On 14 November 2016, Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) and Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand (MPI) signed the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Organic Products Certification. This is the first inter-governmental mutual recognition agreement signed by China, which is of great significance to promote the organic industry and trade development of the two countries and enhance the quality of imported organic products.
Under this agreement, China and New Zealand reached a consensus on organic product standards, certification requirements, mutual recognition scopes, follow-up supervision, etc., which reflects the role of certification in promoting international trade facilitation and regulatory cooperation. The two countries also confirmed the equivalence of the organic products certification systems of the two countries and recognized the organic certification results of each other.
Therefore, in the near future, organic product including food exported from New Zealand into China is exempt from apply the Chinese Organic Certificate, and could claim “Organic（有机）” in the packaging (label). However, exporters from New Zealand shall take responsibility as follows if “Organic” is indicated in the packaging (label):
- The Organic Export Certificate issued by Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand shall be attached when exporting.
- Exporters shall apply and purchase Organic Codes for their products with a Chinese Organic certification body.
- The Chinese Organic Certification Mark and Code shall be attached in the packaging (label) of the products. Below are some examples of the Mark and Code:
If the first mutual recognition agreement plays an important and positive role in the trade development between China and New Zealand, then it can be speculated that China will sign more mutual recognition agreements with other countries (e.g. Australia, USA, etc.). However, it may be difficult to sign with EU, as controversy will be raised in different countries in EU.
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