International Organic Accreditation Service

July 2008

Welcometo the July, 2008 issue of the E-NEWS 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 700 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 suggest they sign up themselves. There is no charge, the distribution list is anonymous and unsubscribing can be done at any time just by responding to

IFOAM AccreditationISO65 AccreditationEuropean EquivalenceCanada AccreditationTraining - Information

The IOAS are pleased to announce thatLibanCert SARL, also working under the name of Quacerta, of Chiyah Boulevard Kamil Chamoun Baaklini Center, 4th Floor, Beirut, Lebanon have recently been granted accreditation against ISO/IEC Guide 65 with scope regulation EEC 2092/91 Production and Processing standards and Lebanese Regulation NL 724; 2003. The contact person is Ms Roula Fares? - and

The European Commission Standing Committee on Organic Farming approved the latest draft Commission Regulation laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control (Doc AGRI/2008/61085 rev3). Further implementing rules are awaited on imports which are now not expected until around October, 2008. Regulation 834/2007 will replace (EEC) 2092/91 from January 1, 2009.


The IOAS European Equivalence Assessment Programme is already available and 13 certification organisations are currently under assessment. 3 options are available as follows: a compliance option in which all requirements of the current (EEC) 2092/91 or coming (EC) 834/2007 must be complied with and two equivalence options: the first which incorporates formal accreditation against ISO Guide 65 with a selected standards scope and an equivalence assessment of standards and the second which allows for equivalence assessment of both ISO Guide 65 requirements and the relevant European standards and requirements. For more information visit the IOAS web site.


In Canada , as the December 14, 2008 deadline draws nearer for implementation of the Organic Production Regulations, an industry Transition Committee is working on proposals to shape rules on the transition from a voluntary system to a mandatory one. So as not to disrupt trade unduly it is expected that there will be a time period following December 14 during which certified organic products from all sources will have continued access to the market. In addition the Canadian authorities and industry are considering pre-launch changes to the proposed Canada organic logo and several amendments are in progress in the organic standards.

Until December 14, the system in Canada is voluntary. The IOAS are currently processing 20 voluntary applications from certification organisations for accreditation under the Canadian Organic Regime. For details on application and assessment, please visit the IOAS web site.

Negotiations between the Canadian authorities and both those in the USA and Europe continue with the aim of reaching agreement on equivalence such that products certified under the new Canadian Organic Regime will have free access to these markets and, presumably, that product will be able to flow in the other direction. All three regulatory blocks have provisions for recognition of equivalence of other country systems.

On July 9 and 10th, auditors from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce, USA visited the head office of the IOAS as part?of our biennial reassessment against ISO/IEC17011. The IOAS IFOAM and ISO/IEC Guide 65 accreditation programmes have been recognised by NIST as in compliance with ISO17011 since 2004.

At the IFOAM General Assembly, which took place in Italy on June 22-24, there was much discussion over the future role and structure of IFOAM Accreditation. The IFOAM World Board brought a proposal to the meeting which would have based IFOAM Accreditation on the IFOAM criteria, dropping the requirement for compliance with the IFOAM Basic Standards. Although this is much more in line with accreditation in other sectors (compliance with certification requirements implementing a chosen standards scope) counter arguments centred on the need for the IFOAM Basic Standards to retain their central role.

At the IFOAM Organic World Congress which took place in the few days before the General Assembly, Barbara Robinson, Director of the National Organic Program in the USA announced plans to provide web access to assessment reports performed on all Accredited Certification Agents. The plans are in response for calls for greater transparency in the implementation of the NOP.

The IOAS are both proud and sad, at the same time, to announce that Roberto Ugas of Peru, a long time member of our Accreditation Committee has been elected onto the IFOAM World Board and will be leaving the IOAS. Roberto was elected and then promptly appointed one of two Vice Presidents of IFOAM at the IFOAM General Assembly which took place in Modena , Italy in June. Our sincere thanks and best wishes to him. The complete list of members of the new IFOAM Board can be viewed here.

The IOAS are offering a 3 day training course – ‘Management of Organic Certification’ - in Switzerland in September 2008. An ideal opportunity for Senior Managers, Quality Managers and Certification Managers to come together for a training and exchange of experience, the course was first implemented in the USA in 2007 and is being constantly updated. We plan to move the course around the world year by year so don’t miss this opportunity if you are based in Europe . The course will be delivered in English. For further details please go to

Following the above training the IOAS are again offering the 3.5 day course on ‘Assessment of Organic Certification Bodies’. This course is designed for personnel from government authorities and accreditation bodies that are involved or becoming involved in assessment and surveillance of the organic sector. The course programme and full details on cost and facilities are available at


Commentson the performance and compliance with relevant norms are invited on the following certification bodies which are undergoing, or about to undergo, assessment or reassessment: ACT, Thailand (IFOAM & ISO65 & EU & Canada), Australian Certified Organic, Australia (IFOAM & ISO65 & EU & Canada), Bioagricert, Italy (IFOAM), BIO-GRO, New Zealand (IFOAM),? BIOS, Italy (IFOAM), CONU, S.Korea (IFOAM), Ecocert-Afrisco, S.Africa (IFOAM & ISO65 & EU), ETKO, Turkey (ISO65 & EU & Canada), JONA, Japan (IFOAM & ISO65 & EU & Canada), Naturland, Germany (IFOAM), Organic Certifiers, USA (IFOAM & ISO65 & EU), OIA, Argentina (IFOAM & Canada), Soil Association Certification, UK (Canada), TECPAR, Brasil (IFOAM & EU), WSDA, USA (IFOAM & ISO65 & EU & Canada)

Complaintsare invited on the work of both IOAS and accredited certification bodies. Complaints should be submitted in writing, providing as much detail as possible on the issue. The IOAS complaints policies can be found here.

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

For more general information about the IOAS and the services we offer, please visit

This is a bimonthly service of the International Organic Accreditation Service specifically for governments and national authorities involved in regulating the organic food sector. Secure your own copy direct to your inbox by sending an email to crucefix@ioas.orgYou can unsubscribe at any time in the same way.

Back copies may be viewed on-line at


International Organic Accreditation Service

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N.D. 58601, USA

Tel: +1 701 483 5504 Fax: +1 701 483 5508