The NOP/USDA certification
The Organic Products Control Institute “BIOHELLAS S.A.” is the only organization in Greece that is accredited by the National Organic Program (NOP) organic farming standard of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NOP/USDA Certification covers crop production, native plant and herb collection, and processing.
As a public-private partnership, the National Organic Program (NOP) certifies farms and businesses that meet the prerequisites of the standard by accrediting third-party organizations. USDA and accreditors work together to ensure a level playing field for producers and to protect consumer confidence in the USDA Organic Seal.
Companies exporting their products to the US market may gain a significant advantage over their competitors because of this standard. The same goes for products that are exempt from the European Regulation (EU) 2018/848 for organic agriculture (such as tobacco, hydroponic crops, etc.). Additionally, NOP/USDA certification allows organic products to be exported to countries that do not have an exchange rate agreement with the EU but with the USA or require only NOP/USDA certification.
It is possible to certify four different categories depending on the composition of the product: 100% organic, organic, made with organic ingredients, and less than 70% organically produced.
A comprehensive legislative framework is laid out in both the USDA-NOP Regulation and the NOP Handbook.
The NOP/USDA accredited body BIOHELLAS has offices in Greece and Bulgaria and can certify companies worldwide.
The certification process
In order to be certified according to the NOR – USDA standard, a company must make direct contact with the organization “BIOHELLAS”. It is necessary for the application to include all necessary documentation to demonstrate that the business complies with US organic regulations.
In order to issue the final compliance decision and the “ORGANIC CERTIFICATE” compliance certificate, all necessary documents must be received and at least one on-site inspection must be conducted. It is necessary to repeat the above procedure every year.
You can find more information about the USDA/NOP standard in the link below: