SOE NOP Certification Allowance Deadline

Posted 06/10/2024

The Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule which was published in January 2023 and implemented on March 19th, 2024, will be fully ending system allowances for importers who are not certified effective September 19, 2024. As of that date, certifiers will no longer be able to generate NOP Organic Import Certificates for shipments going to importers who are not USDA certified and not listed in the Organic Integrity Database. Currently, brokers are allowed to use a temporary code for importers who are in the process of being certified; but, after September 19th the temporary code will no longer be allowed and importers who are not certified will not be able to import organic product.

USDA has considered the time constraints of the certification process when implementing this hard block. The deadline will apply to any Import Certificate generated on Sept 19th or later and any filing with CBP after September 19th. Although USDA has not issued a formal statement on the new hard block, they have been communicating to certifiers to get the word out. WSSA did receive confirmation regarding the ending of the leniency directly from Dr. Jenny Tucker at USDA. Additionally, warning letters have already begun going out to importers who are not yet certified.

If you plan to import organic product and are not certified yet, we suggest starting the process ASAP as the certification can take several months. Please spread the word and begin the certification process if you have not already.