How do I legally resell JAS Organic Certified Tea
Anything that is traded and retailed in the market, most especially globally, needs certification. Japan, known to produce quality teas, is the common target of tea distributors around the world. Some would distribute JAS-certified teas as is, or some would buy in bulk and distribute it in its branding or repacking. If you are exploring and importing quality teas from Japan or simply curious about how to do it, this article would give you some essential tips for the procedures.
In terms of reselling JAS organic certified tea, any business directly involved in tea production can be certified, including tea suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers, and restaurants, including resellers. Requirements vary from country to country and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging, and shipping.
IMPORTING JAS ORGANIC CERTIFIED TEA IN THE UNITED STATES: EQUIVALENCY AGREEMENT
In the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA’s National Organic Program handles importing and exporting organic products to and from the United States. Because of the treaty with Japan to accept JAS organic certified tea as equivalent USDA registration in the United States, it helps food producers or suppliers located in the United States to import organic ingredients, such as JAS certified organic teas, that are not produced within the United States.
Aside from checking the visibility of the JAS organic logo, shippers could also review some essential documents. Shippers could check the bill of lading, detailing sales of organic goods and specifying terms of delivery. They could also look into commercial invoices representing a complete record of the business transaction, any import certificate or attestations, and the Organic certification (s).
Suppose you are simply going to resell an already JAS organic certified tea. In that case, you merely need to register as an importer and reseller based on the equivalency treaty between the United States and Japan. In the United States, “JAS organic” labeling already means the food products have been produced according to USDA organic regulations. JAS-certified teas are considered USDA certified already.
There should be a NOP Import Certificate and organic certificate completed by a JAS-authorized certifier for shipping processing. For labeling requirements, JAS-certified organic teas must also comply with the USDA organic labeling requirements. For packaged retail products, labels or stickers must state “Certified Organic By” with the certification body’s name and display the USDA organic seal and/or the JAS organic logo. Traders must also use harmonized tariff schedule codes. These codes are for tracking purposes and must include permits, sanitary and phytosanitary certificates to ensure the product is healthy and free from pests requiring quarantine.
It would be best to be a certified repacker for repacking since you are not merely reselling the JAS-certified tea. The process involves control points that may compromise organic integrity, such as the verification of supplier certification, commingling, sanitation, and pest control practices. Also, you will need to have another certification compliant with organic standards since the bulk of JAS organic teas have been repacked into smaller quantities. The certification required depends on where you are located and which countries you would like to sell the repackaged teas. For example, in the United States, you would need a USDA accredited certifier to certify you to the USDA organic standards as implemented by its National Organic Program. If you wanted to apply the JAS organic symbol, you would have to find a JAS accredited certifier in the United States to do so due to the equivalency treaty.
Usually, in the United States, there is no required size for the repacking area as long as the place is sanitized and proper for repacking. Then these areas could be properly registered. Some certifiers will verify that the facility has adequate county/state registration as a food facility before issuing an organic certificate. If there is valid registration, an organic certifier will not go snooping around for food safety issues. Certifiers would look into how teas are transferred from bulk containers to final packaging. It would ask specific questions on the tools or machines used for repacking in terms of sanitation. If there is repacking of non-organic teas, you must ensure that the tools and machines used are exclusively for repacking organic teas only.
IMPORTING JAS ORGANIC CERTIFIED TEA IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Japan also has an equivalency agreement with Europe. It means that JAS-certified organic tea from Japan could also be imported as organic in the continent. Other European countries also require the importer to be registered with the government or be certified by a third-party organization. Each shipment to Europe of organic food for resale must be registered with the Trade Control and Expert System or TRACES system by the certification organization by obtaining an appropriate electronic certificate of inspection (e-COI).
Same with the United States, each shipment must be accompanied by a certificate issued by the producer’s certification organization, which is JAS in the case of Japanese organic tea. At the border of Japan, the inspection and examination, and certification will be done by customs officials of the country of origin, Japan. The accreditation serves as a record for the importer showing that the shipment is certified organic. As mentioned earlier, the imports of organic products to Europe are in place with Japan as their standards and control measures have been assessed as equivalent to those in Europe. You could visit for a more technical procedure of importing organic teas from Japan to Europe.
The step-by-step procedure would walk you through the contents of the application for certification and notification and assessment to Europe for equivalency standard, including the required annual report for the product’s organic status.
Depending on the country, you may need to pay customs duty. Customs duties vary depending on what country you place the order from. A VAT (Value Added Tax) and/or customs clearance fee may also apply depending on local law. If you are required to pay a customs duty or VAT, you will be required to pay the duty/import VAT when you receive your order. In the United States, no duty needs to be paid. In Europe, while there is no duty to be paid, this is only for shipping that costs up to 45 Euros and has to pay 3.2 % for the amount over 45 Euros. Laws on Import VAT may also vary from country to country in Europe.
Some green tea we carry:
- ShizuokaTea – Premium Sencha 2021 New Crop
- KagoshimaTea – Organic Excellent Deep Steamed Sencha
- ShizuokaTea – Premium Gyokuro Okabe Single Estate Origin
- KagoshimaTea – Benifuki with Premium Matcha Tea Bags
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