for another major market for organic produce where before there were none (or at least not in a harmonised sense across the territory). The main implications for certification bodies working within Canada is that they will have to be formally accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency through one of a number of approved accreditors. For those certifying exports to the territory, access may either be through equivalency recognition of a country system or by direct accreditation. The regulation is available at and the Canadian Organic Standards are available at?

EU Regulation 2092/91 revision - also in late December the European Commission approved amendments to Regulation EEC 2092/91, Article 11,?which will affect the import of organic products into Europe. The main change is the gradual phase out of the case-by-case product approval?(the so-called?importer derogation) managed by Member State authorities, to be replaced by direct approval of third country certification bodies (without the need for a country conformity assessment system to be approved). The direct approvals will be under the authority of the Commission itself and (for CBs outside of Europe) will be able to be done on a full compliance basis (accreditation against ISO/IEC 65 with scope of EU Regulation) or on an equivalence basis (formal accreditation not required and to equivalent criteria and standards). Both systems will however require surveillance by an accreditation body?or authority. The Third Country list system will continue.

New applications for IOAS accreditation- the first certification bodies based in Africa have applied for accreditation with the IOAS. The Tanzania Organic Certification Association (TanCert) and Uganda Organic Certifcation Ltd.(UgoCert) have both applied in January 2007 for accreditation?against IFOAM Norms and ISO/IEC Guide 65. The contacts for these organisations are, respectively, Leonard Mtama at Charles Walaga at IOAS will now be providing services in all five continents.

New accreditations- ?in December 2006, also a first, two certification bodies in South Korea successfully completed and were granted accreditation by the IOAS. The Global Organic Agriculture Association were granted accreditation against IFOAM Norms. The international contact is Chun Kyungwook at Doalnara Certified Organic Korea LLC were granted accreditation against IFOAM Norms and ISO/IEC Guide 65. The international contact is Robert Yang at congratulations to both organisations and their staff.

Reaccreditations- also in the last 3 months the following organic certification bodies have been reaccredited or accredited under an additional scope: Organic Food Development Center of China (OFDC) were reaccredited against IFOAM Norms and newly accredited against ISO/IEC Guide 65 with scope of OFDC standards, the China National Standards and Regulation (EEC) 2092/91; AgriQuality of New Zealand were reaccredited against IFOAM Norms; International Certification Services (ICS) of the USA were reaccredited against IFOAM Norms,? National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA)were reaccredited against IFOAM Norms and ISO/IEC Guide 65 with scope of NASAA Organic standards; Quality Assurance International (QAI) of the USA were reaccredited against IFOAM Norms.

Aquaculture and textile processingscope - the following IFOAM accredited certification bodies have recently been the first to add aquaculture to their scope following its inclusion in the IFOAM Norms published in early 2006: Agrior of Israel, Bioland of Germany, Debio of Norway, Instituto?per la?Certificazione Etica i Ambientale (ICEA) of Italy and Organic Agriculture Thailand (ACT). AgriQuality of New Zealand were granted the addition of aquaculture and textile processing.

IOAS training?-?a 3 1/2 day training course for government authorities and accreditors on assessment of organic certification bodies?took place in Switzerland in November, 2006. 15 people attended from?Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and?USA.?The Swiss course will now take place annually in September/October and we hope to organise a further course in 2007 in either North or South America. Contact IOAS at for more information or should you wish to host a course.

Accredited certification bodies?in 2006?- the 35 IOAS accredited certification bodies had just under 150,000 registered operators in 75 countries in 2006. 65% of the organisations work in more than 1 country. On average the organisations have 14 full time staff members (the range being from 2 to 75) and 2 part time. 15 of the certification bodies are based in Europe,?10 in Asia-Pacific, 6 in North America, 5 in South America and 2 in the Middle East. An up to date listing of IOAS accredited certifiers, their status and full scope details is always available on our web site at

Surveillance in 2006?- IOAS evaluators performed 89 days of on site surveillance, did 44 witness and review operator visits and reviewed over 250 operator files in 2006. IOAS moved to a risk-based surveillance system allowed under the requirements of ISO/IEC17011 which allowed a reduction in the number of site visits performed reducing costs to certification bodies, demands on the time of certification staff and the IOAS environmental footprint at the same time. Based on this system additional visits have been imposed based on non-fulfiment of non-compliances. IOAS issued one notice of intent to suspend during 2006 and three warnings.

BioFach Trade Fair, Nuremberg, Germany?-?the IOAS will, as usual, be tending a stand at the show in Hall 1, stand 341 between February 15-18th. If you wish to pre-arrange an appointment please contact Jan Deane on drop by and see us.

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:?Biokontroll of Hungary, CCOF of USA, CCPB of Italy,??ICEA of Italy, IMC of Italy, OCIA of USA (all against IFOAM Norms)and?Organska Kontrola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, TanCert of Tanzania and UgoCert of Uganda?(against IFOAM and ISO65).

IOAS meetings- IOAS are planning Board and Accreditation Committee meetings for 2007 in Budapest in March, Quebec City in June?and Bangkok in October. We would be happy to meet with local organic interests. Please contact

For a complete list of IFOAM and ISO65 Accredited certification bodies, their scope and countries of activity, please go to follow the links.

For specific information about individual Accredited certification bodies, please go to

For more general information about IOAS, please visit

The IFOAM Norms can be obtained through the IFOAM web site

For specific enquiries or comments, please contact David Crucefix, IOAS? Assistant Executive Director on

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