Vol. 147, No. 21 — October 9, 2013


SOR/2013-167 September 30, 2013


Regulations Amending the Organic Products Regulations, 2009

P.C. 2013-973 September 27, 2013

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, pursuant to section 32 (see footnote a) of the Canada Agricultural Products Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Organic Products Regulations, 2009.



1. (1) The definition “ISO/IEC 65” in section 1 of the Organic Products Regulations, 2009 (see footnote 1) is repealed.

(2) Section 1 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“ISO/IEC 17065” means the most recent version of ISO/IEC Guide 17065 of the International Organization for Standardization, entitled Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. (norme ISO/IEC 17065)

2. Paragraph 5(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

3. Subsection 9(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

9. (1) Subject to subsection (2), on the recommendation made in a report of the conformity verification body, the Agency shall suspend the accreditation of a certification body if the certification body has not complied with any provision of the Act, these Regulations or ISO/IEC 17065.


4. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


The Organic Products Regulations (OPR), made pursuant to the Canada Agricultural Products Act, came into force on June 30, 2009. The OPR form the basis for oversight of the federally regulated industry via the Canada Organic Regime (COR). The COR is based on a third-party service delivery model, where the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) acts as the authority, providing oversight, administration and enforcement of the OPR. The CFIA assesses and designates conformity verification bodies (CVBs) who in turn assess, recommend for accreditation, and monitor certification bodies (CBs). These CBs are third-party private organizations that have been accredited to certify products as organic.

The OPR support the development of the domestic market for organic products and facilitate international market access based on recognizable principles and practices respecting organic certification. The OPR provide control over the marketing of imported and inter-provincially traded organic products and the use of a product legend which identifies products as “organic,” and provide protection to consumers against deceptive and misleading labelling practices and claims regarding organic products.

The OPR presently incorporate by reference two International Standard Organization (ISO) Guides, ISO 17011: Conformity assessment – General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which provides the CVBs with authority to recommend to the CFIA accreditation of the CBs, and the ISO Guide 65 General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems (ISO 65), which provides the CBs with authority to certify organic products.

The ISO/CASCO (Committee on Conformity Assessment) committee has reviewed the ISO 65 and on September 15, 2012, replaced it with ISO/IEC 17065:2011 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services (ISO/IEC 17065).

The new ISO/IEC 17065 contains two changes from the ISO 65. Firstly, the ISO/IEC 17065 is now a standard instead of a guideline, which means that compliance is required. This has no effect on CBs in Canada, however, because the OPR already required compliance with the ISO 65. Secondly, the ISO/IEC 17065 applies not only to product certification but also to the certification of processes and services. The latter change applies to CBs that provide certification of services and processes, but does not apply to the COR, since the OPR only address the product that is certified.

The change to this standard affects the processes of the CBs; therefore, it will only impact the CBs and will not have any impact on the organic operators (farmers, producers, etc.).

Although the new ISO/IEC 17065 will impact how CBs operate internationally in general, the OPR’s requirements for CBs are more rigorous than those currently in place. The standards in ISO/IEC 17065 are already required by the OPR and therefore would mean no changes in practice for the CBs.

The amendment facilitates compatibility with international organic certification systems and will enable the CFIA to continue to meet Canada’s international obligations required by existing equivalency arrangements (United States, European Union and Switzerland, and Costa Rica). Additionally, if there is no requirement in the OPR for CBs to comply with the new ISO/IEC 17065, this may have an impact on the CFIA’s participation in current or future equivalency arrangements.

This amendment has been exempted from prepublication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, because the modification in references from ISO 65 to ISO/IEC 17065 does not have any impact on the organic producers and processors, on consumers, or on the public. CBs accredited by CFIA are already required to be in compliance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065.

Issues and objectives

The objective of this proposal is to keep the OPR current by updating the reference of ISO 65 to ISO/IEC 17065.


This amendment is administrative in nature. The amendment updates all references of ISO 65 to ISO/IEC 17065.


No consultations were conducted as this amendment is administrative in nature and reflects current practices. Therefore, it does not impact policy, industry or Canadians. A copy of the amendments will be posted on CFIA’s Web site along with this Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this amendment as there are no associated administrative costs or savings. The standards in ISO/IEC 17065 are already in practice by industry.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to these amendments, as there are no costs on small business.


The update to the reference of ISO 65 to ISO/IEC 17065 in the OPR serves to maintain current standards and reflects current practices for the federally regulated organic products industry in Canada. This amendment allows the industry to continue to be competitive and recognized on the international stage. The update will also facilitate the CFIA’s participation in equivalency arrangements. There are no disproportionate costs to industry because the federally regulated Canadian industry already meets the requirements in the new ISO/IEC 17065.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

There will be a one-time compliance cost to the CBs to implement this amendment. This cost will be $156.21 per CB, which will total approximately $6,250 for all CBs. This estimate is based on the one-time cost to the CB to purchase a copy of the new standard guide, ISO/IEC 17065. The cost is $138.64 per electronic copy and $173.79 per hard copy, with $156.21 being the average of these two prices. The total estimate is calculated assuming that all 40 CBs would purchase the new standard guide. It is important to note, however, that many of the CBs have already purchased the new standard guide on a voluntary basis; some already required it for other activities.

The amendments would not impact on the current enforcement process, as the federally regulated industry already complies with ISO/IEC 17065.


Elizabeth Corrigan
Canada Organic Office
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9
Telephone: 613-773-6221
Fax: 613-773-5961
Email: Elizabeth.Corrigan@inspection.gc.ca