Organic Rules and Certification

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Conversion, general requirements - US NOP 2002

Huber, Beate (2005) Conversion, general requirements - US NOP 2002. [Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91]

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§ 205.202 Land requirements. Any field or farm parcel from which harvested crops are intended to be sold, labelled, or represented as "organic," must: (a) Have been managed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 205.203 through 205.206 (b) Have had no prohibited substances, as listed in § 205.105, applied to it for a period of 3 years immediately preceding harvest of the crop (c) Have distinct, defined boundaries and buffer zones such as runoff diversions to prevent the unintended application of a prohibited substance to the crop or contact with a prohibited substance applied to adjoining land that is not under organic management.


US requires 3 years with no prohibited materials prior to harvest, but does not require full implementation of organic practices during the entire conversion period. EU Regulation 2092/91 requires 2 years of organic management prior to sowing or 3 years before the first harvest in case of perennials. The EU requires inspection during the conversion period, whereas the US does not. The EU defines the beginning of the conversion period, for the US this is not relevant subsequently; there is no retroactive approval for the conversion period in the US.


The Act does not require that land be under active organic management during the period prior certification and USDA do not believe such a requirement in these regulations is necessary. Such a requirement, for example, would necessitate some process for verifying that an operation is under active organic management, which would, in effect, require a certification-type decision a year before certification is granted and the operation can begin to label products as certified organic.

EU Regulation

Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > A.Plant and plant products > Conversion - Annex I A1

Item type:Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91
Subjects:Conversion > Retrospective approval
Conversion > Conversion definitions
Principles:Principle of care
Principle of health
ID Code:467
Deposited On:20 Nov 2005
Last Modified:24 Nov 2008 08:19

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