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Canada-Switzerland Organic Equivalency Recognition - Guidance document for Canadian importers and exporters

Requirements for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

Requirements for Canadian organic agricultural products for export to Switzerland

As of December 18, 2012, Canada has been added to the list of recognized third countries in Annex 4 of the Ordinance on Organic Farming of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) – PDF (474 kb). Agricultural products from countries listed in Annex 4 may be marketed with the labelling relating to organic production systems.

According to the Ordinance on Organic Farming and the Labelling of Organically Produced Products and Foodstuffs (Swiss Organic Farming Ordinance) – PDF (241kb), the following products certified according to the Canada Organic Regime by CFIA accredited certification bodies are accepted as organic in Switzerland:

  1. live or unprocessed agricultural products and vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation;
  2. processed agricultural products, including wine, for use as food or feed.

The products of category 1. must be grown in Canada.

Canadian organic products exported to Switzerland under the Canada-Switzerland Organic Equivalency Arrangement must be accompanied by a Certificate of Inspection – (Word format) (87 kb) according to Article 24 (a) of the Ordinance on Organic Farming and the Labelling of Organically Produced Products and Foodstuffs (Organic Farming Ordinance) – PDF (241 kb).

Organic products exported from Canada for import to Switzerland under this Recognition may bear the Canada Organic logo and/or any logo recognized by the Swiss Federal Office, under the conditions spelled out in the letter of recognition of equivalence and according to the labelling requirements of Chapter 1, Article 2 and Chapter 3, Articles 17-21, of the Ordinance on Organic Farming and the Labelling of Organically Produced Products and Foodstuffs (Organic Farming Ordinance) – PDF (241 kb).

In order to simplify the flow of goods of organic products between the EU and Switzerland, the same labelling requirements as in the EU apply such that the code number of the certification body must appear on the label.

Further information relating to Swiss import requirements of organic products can be found at: Imports of Organic Products Guidance – PDF (149 kb).

All organic products imported into Switzerland must meet Swiss labelling requirements.

Requirements for Swiss organic agricultural products imported to Canada

Pursuant to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the CFIA has determined that agricultural products of plant and/or animal origin which are produced and processed in Switzerland under an organic certification system that provides safeguards and guidelines governing the production and processing of such products are recognized as equivalent to the requirements of Canada's Organic Products Regulations, 2009.

Organic products must be accompanied by an organic certificate issued by a Swiss Certification/ Inspection Body.

Organic products certified in accordance with the Swiss organic system and exported to Canada may bear the Canada Organic Logo. A copy of the logo must be requested from the Swiss certification/inspection bodies responsible for the certification.

Organic products imported into Canada must meet Canadian labelling requirements.

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