Korean Exports and Imports
If you would like to export organic products to Korea, CCOF can help. On July 1, 2014, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) signed an organic standards equivalency arrangement. The arrangement only covers processed products, as defined by the Korean Food Code, produced in either country. Raw or unprocessed products are not allowed entry into Korea.
Under the terms of this agreement:
- Processed product from the United States that is certified to NOP standards may be shipped to Korea and use the Korean organic food label if the critical variance is met, and product is shipped along with a NAQS Import Certificate of Organic Processed Foods.
- Raw and unprocessed products are not covered under this agreement and cannot be shipped to Korea.
- Processed product from Korea that is certified to the Korean organic standards may be shipped to the United States and may use the USDA NOP logo if the final processing occurred in Korea, the critical variance is met, and product is shipped along with a NOP Import Certificate.
- Use of the USDA organic seal and the Korean organic logo is allowed and optional on product from either country, as long as the product meets the labeling requirements of the specified country.
You need to enroll in the Global Market Access (GMA) program for Korea if you do any of the following:
- Want to maximize market opportunities and ensure your products will be accepted by most foreign markets and buyers.
- Export CCOF certified organic products to Korea from the United States.
- Grow apples or pears that are used in products exported to Korea.
- Make products containing apples or pears that are exported to Korea.
- Design labels for products that will be sold in Korea.
- Sell CCOF-certified organic products to any buyer who requires international verification certification.
Learn more about the CCOF Global Market Access program.
Additional Equivalency Arrangement Information:
Korean Labeling Requirements and Use of the Korean Organic Logo (back to top)
CCOF’s International Market Labeling Guide includes a section for exports to Korea. All products shipped to Korea under the US/Korea Organic Equivalency Arrangement must meet the Korean labeling requirements. Send all labels to CCOF for approval prior to printing. To learn more, read the MAFRA Organic logo and labeling information instructions.
Download the Korean organic logo by visiting CCOF's logo download page. Use of the Korean organic logo is optional for imported products. If the Korean organic logo is used, additional requirements apply. All product destined for Korea must include the following on the label:
- Manufacturer Name and client code, including for private label products.
- Packaged in: USA
- Certifier Name
- Client Code
- Telephone number of the Seller or Importer
Information for U.S. Operations Shipping Products to Korea (back to top)
Export Requirements & Critical Variances (back to top)
Any NOP-certified processed product sold as organic in Korea must meet the following:
- Only processed products, as defined by the Korean Food Code, are allowed to be exported to Korea.
- Apples and pears must be produced without antibiotics.
- Products must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
- Products must travel with a NAQS Import Certificate of Organic Processed Foods, completed by CCOF.
- Products must be either produced within the United States or have had final processing occur within the United States.
- Products must meet Korean labeling requirements.
Verifying Compliance with U.S./Korea Organic Equivalency Arrangement (back to top)
Additional verification is ONLY required for apples and pears, or products using apples or pears as ingredients.
- CCOF-certified operations must be enrolled in the CCOF GMA program if they grow apples or pears that may be processed and sold to Korea, or if they produce products containing apples or pears that are exported to Korea.
- If apples or pears are used as ingredients, CCOF-certified operations must maintain documentation from the supplier’s certifier that antibiotics were not used in production of that product.
Organic raw or unprocessed products are not allowed to be exported under this arrangement.
You must enroll in CCOF’s GMA program to ensure appropriate label review and product verification if you would like to export to Korea. CCOF will issue the NAQS import certificate for processed products that meet the terms of the U.S./Korea Equivalency Arrangement. For additional information on exporting, check out our exporter guidance information.
Korean organic processed products sold in the United States must meet the following requirements:
- Livestock products must be produced without antibiotics, as verified by the supplier’s certifier.
- Products must travel with a NOP import certificate that has been completed by a Korean Registered Certification Body.
- Products must be either produced within Korea or have had final processing occur within Korea.
- Products must meet USDA NOP labeling requirements.