You need to enroll in the Global Market Access (GMA) program for Korea if you:
- Plan to export CCOF certified organic products to Korea from the United States
- Design labels for products that will be sold in Korea
- Sell CCOF certified organic products to any buyer who requires international verification certification
Read the complete GMA Manual
Operations in the US
US/Korea Equivalence Arrangement
Operations located in the United States and certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) can ship to Korea through the US/Korea Equivalence Arrangement. The arrangement recognizes the NOP standards and the Korean standard as equivalent, with minor critical variances.
Requirements for Exports to Korea from the United States
- Products must be "processed foods", as defined by the Korean Food Code (see below). Organic raw or unprocessed foods are not allowed to be exported under this arrangement.
- Final processing must occur in the U.S.
Korean Food Code Definition of “Processed Food”
"Processed food" means foods manufactured, processed and packaged by: adding food or food additives to food ingredients (agricultural, forest, livestock, or fishery products, etc.); transforming into unrecognizable forms (grinding or cutting, etc.); mixing such transformed ones; or adding food or food additives to such mixture. However, this excludes the agricultural/forest/animal/fishery products that are simply cut, peeled, salted, ripened, or heated (except for the purpose of pasteurization or where such treatment causes significant changes to the ingredients) without using food additives or other ingredients, to the extent that their original forms can still be recognized; provided that during such process, there are no concerns about sanitary risks and that the quality of food can be identified organoleptically.
Korea's Guidance for Classification of Processed Food Products
- Classification by addition of food or food additive: Products that have another food or additive added to them.
- Classification by processing: Products that have undergone a processing step as defined above.
- Classification by concern over possible hazards: Minimally processed products that can be consumed right away without cleansing, cooking, etc.
Exporters are encouraged to consult a Korean importer or Korea’s National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service (NAQS) if they have questions about whether their product qualifies as a “processed food.”
Additional Equivalence Arrangement Resources
- National Organic Program - International Trade Korea (includes requirements for products imported into the US under these arrangements)
- Organic labeling information on U.S. organic products exported to the Republic of Korea
CCOF has developed a helpful International Market Labeling Guide to explain labeling requirements for organic products sold in Korea. All products shipped to Korea must meet Korean labeling requirements.
The Korean logo is optional on certified products. If the Korean logo is used, additional requirements apply.
Send all labels to CCOF for approval prior to printing.
To learn more, read the MAFRA Organic logo and labeling information instructions.
Once enrolled in CCOF’s GMA program and verified as compliant, you may request export documents for each shipment. Export documents must be submitted to CCOF and completed in Korea’s e-NAQS system by CCOF before the shipment leaves US soil.
- Product exported to Korea must be accompanied by an NAQS Import Certificate of Organic Processed Foods.