Japan – Organic: Equivalence arrangement for organic livestock products and organic processed foods (2020-04)

Date of issue: 10 July 2020

Date of effect: 16 July 2020

Reference Number: MAA 2020-04


  • Organic Producers and Exporters, Organic certifying bodies, AMIC, MLA, Industry bodies
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment—Central and Regional offices


This Market Access Advice (MAA) provides an update to MAA 2020-02, and outlines the department’s equivalence arrangement for organic livestock products and organic processed foods to Japan.

Australia and Japan recognise equivalence under the JAS organic livestock standard

The Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) for organic livestock products and organic processed foods will change from a voluntary standard to a mandatory standard from 16 July 2020. After this date, all organic livestock products and organic processed foods sold in Japan will need to be labelled with the JAS organic logo. 

The livestock products that are subject to the JAS livestock regulation include meat and livestock products derived from the following domesticated animals (bovine, equine, ovine, caprine, and porcine animals) and poultry (chickens, quails, ostriches, ducks, and wild duck). Honey and fishery products are not included under the JAS standard so are not eligible for the JAS organic logo in Japan.

The department has concluded negotiations with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and reached an arrangement to recognise the Australian export regulation of organic livestock products and organic processed foods. The arrangement was reached taking into account the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The equivalence arrangement will be effective from 16 July 2020, and expands the current equivalence arrangement with Japan to now cover plant, livestock and processed food products.

From 16 July 2020, Australian organic livestock products and organic processed foods certified under the Australian organic export system can be exported to Japan, on the condition of an accompanying organic produce certificate (OPC). In Japan, JAS certified importers will be required to label the products with the JAS organic logo.

Exporters are encouraged to make arrangements with JAS certified importers to ensure that the requirement for affixing the JAS logo by the importer is appropriately delegated.

A further industry advice notice from the department will be forthcoming outlining changes affecting the approved certifying organisations’ issue of OPCs.

Further information

Contact OrganicExports@awe.gov.au or ExportStandards@awe.gov.au 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: 10 July 2020
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