Organic Third Party Agencies (TPAs)

Understand the role of Third Party Agencies (TPAs) in organic exporting, the standards that must be met and how to apply to become a TPA.

Note: TPAs are also known as MPI recognised organic certifiers.

TPA role & responsibilities

Third party agencies (TPAs) are organic certifying bodies that are recognised by MPI to audit and verify that organic products exported under the Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP) are produced in accordance with:

  • any Overseas Market Access requirements (OMARs) of the destination country.
  • MPI organic standard OP3, including the Technical Rules

organic standard OP3 and Technical Rules

Click OMARs (Organic Overseas Market Access Requirements) in the left menu of this page to access organic OMARs.

Auditing organic operators & exporters

TPAs are responsible for:

  • registering organic operators for the Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP)
  • evaluating each operator’s Organic Management Plan (OMP) to confirm it covers required operations and will deliver product complying with organic standard OP3 and relevant technical rules, and overseas market access requirements
  • verifying that the OMP continues to meet the organic standard OP3 and that it is being followed by the operator
  • determining how frequently each operator will be assessed against the organic standard OP3, based on their demonstrated performance
  • managing the timely resolution of any non-compliance issues.

Find further information by clicking on OOAP operator & exporter responsibilities in the left menu of this page.

Verifying organic consignments exported under the OOAP

TPAs verify the eligibility of organic consignments requiring official government assurances. This includes assessing the organic status and chain of custody of all the ingredients in all the products exported in any consignment.

TPAs are responsible for:

  • verifying that individual consignments of organic products are produced and handled in accordance with MPI Food Safety organic standard OP3 and are eligible for export under the OOAP
  • issuing export certificates for markets where they have been given the authority to do so.

Becoming a TPA

If your company is interested in becoming a TPA, your organisation and its personnel must:

  • be accredited to ISO 17020 by an accreditation body
  • comply with MPI Food Safety organic standards OP1 and OP2.

MAF Food Safety organic standard OP1 (199 KB PDF) – Accreditation (ISO 17020), recognition and performance criteria for third party agencies and their individuals
MAF Food Safety organic standard OP2 (138 KB PDF) – Third party agency responsibilities

An accreditation body makes a recommendation that MPI Food Safety recognises the company and its individuals as a TPA. Find further information on accreditation bodies by clicking that item in the left menu of this page.

Once you are recognised as a TPA

  • your details are published in a register of recognised TPAs and their accredited individuals on the MPI Food Safety website
  • you are required to report regularly to MPI on your own TPA activities and compliance with MPI organic standards OP1 and OP2

Organics third party agency register

Contact MPI Food Safety to discuss the application process.