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Important Korea Equivalency Arrangement Update

by Jon Knapp |

On Friday, June 13, the National Organic Program announced that the Agricultural Marketing Service and Korea are finalizing an equivalency arrangement for processed food products. This means that while an arrangement appears to be nearing the final stages, producers of fresh products, or products not defined as processed in Korea, will in all likelihood still require direct Korean certification.

CCOF currently understands nuts, frozen agricultural products, and some other handled goods to be classified as “within the Korean agricultural standards” instead of the processed food standards. The distinction between raw and processed goods stems from the separate agencies and standards that apply to raw and processed organic goods in Korea. The existing law for raw commodities has no provision to allow equivalency considerations. We will continue to work to clarify and optimize the definitions of raw or processed goods.

We commend the National Organic Program for working to achieve this important step forward in this contentious export market (see past certification news topics on international issues), but recognize that significant challenges remain for exporters of raw or fresh agricultural products.

CCOF operations that are aware of their products being shipped directly to Korea or used in goods shipping to Korea are advised to keep CCOF informed of their needs by contacting us at

CCOF is continuing to explore certification and accreditation options for the Korean market. If your operation may be interested in or requires this certification, please contact us so we can understand the scope and nature of your requirements.