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AnnouncementSeptember 12, 2012

The National Organic Program (NOP) pleased to announce several new additions to the Program Handbook.

Handbook Updates

To help individuals who own, manage, or certify organic operations meet all USDA organic requirements, the NOP has published four new resources in its Program Handbook: 

Certification Section

NOP 2609: Unannounced Inspections

Provides instructions to certifiers regarding unannounced inspections, including their scope and frequency.  

NOP 2612: Recommended Penalties for Violations of Specific Regulatory Requirements (Penalty Matrix)

Provides instructions to certifiers on how regulatory violations should be addressed.

NOP 2612-1: Penalty Matrix by Violation Category

Per section of the USDA organic regulations, provides examples of violations and their recommended penalties. 


Policy Memos Section

PM 12-1: Production and Certification of Aquatic Plants

Clarifies that aquatic plants and their products can by certified under the current USDA organic regulations.

PM 12-2: Placement of Certified Organic By *** Statement

Grants a transition period for the correct placement of the "certified organic by ***" statement on packaged products.

Alternatively, view the full NOP Handbook.

Updated Lists of Certifying Agents

Looking for a certifying agent serving a specific state or country? 

To help both current and prospective organic operations identify a certifying agents, we now provide two ways to search:

By Name. Lists certifying agents alphabetically by name.

By Location. Most NOP-accredited certifying agents may certify farms and businesses anywhere in the world. The domestic and foreign directories list certifying agents that have recently certified operations in specific U.S. states and foreign countries.

View updated certifying agents page

About the National Organic Program (NOP)

The NOP facilitates trade and ensures integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. Learn more.

About the NOP Organic Insider

The NOP Organic Insider informs the organic community on a wide range of NOP functions, including organic standards, accreditation and international activities, compliance and enforcement, the National Organic Standards Board, training events, and the Cost Share program.


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