The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has expanded the functionality of its Organic INTEGRITY Database (INTEGRITY) by launching a new import certificate module. This new module augments the Trade Partner module, launched in May 2023, and is the second of two recent expansions of INTEGRITY. Together they make up a system called the Global Organic INTEGRITY Database (GLOBAL INTEGRITY).
GLOBAL INTEGRITY increases our ability to protect the integrity of imported and domestic organic products sold in the United States. The new import certificate module provides certifiers with the ability to generate electronic import certificates in GLOBAL INTEGRITY for international organic agricultural products being exported to the United States. This is another important step in implementing the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) final rule, which requires the use of electronic import certificates to fortify supply chain traceability and organic integrity.
Since INTEGRITY’s 2015 launch, USDA-accredited certifiers have used the database to report on farms and businesses certified to the USDA organic regulations. The new Trade Partner module allows international certifiers to report on farms and businesses certified under our organic trade arrangements. With that added module and the new functionality of the import certificate, both USDA-accredited certifiers and certifiers working with other government partners under organic trade arrangements can now generate electronic import certificates in GLOBAL INTEGRITY. These import certificates will be associated with exports of organic agricultural products to the United States.
NOP worked with certifiers accredited under the USDA and Canadian organic regulations to test this new module and used their feedback to refine the system and develop future enhancements. Accredited certifiers can access the import certificate module by logging into GLOBAL INTEGRITY, via the Organic INTEGRITY Database.
NOP continues to work with certifiers on how to use the module to generate electronic import certificates for organic imports into the United States. The program is providing user guides, microlearnings and other learning resources during the SOE implementation period, which ends March 19, 2024.
The USDA Organic Integrity Learning Center provides free, on demand, online training to support the professional development and continuing education of people working to protect organic integrity. NOP recently published two new microlearnings designed for on-the-job learning.
The NOP Import Certificate Data Flow microlearning describes the import certificate data flow process from the accredited certifier to the NOP. It is intended for certifiers, final handlers and people with an interest in organic import certificates.
The How to Create Electronic Organic Import Certificates microlearning demonstrates how to use the import certificate module in GLOBAL INTEGRITY to create import certificates for organic products entering the United States. It is intended for accredited certifiers.