Substantial changes are on the way for the National Organic Program. The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing the “Strengthening Enforcement Rule,” which will support ‘a broader strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports and the organic supply chain.’ The proposed rule would provide better oversight of the accreditation and certification process; including a requirement that all imported products have the same necessary certificates.
Other changes contained in the rule include increased accountability and visibility, as well as reforming the exemption process for handler certifications. With the encouragement of Congress, the US Department of Agriculture will be tightening requirements for uncertified handlers. Working with Customs and Border Protection, there will now be a mandate for all imports to be electronically certified under the updated guidelines. The rule is expected to be published soon with a 60-day comment period to be provided.
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