Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule

The National Organic Program (NOP) has recently introduced the Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule (SOE). This rule is intended to boost the integrity of the organic supply chain, and enhance the traceability of organic ingredients and finished products. 

Any business affected by this rule must comply by March 19, 2024.

Who is impacted:

Anyone that produces or handles organic products, (with some exceptions) such as:

  • USDA accredited certifying agents 
  • Organic inspectors 
  • Producers 
  • Processors  
  • Brokers, traders, exporters, and importers who are not certified organic 

To determine if you or your business will be affected by this action, it will be imperative to be familiar with what portions of a business will require certification. It is possible that some portions of a business entity will need to be certified, while other portions will not.

Who is exempt:

Companies with a gross income from organic sales less than $5000 annually are not affected by this rule. 

Also, a company whose product contains less than 70% organic ingredients; or the product only identifies organic ingredients on the ingredient panel.

Some changes can you expect:

  • All U.S. imported organic products are now required to have an electronic NOP Import Certificate.
  • Importers, traders, and certain brokers who had previously operated without USDA oversight will be required to have certification.
  • Organic certified operations will need to have a "fraud prevention plan" (FPP) as part of their Organic System Plan (OSP).
  • Certifying agents will be required to conduct supply chain traceability audits.
  • Certificates from the USDA’s Organic Integrity Database (OID) will be standardized.
  • All organic imports will require an NOP Import Certificate; certifiers will have the ability to generate their own import certificates.
  • Non retail labels will require organic identification.

Explore the USDA website  to learn more about who is affected and the impact of the new rule.

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