Certification NOP (USA)

National Organic Program (NOP) makes it possible to export and market organic products in the United States of America (USA). Certifies agricultural and zootechnical products, processed products intended for human and animal nutrition (excluding aquaculture products), technical means for agriculture, cosmetic products.


The National Organic Program (NOP) is the regulation that since 2002 regulates the production and labeling of organic products in the United States and is managed by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

ICEA was one of the first Italian control bodies to provide this certification service thanks to the recognition obtained by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Operators intending to export to the USA can take advantage of two different methods: they can request NOP certification or they can export under the EU-NOP equivalence regime.

Operators requiring NOP Certification must produce and transform according to the specific and more restrictive standards of the NOP regulation along the entire supply chain.

At the end of the certification process, the control body issues a Certificate of Conformity.


For many years the US certification system and the EU system did not dialogue with each other and the Italian companies that exported their products to the American continent had to request the NOP certification.

The reciprocal equivalence agreement between the NOP (National Organic Program) and EC Regulation 834/07 has entered into force since 2012. t

This agreement allows the export to the USA of organic products, already certified according to the EC Regulation 834/07, without the need to request a further certification and double check the entire supply chain.

Organic products destined for the United States and certified as Reg. CE 834/07 under the equivalence regime, must be exported accompanied by a “NOP Import Certificate” to be filled out whenever goods are sent to the American continent following these instructions.

Thanks to the equivalence agreement, EU organic products can be exported to the USA with the NOP logo on the label. The remaining indications must comply with US labeling regulations.

For some products (wine and animal products) the equivalence agreement includes restrictions.

The equivalence agreement provides that the wine certified according to EC Reg. 834/07 is obtained respecting the most restrictive requirements of the NOP standard:

  • Exclusive use of gaseous sulfur dioxide as a source of sulphites (potassium metabisulfite or other sulphites other than sulfur are not allowed)
  • Maximum limit of sulphites equal to 100 mg / l
  • Each adjuvant and / or additive used must also be admitted by the NOP regulation

For the export of products of animal origin or for their use in preparations destined for the USA, the producer must respect the prohibition of the administration of antibiotics to animals during the entire life cycle of the animals or request the supplier to certify compliance with this requirement issued by the control body (complementary justification model or similar certificate of conformity on which “animal products obtained without the use of antibiotics” are indicated).

For the dairy products, the European Commission has indicated the requirements to be met in the Outline document for EU organic dairy production without the use of antibiotics for export to the US under the US organic equivalence recognition of the EU.

The equivalence agreement applies only to organic productions obtained in countries belonging to the European Union and aquaculture products are currently excluded.



Request for control and certification service.
The company requires the control and certification service by sending the necessary documentation in order to start the certification process.

Preliminary assessment.
The company must describe all the work procedures and the production techniques adopted. The laboratories and food industries, in addition to the documentation already sent for the purpose of issuing the organic certification CE Reg. 834/07 (recipes, supplier list, management plan) must also present an addendum to the management plan in order to describe the measures adopted for compliance with specific NOP requirements. The same applies to the farms that supply the raw material.

On-site inspection verification.
ICEA sends a Supervisory Technician to all the operators in the production chain, in order to verify the effective compliance with the NOP regulations in particular as regards the most restrictive parameters with respect to EU legislation.

Issue of the Certificate of Conformity.
Based on the information and data collected in the assessment and verification process. The certificate contains the list of certified products that meet the requirements of the NOP regulation and their classification (“100% Organic”, “Organic” and “Made with organic Ingredients”).

Surveillance: periodic inspections and analyzes.
ICEA establishes an annual surveillance through periodic inspections and analyzes aimed at confirming the maintenance of the compliance conditions.