16-157-215 - General requirements for certification

16-157-215. General requirements for certification

(1) Except for operations exempt or excluded in the National Organic Program (7 C.F.R. 205.101), each production or handling operation or specified portion of a production or handling operation must be certified if it produces or handles crops, livestock, livestock products, or other agricultural products intended to be sold, labeled, or represented as "one hundred percent organic," "organic," or "made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))."

(a) If you have an operation that meets the definition of "production operation," you must be certified as a producer.

(b) If you have an operation that meets the definition of "handling operation," you must be certified as a handler or processor unless you are a certified producer who cleans, washes, grades, dries, packages, transports, or does similar preparation of your own production.

(c) If you are a certified producer who changes crops, wild crops, or livestock products of your own production into new distinct products by physically, chemically, or otherwise changing the original product, you must also be certified as a processor.

(2) If you are seeking to receive or maintain organic certification, you must submit an application on forms approved by the department.

(a) Application forms must be submitted by an authorized representative of the business operation and must be accompanied by the appropriate fees in order to be considered.

(b) Application forms are available upon request from the department.

(3) If you are a new applicant, you must include a complete organic system plan with your application.

(4) If you are a certified operation, you must submit an update to your organic system plan on an annual basis. Certified operations may be required by the department to submit a new complete organic system plan whenever there are significant changes to the operation.

(5) Applications for certification must include a list of all organic products produced and/or handled, including site information, sample labels, and complete product profiles for each distinctly labeled organic product.

(a) Certified operations must not use an organic label or make organic claims for any product not included in the operation's organic system plan.

(b) Certified operations may request the addition of new production sites to their organic or transitional certification by submitting maps and complete site applications to the department.

(c) Certified operations may request the addition of new products to their organic certification by submitting sample labels and complete product profiles to the department where applicable.

(d) Product profiles must include a complete list of ingredients in the product and processing aids used in manufacturing the product.

(6) Certified operations that do not submit a renewal application and fees to continue certification or do not comply annually with 7 C.F.R. 205.406 may have their certification suspended.


(a) The director shall make one or more inspections per year of each new and renewal applicant to determine compliance with this chapter and chapter 15.86 RCW.

(b) Each separate primary location or facility must receive an annual on-site inspection. The annual on-site inspection includes an audit of required records, examination of production sites, facilities and storage areas, and inspection of any other information deemed necessary by the requirements of this chapter or the National Organic Program, 7 C.F.R. Part 205.

(Amended by WSR 19-01-062, Filed 12/14/2018, effective 1/14/2019)

Statutory Authority: RCW 15.86.060 and 15.86.070. 06-23-108, ยง 16-157-215, filed 11/17/06, effective 12/18/06.

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