2011-7 - Requirements for the export of organic plant and plant products (excluding wine) to Japan

​Date Issued: 3 November 2011
AQIS Notice Number: 2011/7
AQIS File Number:
Date of Effect: Immediate
Date of Expiry: UFN
AQIS Contact: Julie Crockett + 61 2 6272 3933
Email: NPG Exports 
Distribution Category:
Approved Certifying Organisations
Last Notice in the category: 2010/2 and 2010/3
Instruction issued under: Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders


1. To advise industry of the requirements for export of certified organic plant and plant products (excluding wine) to Japan.


2. In March 2010 a representative from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) met with AQIS representatives in Canberra to discuss Australia’s organic system.  AQIS took this opportunity to clarify with Japan, their understanding of the equivalence arrangement our two countries have in place.

3.  AQIS sought clarification regarding the scope of AQIS-approved certifying bodies eligible to export under the equivalence arrangement, and whether the need for facilitation letters to accompany product which did not / could not have the JAS-mark applied in Australia is required.

4.  The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) – Japan have advised AQIS that according to the Article 35 of the Ministerial Ordinance No 62 (1950) of the Law Concerning Standardisation and Proper Labelling of Agricultural and Forestry products (JAS Law), the address of AQIS is required on the OPC issued under the equivalency arrangement.


5. MAFF have formally advised the following where the organic plant and plant products (excluding wine) are exported under the equivalence arrangement AQIS has with MAFF Japan:

  • all AQIS-approved certifying organisations are eligible to export organic plant and plant products (excluding wine) to Japan under the equivalence arrangement;
  • AQIS is the competent authority responsible for the issuance of the organic produce certificates for goods exported under the equivalence arrangement.
  • organic plant and plant products (excluding wine) exported to Japan under the equivalence arrangement must be accompanied by an Organic Produce Certificate (OPC) specifying the address of AQIS - Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, 18 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City, ACT, 2601;
  • organic products exported to Japan under the equivalence arrangement that have not had the JAS-mark applied to the label in Australia can only be exported to JAS organic certified importers; and
  • Facilitation letters are not required to accompany non-JAS marked product - an AQIS-addressed OPC is considered as sufficient documentation.

6. For all other certified products not produced under this arrangement, the certifying organisations must ensure the address of the certifying organisation is included on the OPC. The AQIS address must not be placed on the OPC for products exported under the conformity assessment arrangement that individual certifiers have in place with MAFF.

7. Where consignments of certified products exported to Japan contain organic plant and livestock products, the approved certifying organisation will ensure there are two OPCs issued. One with the AQIS address on it for the plant products and a second OPC for the products (e.g. livestock products) produced under the equivalency arrangement.


AQIS approved certifying organisations are to:

8. Note the information above

9. Update procedures for issuing OPCs to reflect these requirements for OPCs destined for Japan.

  • The AQIS address must be referenced on an OPC of plant and plant products (excluding wine) being exported under the AQIS equivalence arrangement to Japan;
  • No reference of the AQIS address must be applied to OPCs of products being exported under the certifying organisations equivalence arrangement with Japan MAFF. (e.g. livestock products)

10. Inform exporters and operators who export to the Japanese market of the information.

11. Ensure that the AQIS address occurs only on OPCs for products exported to Japan under the equivalency arrangement.

AQIS will:

12. Review this requirement during the annual audit process.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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