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Organics

Organics

​Micor (Organics) contains information on the organic exports regulatory and policy framework. It also outlines importing country requirements, including any product exclusions and prohibitions on in-conversion organic/ bio-dynamic products, where there is an organic equivalence arrangement in place.

Goods labelled as 'organic', 'bio-dynamic' or similarly labelled must comply with requirements under the organic export regulatory and policy framework.

This is in addition to any commodity export requirements and importing country requirements.

For information on how to export from Australia, visit Exporting from Australia.

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The regulatory and policy framework

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the Department) is the Australian Government authority responsible for certifying Australian food and agricultural exports (conventional, organic and bio-dynamic produced).

The Department provides export certification and declarations in line with Australia's export regulatory framework and importing country requirements.

The organic regulatory export framework is made up of:

  • the Export Control Act 2020
  • organic specific legislation – including the Export Control (Organic Goods) Rules 2021
  • the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce (the National Standard) – Australia's organic export standard
  • policy documents – including Administrative Arrangements which outline how Approved Certifying Bodies must operate to ensure Australia's organic export framework operates as intended and the guidelines which outline the requirements for issuing and managing Organic Goods Certificates.

Organic equivalence arrangements

Australia's organic export system is recognised as having equivalence in government-to-government arrangements with the European Union and various countries, as follows:

  • the European Union – for:
    • unprocessed plant products, excluding seaweed
    • processed agricultural products for use as food composed of essentially one or more ingredients of plant origin, excluding wine and yeast
    • vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation
  • Japan – for:
    • plant-based products
    • livestock products and processed foods, excluding fishery products and bee products
  • Switzerland – for:
    • unprocessed plant products, excluding seaweed
    • processed agricultural products for use as food composed of essentially one or more ingredients of plant origin, excluding wine and yeast
    • vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation
  • Taiwan – for:
    • crops
    • livestock
    • aquatic plants
    • processed foods, excluding bee products.

There is also a new regulatory regime for the United Kingdom, post Brexit. Refer to details below.

Additional export certification requirement

The Organic Goods Certificate

Goods labelled as organic, bio-dynamic, or similarly labelled, which are exported from Australia (including, under an organic equivalence arrangement) must be certified by a Department-approved Certifying Body and accompanied by the Department’s Organic Goods Certificate (OGC). This is a legal export requirement under the Export Control (Organic Goods) Rules 2020.

The OGC ensures that Australian organic and bio-dynamic goods have been subject to a regulatory system that guarantees the organic and bio-dynamic production system underpinning the organic and bio-dynamic claims. In addition to the OGC, all other standard exporting requirements apply (including health, safety and biosecurity requirements).

Exporter responsibilities

Export commodity specific requirements

Export commodities controlled by the Department are listed or ‘prescribed’ in the Export Control Act 2020 and related legislation.

Ensure to check all export commodity specific requirements prior to export for prescribed goods (for example, Dairy, Eggs, Fish, Meat) as well as Non-prescribed goods (for example, honey, processed goods).

For information:

Importing country requirements – commodity specific

Ensure to check all importing country requirements prior to export on this site – Dairy, Eggs, Fish, Live animals, Meat, Non-prescribed goods and Plants.

If the importing country requirements of a country or commodity are not contained on this site (Micor), exporters should seek information regarding specific requirements from the relevant competent authority and/or their importers.

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