The American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. signed and exchanged letters on behalf of the U.S. and Taiwan to establish the new organic equivalence arrangement effective as of May 30, 2020 . The arrangement covers certified organic products grown, produced or with final processing in the U.S. or Taiwan and eliminates the need for organic producers and processors to have separate organic certification to the U.S. and Taiwan standards.
Taiwan is estimated to be the fifth-largest organic export market for U.S. producers. The U.S. has had a trade relationship with Taiwan through which some American-produced organic products could be exported to and sold in Taiwan without additional certification. However, exporters still faced significant barriers due to Taiwan’s strict import policies on food and agricultural products, including a de facto zero tolerance policy for traces of any unapproved substances. This latest agreement will allow U.S. organic companies to compete with other regional players in the Taiwanese market. Sales of U.S. organic products to Taiwan approached $92 million in 2019 and are forecasted to grow almost 50% over the next five years, based on Organic Trade Assn. (OTA) and USDA analyses. Leading the list of organic product imports by Taiwan are fresh produce, including apples, lettuce, grapes, cauliflower and celery and processed products.
Earlier this year, Taiwan signed organic equivalence arrangements with Japan, Australia and Canada.