Mandatory certification for organic textile products in India
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has issued a legally binding Public Notice (as released on 18 November 2014 and amended on 1 December 2014) outlining that any product exported as an "organic product" will be required to be certified to the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) by the 18 December 2014 implementation deadline. While NPOP certification was already required for agricultural (food and raw fiber) products in the past, it will now also cover finished organic textile products.
In this context, the Indian Standard for Organic Textiles (ISOT) was released as an integral part of NPOP; accordingly all organic textile products exported from India will require certification to ISOT. As per procedures established by India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), a provisional Transaction Certificate (TC) is required before export (for customs) and a final TC is issued after exports. The buyer receives only the final TC.
GOTS has been communicating with the Indian government since 2010 about this issue. However, since their and other stakeholder's interventions to the Indian government to abstain from introducing a mandatory national standard in order to avoid trade barriers and related implications for the organic textile sector have not been successful, the decision has to be accepted and in this context the Indian government’s approach to consequently ask for certification of any "organic product" claims and to register the volumes of any organic (fibre) products exported through its traceability system Tracenet has to be acknowledged.
The additional requirement as per a revised Indian legislation must not be confused with any kind of replacement or take-over of GOTS in India. Post implementation, the organic textile manufacturers will have to obtain ISOT certification as a legal requirement while GOTS certification will be required (as usual) as a buyers’ requirement in order to allow corresponding organic labelling in the sales markets. GOTS standard, audit and certification procedures as well as procedures related to issuance of GOTS TCs remain unchanged. More information is available here.
The first international Global Organic Textile Standard conference in India will take place on 22 May 2015 in Mumbai. Information on sponsorship and attending will be available soon at http://global-standard.org/gotsconference.html
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