Certificate of Inspection for Organic Products (CIO)


The CIO ensures the organic products imported into the country conforms to internationally recognised standards for organic product life cycle i.e. growing,  production, processing, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and compliant with applicable laws/organic standards of the countries.


The certificate is generated by third party certification agencies accredited under the organic standards of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, short IFOAM - Organics International, supports PGS that certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders. They are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.

The certificate is a mandatory document for exporting and importing countries certifying that products grown and produced are organic as per the organic standards of the country.

Legal requirement

CIO is a mandatory custom document. The products are allowed to be exported or imported only when a certificate issued by the certification agency confirms compliance under the country organic standards.


The documents are issued in paper and digital form. Currently, various countries are using the certificate issued through digital channel i.e. Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) – EU and Tracenet – India etc. it will be difficult to estimate the number of documents issued in paper and/or digital form in a year.


The technical standards are linked to the specific standard of the country of import. For example:

  • US National Organic Program (NOP), from USDA Organic Regulations 7 CFR Part 205
  • European Regulation (EU), from EC 834/2007 & 889/2008
  • Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS)
  • India National Standards for Organic Products (India NSOP)
  • Canadian Organic Standards
  • China - National Organic Standard GB/T19630-2019


There are no major differences between certificates of inspection for organic products required by various countries except specific national standards along basic details common to all CIO.


The integrated statistical tool TRACES – EU allows the extraction of valuable data in relation to imports into the EU, exports from the EU and intra-Union trade.

Tracenet is a platform offered by APEDA (India) for facilitating process certification of export of organic products from India which comply with the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).


  • Organic standard
  • Issuing certification body
  • Importer
  • Exporter
  • Product exported from
  • Import certificate number
  • CoO
  • Country of export
  • Country of destination
  • Harmonized Tariff Code
  • Marks and numbers
  • Container number and kind
  • Trade name of the product
  • Invoice number
  • Bills of Lading number
  • Vessel name
  • Product name
  • Total net weight


The major hurdles encountered are the legal, technical and regulatory environment of the country. To enable adoption, there should be harmonisation of standards among various countries. IFOAM has been upfront in promoting harmonisation and equivalence in organic agriculture since 2002.