Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS) is the compulsory certification for export and marketing of organic products in Japan.
It certifies agricultural and zootechnical products, processed products for human and animal consumption (except for wine, spirits and aquaculture products).
What it is certified
The Japanese organic standards JAS (Japan Agricultural Standards) in force since 2002 requires organic products to be inspected and certified by a Japanese (RCO Registered Certification Organisation) or foreign (RFCO Registered Foreign Certification Organisation) registered with the Ministry of Agriculture of Japan (MAFF).
ICEA is one of the first European control bodies to obtain MAFF recognition and offers all the operators audited this certification, which is also indispensable for the marketing of organic products in Japan.
JAS certification applies to all food and feed products, except wine, spirits and aquaculture products.
Thanks to the existing equivalence agreements with the European Union, Japan has recognised the validity of the Bio EU certification (Regulation (EC) No. 834/07) about plant productions (the only difference from the EU legislation is the prohibition of the use of calcium chloride as a foliar fertiliser).
JAS certification, therefore, it is only required for food industries (excluding those that carry out packaging only), and for zootechnical products.
JAS standard requires the presence of two distinct profiles in the company, the “Production Process Manager” and the “Product Conformity Inspection Manager before sales” (grading).
Only in farms can a single person hold the two roles. The grading manager decides which lots and batches of products are compliant with the organic method according to JAS standards.
How to certify
The certification process is divided into five main phases.
- Request for inspections and certification services and submission of the required documentation to start the certification process.
- Initial assessment of products and production process. The applicant company shall describe all working procedures and production techniques used. The laboratories and food industries, in addition to the documentation already sent for the issue of organic certification Regulation (EC) 834/07 (recipes, supplier list, management plan) shall also submit the grading management plan.
- On-site inspection to verify the effective compliance with Japanese legislation, in particular as regards the more restrictive parameters than EU legislation.
- Issue of the Certificate of Conformity based on information and data collected as part of the evaluation and verification process. The certificate contains a list of certified products that meet the requirements of JAS standard.
- Annual surveillance through regular inspections and analyses to confirm the maintenance of compliance conditions.