Since 2002 JAS - Japan Agricultural Standards, require that organic products must be certified by a Japanese Body (a RCO, Registered Certification Organisation) or a foreign one (a RFCO, Registered Foreign Certification Organisation) registered at MAFF (the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery) and have to show on the label the JAS logo, other than the name of the authorized certification body.
ICEA, authorized by the Japanese MAFF since 7 July 2003 (with an authorization renewed on December 2006) as a Registered Foreign Certification Organisation, allows certified operators to use the JAS logo on the label of the products, introduced as quality logo to protect Japanese market and consumers.
The Japanese Government recognizes the EC regulation as equivalent to its own. This means that criteria for certification and standards of referral for organic operators that wants to export their products to Japan using the JAS logo, are the same adopted by the European Community according to EC Reg. 834/07 and EC Reg. 889/08.
Scopes of JAS standards include food, livestock feed and livestock products, with the exclusion of alcoholic beverages. Livestock products are not under equivalence, so all parties of the production chain must be JAS certified.
JAS standards in one case exclude a product admitted by EC Reg. 834/07 for foliar treatment of apples (Annex II B): calcium chloride.
Standards requires that, for countries in equivalence and for vegetable products, only processing and selling activities can be certified by a Japanese Certification Body or a foreign one (RFCO) recognized by MAFF.
Countries in equivalence are: Estonia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Ireland, USA, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Holland, Greece, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Belgium, Portugal, Luxemburg.
Anyway by respecting the EC control system, the producer or the final seller must ascertain that also ingredients (by suppliers) or raw materials (by sub suppliers) are certified according to EC Reg. 834/07.
JAS standards request the presence within the certified company of two different professionals, the “Production Process Manager” and the “Manager for the conformity of products before the sale” (grading).
Only in farms the two positions can be taken by a single person instead of two.
Grading manager decides which lots and batches of products are really compliant to the organic method according to JAS standards.
Person of referral: Cristina Baia
ICEA Export Office
Tel. 39 051 272986