Japan – Organic produce: Guidance on the equivalence arrangement for organic livestock products (2020-02)

Date of issue: 9 April 2020

Date of effect: 16 July 2020

Reference Number: MAA 2020-02


Organic Producers and Exporters, Organic certifying bodies, Industry bodies

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment—Central and Regional offices


This Market Access Advice provides advice to Australian organic certifiers and exporters regarding the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) organic livestock standard changing from a voluntary to a mandatory standard on 16 July 2020.

Conclusion of an equivalence arrangement may be subject to delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implementation of the JAS organic livestock standard

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) had advised that the JAS Organic standard for livestock and livestock products will change from a voluntary standard to a mandatory standard from 16 July 2020 onwards. In accordance with this change, all organic livestock products sent to Japan will be required to be certified as organic under the JAS system, or a system that has been recognised as equivalent by MAFF.

The department has been in negotiations with MAFF to recognise the department’s organic regulatory framework and production of organic produce in accordance with the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic produce. To provide this recognition MAFF had planned to undertake a sample audit of Australian organic livestock production establishments. Travel restrictions implemented due to COVID-19, has caused delays to this process.

The department and Japan’s MAFF are exploring options regarding reaching an equivalence arrangement prior to 16 July 2020 given the current circumstances. Japan MAFF will provide further information of alternate arrangements for the audit. Further advice will be provided to industry as it becomes available. 

Further information

Contact Organic exports or Export Standards if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 14 April 2020
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