Mexico has again postponed the deadline for the U.S. to comply with the country’s new law that would require a separate Mexican certification for U.S. organic products that enter the country.

The postponement buys the U.S. more time to transition into acceptance of the Organic Products Law, but U.S. industry representatives are concerned that Mexico’s demand could be costly for U.S. producers who already pay for U.S. certification.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, who says he directly asked Mexico for the postponement, said Tuesday, “USDA will continue to work with U.S. organic exporters to assist in transitioning to compliance [with Mexico's law] and will continue to provide updates as necessary. This is another important step for American agriculture and for maintaining positive bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico, one of our most important export markets.”

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Mexico first set the compliance deadline on Dec. 28, 2020, but the country postponed that until June 26, after a request from USDA. The new deadline is now set for Dec. 31.

The U.S. exported about $117 million worth of organic food to Mexico in 2017, according to USDA data. Mexico shipped $278 million worth of organic commodities to the U.S. in the same year.

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