In this IOAS Newsletter: 


IOAS Official Notice Assessment and Surveillance advice for CBs on Coronavirus COVID-19.
IOAS will proceed with assessments as scheduled whenever possible, and have moved to conducting remote audits where necessary due to travel restrictions. In cases where a remote audit is not possible, there may be the option to complete the assessment by desk review. Operator visits are being rescheduled for later in the year as needed. CB update reports should be submitted as usual, per the timeframes communicated by your Client Manager. If for any reason you are concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on your assessment activity in 2020, please reach out to your Client Manager to discuss options. We are here to support your Organic Certification business fairly, kindly and without discrimination through these uncertain times. 
OFFICIAL NOTICE IOAS Assessment and Surveillance and Coronavirus COVID-19 March 13, 2020.

All CB's should have their own policies in place and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have released guidance to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 epidemic on certification and accreditation bodies.

ID3 – an informative document including useful ideas on how CBs and ABs should tackle extraordinary events such as the COVID 19 pandemic.

MD4 contains useful information on performing remote audits and assessment which may assist CBs in adopting such techniques to adapt to circumstances caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

IOAS is providing for client CBs a summary of  Scheme requirements on certification and surveillance by CBs during COVID-19 pandemic as well as a dedicated page on the IOAS website in which to access the current scheme owner notices on COVID-19. We will update you as we receive more information and we will collect all notices in this location.

CFIA confirms EUCOEA / UK agreements to continue during Brexit transition period ending Dec 31, 2020.
Global Affairs Canada issued a statement on 31 January, 2020 confirming that during the Brexit transition period, all Canada-EU agreements will continue to apply to the U.K. This includes the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)—which means that trade between Canada and the U.K. will continue to benefit from duty-free access on 98% of products, and businesses should see no change in how they trade with the U.K. during this transition period.

COSMOS scheme open again to applicants.
COSMOS has confirmed to IOAS that it is once again open to accepting applications from new Certification Bodies interested in offering COSMOS Certification.
EU New regulation amending EC 1235/2008 published January 2020 application deadline  30 June 2020.
The new regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1235/2008 has been published. The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/25 of 13 January 2020 main changes include the following: an amendment to Article 11 to define the deadline for receiving applications for recognition as 30th June 2020; updates to Annex III (list of ‘equivalent’ countries); and updates to Annex IV (list of ‘equivalent’ control bodies).
Please see the EU website for further information.

IOAS EU Equivalence scheme applications on hold.
Please note that IOAS is currently not accepting new applications for the EU Equivalence scheme as of October 30, 2019. Applications will be accepted again in 2020 under the new EU Compliance program once all the rules pertaining to the new regulations are published.

GOTS version 6.0 released: References to OECD Guidelines & Assessment of Living Wage Gap.
The new GOTS version 6.0 has been released defining world-wide recognised requirements that ensure third party certified organic status of textiles with full traceability from field to finished product.
  • Certified organic fibre content, the general ban on toxic and harmful chemicals, conventional cotton and virgin polyester as well as the social compliance management have been maintained, while other criteria became stricter. 
  • GOTS Environmental Criteria, Product Stewardship and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) requirements have been introduced for approved chemical formulators.
  • The newly released test protocol ISO / IWA 32 for GM screening of cotton serves as the recognised screening method of GMO presence.
  • The new version withdraws the relaxation for the additional regenerated and virgin synthetic fibre content for Socks, Leggings and Sportswear.
  • Product Quality Standards for Colourfastness and Dimensional Stability are now mandatory. Specific new requirements for Tampons and Food Contact Textiles have been included.
  • GOTS Social Criteria : Certified Entities will now have to calculate the gap of actually paid wages to 'Living Wages' (according to recognised calculations methods). Furthermore, they will be encouraged to work towards closing this gap. Specific references to OECD Due Diligence Guidance and Good Practice Guidance for Social Criteria and Risk Assessment as well as Ethical Business Practises have been explicitly included.
Textile Exchange Responsible Wool Standard 2.0 manual and the new Responsible Mohair Standard.
The new Responsible Wool Standard 2.0 manual and the new Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) 1.0 have been released. 
A one-hour webinar on March 23rd will discuss the updates to the RWS and go over the landscape of the new RMS and answering questions from participants. To participate register at
Textile Exchange New Responsible Down Standard (RDS) V3.0 certification procedures published.
The new RDS User Manual and new RDS Certification Procedures have been published. These new documents go along with RDS v3.0 and supersede the previous RDS implementation manual.

Textile Exchange New Organic Content Standards (OCS) and Certification Procedures are expected to be published in March 2020.
Textile Exchange new policies and templates for scope certificates and transaction certificates released.
These new documents provide a clear indication on terminology to be used on the documents and are mandatory from April 2020. - under ‘Certification Documents

New Textile Exchange Accepted Equivalent Standards, V2.0 published in January 2020.

Executive Director - Alliance for Organic Integrity
The newly formed Alliance for Organic Integrity established by IOAS as a separate, sister organisation is seeking an Executive Director to develop this young organisation from start-up to its full, international potential.
For more information please visit

IOAS future Board Members.
The IOAS board is constituted in a manner that safeguards impartiality, and enables the participation of all parties from various sectors significantly concerned in the development and principles regarding the content and functioning of the accreditation system. Potential Board members should have a background from one of the following sectors ; conformity assessment (certification & inspection); operators; beneficiaries (consumers, environment, retail, trade, movement); developing world; and regulatory.
We are particularly keen to receive applications from those within the Operator categories and those with business expertise. Please see the IOAS website for more details and how to apply.


Kind regards

The IOAS Team

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