January 12, 2017

USDA Delays Effective Date for Organic Import Certificates from Mexico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced it is delaying the January 16, 2017, effective date for requiring import certificates on shipments of organic commodities originating in Mexico. 

A new implementation date has not been announced. USDA-AMS stated it would notify stakeholders once the new effective date has been determined. It was reported that Mexico’s SENASICA certification requirements on U.S. exports to Mexico are scheduled for some time in early 2017, possibly early April.

According the USDA, Development of a certification program dates back to October 2013, when Mexico published implementing guidelines and regulations for organic production and marketing. To help achieve equivalency of organic products, in October 2016, USDA-AMS announced the establishment of a Joint U.S.-Mexico Organic Compliance Committee to increase transparency and to strengthen monitoring and enforcement controls on organic products traded between the two countries.

The objective of the joint committee was to:

  • establish requirements for the use of import certificates in both countries that would provide verification of each shipment of organic products between the U.S. and Mexico;
  • implement pesticide residue testing in each country and share the sampling results with each other’s regulatory authorities; and
  • engage with certifiers operating in Mexico by conducting listening sessions to determine any additional training, oversight, or policy guidance needs.

For more information. Please contact Ken Gilliland at (949) 885-2267.