On 05th May 2015, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has issued a new Public Notice (No. 10 /2015-2020) informing that "the procedure for export of all the certified organic products, included in the NPOP document, as notified vide Public Notice No. 73 dated 18.11.2014, except Textiles, will come into operation with effect from 01.06.2015."
Accordingly GOTS certified and labelled textiles will not be affected by this procedure for the time being. We appreciate this decision of the Indian Government as it means no additional burden will be created for the Indian organic textile industry and the international buyers of GOTS certified and labelled products.
Status of information: 18th December 2014
On 18th December, 2014, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has issued a new Public Notice (No. 78) informing that the procedure for the export of Certified Organic Products has been deferred till further order.
Accordingly the previously announced procedure (as explained in below statement) including the mandatory certification of organic textile products exported from India to the Indian Standard for Organic Textiles (ISOT) will not be enforced until further notice. This is a most welcome decision since it means that for the time being there will be no related implications for the manufacturers and exporters of GOTS certified and labelled textile products who can continue their business without interruption. We trust that the Indian Government will now carefully consider practicability of implementation (deadline) and potential implications for all parties concerned and especially the Indian export industry before any related follow-up decisions/notifications are being released in this context.
(dated 12th December 2014)
The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has issued a legally binding Public Notice (No. 73 as released on 18th November 2014 and amended on 1st December 2014 by No. 77 ) 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 18th 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 Indian government since 2010 about this issue. However, since our 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, we need to accept the decision and acknowledge 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."
This 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 is also formally recognized by United States Department of Agriculture, USA. GOTS standard, audit and certification procedures as well procedures related to issuance of GOTS TCs remain unchanged.
We trust that it will be in everyone's interest to keep the additional burden for the Indian organic textile industry as low as possible and will cooperate with the government and all parties involved for this goal. In this context we have encouraged the GOTS certifiers operating in India to seek accreditation for ISOT in order to be able to offer combined certification - GOTS and ISOT - to the Indian organic textile industry in the future. Three GOTS certifiers, Control Union Inspections and Certifications India Pvt Ltd., ECOCERT and OneCert have been audited for ISOT accreditation so far and are waiting for their accreditation letters.
APEDA, Ministry of Commerce, has assured that cooperation will be extended to facilitate exports of organic textiles already produced before notification of the new rules. Our Indian Representative, other stakeholders and export business people are in discussion with the Indian government regarding ensuring a smooth implementation of the new rule without hampering the interests of exporters and the subsequent supply chain companies. The currently applicable deadline is 18th December 2014 and requests are being made to extend it further so that the certifiers will be accredited and prepared to issue ISOT scope and transaction certificates to the exporters before the (new) deadline.
We therefore call on the responsible Indian authorities especially to reconsider their implementation deadline set for NPOP/ISOT certification for organic textile exports in order to allow the Indian export industry to adapt to the new legal requirements in a realistic timeframe (of an additional twelve months) so that current exports are not hampered and Indian exporters can continue their organic textile business without interruption.
Secondly, as ISOT is restricted to cotton and silk only, we request the authorities to modify the notification to allow export of GOTS certified organic materials made with other organic fibres such as wool, linen, coir etc., which are not covered under ISOT, for which the "NPOP/ Tracenet TC" cannot be generated.
Felicia has expertise in key sustainability issues such as climate change, labor, voluntary sustainability standards, corporate responsibility, green finance, energy efficiency, transparency, and more. She also has extensive experience in multi-stakeholder engagement and consulting, management and coordination of internationally-funded research projects, policy advocacy, and strategic communication. Felicia has deep understanding of key sustainability issues under China’s current policy framework, and how to bridge the gap between the international community and China to make the impacts happen. She has developed key contacts in this field, especially in conjunction with the corporate responsibility and voluntary standards.
Felicia has an academic background in a combination of Sociology and Management. She holds an MA in International Communication and Development from City University London and a Bachelor of Management from Tianjin Normal University.
Having worked in both London and Beijing with an international team, Felicia has excellent communication and coordination skills in multi-cultural environments and among different work streams.
Felicia will be based in Tianjin and Beijing and can be reached at .
GOTS remains pledged to increasing awareness about certified organic textiles and educating about the concerns regarding conventional textile processing. All exhibitors and visitors are invited to meet with Mr. Sumit Gupta, GOTS Representative in India, at the GOTS booth (No. A-23) to learn about GOTS opportunities in India. Mr. Gupta will be present for three days to answer all your queries about organic textiles certification, traceability, benefits and any other related questions.
GOTS is supporting the event (annual BIOFACH INDIA together with INDIA ORGANIC 2014) for the third year. It will be held at the ADLUX International Convention Center in Ernakulam, Kerala, India from 6th to 8th November, 2014. If you also wish to exhibit there, you can get in touch with Mr. Gupta:
This year, for the first time, a special GOTS forum will take place on the morning of 22 October. The forum is designed to illustrate and give examples of achievable improvements producers who can make along their supply chains to enhance sustainability level. The forum will feature speakers from the leading worldwide retailers and manufacturers. Download the Agenda.
Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics will take place on October 20-23. GOTS China Representative Shirley Han will also be in the “All about Sustainability” zone on site to answer inquiries. For more information of the exhibition, please visit http://intertextileapparel.com
The 18th edition of the IFOAM Organic World Congress (OWC) is taking place from 13 -15 October 2014 in Turkey, Istanbul. GOTS Managing Director Herbert Ladwig and Representative for Great Britain Christopher Stopes will be attending.