Search form

Main Menu New

Home > International Trade > Trade Agreements > U.S. – Taiwan Equivalence Arrangement

U.S. – Taiwan Equivalence Arrangement

As of May 30, 2020, certified organic products can move freely between the U.S. and Taiwan. This equivalence arrangement provides certainty and significant market opportunities for U.S. exporters. Taiwan is a strong export market for U.S. organic products, and demand continues to grow. This two-way agreement is the third in Asia and allows the U.S. organic industry to expand even further overseas as consumers seek out safer and healthier products.

Read the OTA press release for more information on how Taiwan and the U.S. will work together to promote strong organic programs, protect organic standards, enhance cooperation, and facilitate trade in organic products.


Background and Clarifications

Under the arrangement as of May 30, 2020, Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA) and Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) will recognize USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to the requirements of the Taiwan Organic Agriculture Promotion Act and Enforcement Rules for the Organic Agriculture Promotion Act of 2019. This arrangement will allow products produced and certified as meeting USDA’s NOP standards to be marketed as “organic” in Taiwan. Likewise, the U.S. will allow Taiwanese products produced and certified under the Taiwan organic regulations to be marketed as “organic” in the U.S.

Additionally, this arrangement only applies to products produced in the U.S. or Taiwan, or products which final processing or packaging happens in the U.S. or Taiwan.

Conformity Assessments

Through a series of meetings and comprehensive on-site audits of both programs, both parties were able to ensure that while some of national program rules and approaches are not identical, they achieve an equivalent level of compliance and maintain the high quality standards important to the integrity of both programs.

Critical Variances

In order to access each other’s markets with organic label claims, U.S. and Taiwan organic producers and processors will be required to attest that each shipment meets the terms of the arrangement.

The following products may not be exported to the United States as certified organic:

  • Agricultural products derived from animals treated with antibiotics.
  • Aquatic animals (e.g. fish, shellfish).

Exclusions

Aquatic animals (e.g., fish and shellfish) and honey (single ingredient) are not included within the scope of the arrangement.

Requirements for Export Certificates

  • Exports to Taiwan require TM-11: The U.S. has agreed to use the current certifier-issued Import Certificates (TM-11), to accompany each shipment to Taiwan. The TM-11 export certificate must be signed by a U.S. certifying agent and must include the following statement: “Certified in compliance with the terms of the AIT/TECRONOP/AFA Organic Equivalence Arrangement.” Link to TM-11: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Exporting%20USDA%20organic%20products%20to%20Taiwan%20and%20Japan.pdf
  • Exports to the U.S. require import certificates: Comparable to requirements for shipments from the EU to the U.S., the USDA is developing guidance on the template and system requirements for organic products to be shipped from Taiwan

Labeling Requirements Under the Arrangement

USDA labeling requirements are mandatory for organic products exported to Taiwan and imported into the United States.

  • U.S. exports to Taiwan: USDA organic products exported to Taiwan can use the USDA organic seal but cannot use the Taiwan organic mark. The Taiwan organic mark can only be used on certified products that are produced or processed in Taiwan
  • U.S. imports from Taiwan: The equivalence arrangement authorizes Taiwan organic products meeting the terms of the arrangement to be labeled with the USDA organic seal, the Taiwan organic mark, or both as long as the USDA labeling requirements are met.

Additionally, Taiwan does not have a “made-with” category. Products that have 95% or more organic content may be labeled as organic, products with less than 95% cannot reference organic on the label or the list of ingredients.

Certifier Mark

Taiwan and the U.S. require that the accredited certifier must be identified on the label.

Livestock requirements

  1. U.S. fortified organic milk (milk with added vitamins and minerals) to be sold in Taiwan must use the term “fortified milk” on labels and may not be labeled as “fresh milk”.
  2. U.S. organic livestock or livestock products used as ingredients may not come from animals treated systemically with analgestics, including procaine and lidocaine
  3. Taiwan organic livestock or livestock products may not come from animals treated with antibiotics

Contact

OTA Members can direct questions about this agreement to:

Alexis Carey
Associate Director, International Trade
(202) 403-8515

Bob Anderson
Senior International Trade Advisor
(814) 571-1063