Frequently Asked Questions: Organic Products Regulations, 2009

The FAQs below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with general information about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's regulations.

1. What is the purpose of these regulations?

The Organic Products Regulations, 2009, under the authority of the Canada Agricultural Products Act, regulate mandatory certification to the National Organic Standard or standards falling under equivalency arrangements for agricultural products represented as organic when imported into Canada or interprovincially traded, or that bear the federal organic agricultural product legend (or federal logo). These regulations enable consumer protection against deceptive and misleading labelling practices and claims regarding organic products.

2. What are the key elements of these regulations?

Part 1 – Verification and Certification Bodies: provides authority for conformity verification bodies to assess, recommend for accreditation and monitor certification bodies and outlines requirements for a certification body to be accredited.

Part 2 – Certification: sets out the requirements to be met in order to obtain organic certification for an agricultural product or for its packaging and labelling. It also establishes standards for organic certification.

Part 3 – Label: sets out requirements for the labelling and advertising of an organic product.

Part 4 – Interprovincial and International Trade: prohibits the marketing of a product as organic in interprovincial trade and importation except in accordance with the regulations.

Schedule 1: sets out prescribed times for filing an organic certification application.

Schedule 2: provides the logo to be used to market certified organic products.

3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

These regulations support further development of the domestic market for organic agricultural products and regulate the marketing of those products when imported into Canada or interprovincially traded.

4. When did these regulations come into force?

The Organic Products Regulations, 2009 came into force June 30, 2009, following requests by the organic sector and consumers to develop a federally regulated system for organic agricultural products.

5. Where can I get more information?

Please refer to the Organic Products section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website for more information.

Questions relating to the labelling of organic products may be directed to a CFIA regional office.

Questions related to the certification system and the use of the federal logo may be directed by email to OPR.RPB@inspection.gc.ca.

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