Implementation of new organic requirements for American exports entering Mexico will now be delayed until 2022. Last December, Mexico published a measure requiring that most organic products be certified under Mexico’s Organic Law (LPO) standards. Enforcement of the new requirement was initially set to begin immediately. After negotiations between Mexican officials and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an extension was granted to June 26, 2021. The latest announcement will provide a further extension through the end of the year.
“I am pleased to report that on May 7, 2021, Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) extended the deadline for U.S. organic exports to be certified to its Organic Products Law (LPO). This is a request that I made directly to Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Villalobos and am grateful that he extended the compliance deadline to December 31, 2021,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “USDA-certified organic products may continue to be exported through 2021. USDA will continue to work with U.S. organic exporters to assist in transitioning to LPO compliance and will continue to provide updates as necessary. This is another important step for American agriculture and for maintaining positive bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico, one of our most important export markets.”
The regulating body for organic products in Mexico is the National Service for Animal and Plant Health, Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA). The agency will be responsible for the certification and enforcement for the LPO requirements that U.S. exporters will have to abide by. American exporters will need to be certified under the new organic requirements by a SENASICA-accredited body.
Multiple organic associations in the U.S. had previously voiced concern about the condensed timeline for compliance with the LPO. While the U.S. imports significantly more organic products from Mexico, the organic market in Mexico remains an important one. Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. organic exports.