Japan

This page also available in english.

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Operations in the US    |    Operations in Canada   |    Labeling Requirements     |    Export Documents     |    Direct JAS Certification


You need to enroll in the Global Market Access (GMA) program for Japan if you:

  • Plan to export CCOF certified organic products to Japan from the United States or Canada
  • Design labels for products that will be sold in Japan
  • Sell CCOF certified organic products to any buyer who requires international verification certification

To enroll send a completed GMA application to inbox@ccof.org.

Read the complete GMA Manual

Operations in the US

US/Japan Equivalence Arrangement

Operations located in the United States and certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to Japan through the US/Japan Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) as equivalent, with no critical variances.

Requirements for Exports to Japan from the United States

  • NOP products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging occur within the United States.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers organic crops, wild crops, livestock, and processed products.
  • .Only products covered under the scope of the Japanese regulations are eligible. Pure honey and products containing over 5% honey, alcohol, and non-food processed products are not covered under this arrangement. They may be traded between the U.S. and Japan but cannot bear the destination country’s organic seal/logo and do not require export/import certificate.
     

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Operations in Canada

Canada/Japan Equivalence Arrangement

The Canadian Organic Regime (COR) has an organic equivalence arrangement with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). This arrangement establishes the Canadian COR standards and the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) as equivalent, with minor critical variances.

Requirements for Exports to Japan from Canada

  • COR products must be either produced within, or have final processing or packaging within Canada.
  • The equivalence arrangement covers organic plants (including fungi), plant based processed products, livestock products and processed food products containing livestock ingredients.
  • Alcohol and non-food processed products are not covered under this agreement. They may be traded between Canada and Japan but cannot bear the destination country’s organic seal/logo and do not require export/import certificates.
     

Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources

Labeling Requirements


CCOF has developed a helpful International Market Labeling Guide to provide labeling requirements for organic products sold in Japan. All products shipped to Japan must meet the JAS labeling requirements. The JAS Seal is mandatory on all organic products.

Send all labels to CCOF for approval prior to printing.

JAS Seal

The JAS seal may be applied in Japan by a JAS certified importer or applied prior to export through a Consignment Contract with a JAS certified importer.

Learn more about international labeling requirements by visiting CCOF's Labeling and Logos page and MAFF's JAS labeling requirements page.

U.S. and Canadian exporters can meet the JAS labeling requirements in three ways:

1. JAS certified importer applies their JAS seal in Japan (most common)

  • Export the product without the JAS seal and have the JAS certified importer apply their seal once it reaches Japan, before sale.
     

2. JAS Seal Consignment Contract with a JAS certified importer

  • Sign the Consignment Contract with your JAS certified importer to apply their JAS seal directly to your products in the United States or Canada. Additional details below.
  • CCOF can help you navigate the Consignment Contract and provide required reporting under the JAS system. Note, the JAS seal is unique to each JAS certifier.
     

3. Direct JAS certification through a JAS accredited certifier (see additional details at bottom of page)

  • CCOF has an inspection partnership with ACO Certification Ltd to offer direct JAS certification, giving you access to your own JAS seal.
  • CCOF has observed that this option is time consuming and costly and only recommends it if your export volume justifies it.
     

JAS Seal Consignment Contract

Sign the JAS Seal Consignment Contract with your JAS certified importer to apply the JAS seal directly to your USDA NOP or COR certified products in the United States or Canada. Under this contract system, the CCOF certified exporter must identify a responsible employee, demonstrate compliance with the contract training, and maintain records of the number of seals used for each shipment to Japan.

With enrollment in the GMA Japan program, CCOF staff will guide you through the Consignment Contract process and facilitate maintenance of the required records. CCOF provides a variety of tools and processes based on MAFF’s instructions below.

Consignment Contract Process

  1. Sign the JAS Seal Consignment Contract with your JAS importer and send a signed copy to CCOF.
  2. Complete the Training for Attaching JAS Seals. Send the signed documents to your importer and CCOF.
  3. Your importer will send their JAS seal for you to use on your products.
  • Each JAS seal is specific to the importer’s certifier, so you must be careful to apply the correct seal if you have multiple contracts.
  • You are only allowed to apply the JAS seal on products destined to the specific importer you have subcontracted with.
  1. Submit your new Japan labels to inbox@ccof.org.
  2. Apply the JAS seal to the products the products compliant in the GMA Japan program.
  3. Provide the Report of Attached JAS Seals with your export certificate request to export@ccof.org.

 7.   Send the CCOF-issued Japan export certificate and the Report of Attached JAS Seals with each shipment.


Click to enlarge image.

Export Documents

Once enrolled in CCOF’s GMA program and verified as compliant, you may request export documents for each shipment.

  • Exported product from the US must be accompanied by a Japan (TM-11) export certificate.
  • Exported product from Canada must be accompanied by a COR/Japan export certificate.

Direct JAS Certification

CCOF is not accredited to offer Japanese Agriculture Standard (JAS) Certification, however CCOF has an inspection partnership with ACO Certification Ltd to make direct JAS certification a possibility for your U.S. or Mexico based operation. In most cases, CCOF inspectors can perform your NOP inspection on behalf of CCOF and your JAS inspection on behalf of ACO Certification Services during the same audit visit, saving time and reducing inspection travel costs. The JAS audit report is then submitted to ACO Certification Services for compliance review and all JAS related certification decisions.

Consider JAS certification if you:

  • Are working with a Japanese importer who is not JAS certified and does not have their own JAS Seal to apply in Japan or through the Consignment Contract process outlined above.
  • Need direct JAS certification in order to have your own unique JAS Seal and control the application process.
  • Are located in Mexico and plan to ship products directly to Japan. Mexico and Japan do not have an organic equivalence arrangement and all organic exports from Mexico to Japan must be JAS certified. Please note, ACO Certification Services is only able to provide services in English.

 

Additional JAS Resources

A full list of JAS accredited certifiers working outside of Japan can be found here.

To apply for JAS certification with ACO Certification Services or for more information contact CCOF at export@ccof.org.