Do you have an operation outside of Switzerland and wish to trade your products in Switzerland as BIOSUISSE ORGANIC?

Frequently asked Questions for operations outside of Switzerland that are interested in Bio Suisse certification

What is Bio Suisse?
Bio Suisse is the leading organic organization in Switzerland and the holder of the registered trademark ‘Bud’. Founded in 1981, the umbrella organization represents the interests of approximately 7'100 Swiss members (farming operations and nurseries).
Over 1'000 Swiss processing and trading operations have concluded a trademark licence agreement with Bio Suisse.
What are the requirements for Bio Suisse certification?
Bio Suisse products may only be imported to Switzerland by importers holding a valid licence contract with Bio Suisse. As a rule, an importer will ask potential suppliers to acquire Bio Suisse certification in order to trade their products in Switzerland as Bio Suisse products.

Must the suppliers and customers of a Bio Suisse certified farming operation also be Bio Suisse certified?
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Products can only be traded as BIOSUISSE ORGANIC in Switzerland if the entire chain of companies involved possess Bio Suisse certification: from the farming operation and storage facilities to the processors, traders and exporters.
Contract warehouses must also be inspected according to Bio Suisse standards.
The Bio Suisse certification procedure
Operations that are interested in acquiring Bio Suisse certification must undergo a Bio Suisse inspection. Afterward, the inspection body forwards the inspection documents to ICB AG, which checks whether the operation conforms to Bio Suisse standards. In the event of a positive result, their Bio Suisse certificate will be issued.
What are the requirements for Bio Suisse certification?
The main requirement for an operation outside of Switzerland to be certified according to Bio Suisse standards is possession of valid certification in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007 or an equivalent standard and compliance with the Bio Suisse standards (see the Information note ‘Summary of the Bio Suisse International Standards and guidance for conversion from EU organic to BIOSUISSE ORGANIC production’).
Which products can be Bio Suisse certified?
Bio Suisse will restrict the use of the 'Bud' logo on products from outside of Switzerland if there is sufficient domestic production or if all of the processing takes place outside of Switzerland. For more information, see the Bio Suisse website under Import requirements.

Who carries out Bio Suisse inspections?
Bio Suisse inspections are carried out by the inspection body of the operation to be certified. The operation is the contracting customer for Bio Suisse inspections. The inspection body must hold an inspection contract with ICB AG. If a contracting partner is available in the given country, that inspection body must carry out both EU and Bio Suisse inspections.
A list of our contracting partners can be found
The most important differences between Bio Suisse certification and certification according to the EU 834/2007 (or an equivalent) standard
  • Farming operations must be fully converted to organic farming. The management of the operation may not also run a non-organic farming operation or non-organic agricultural production unit - not even at a different location (Information note).

  • At least 7% of the utilized agricultural area must be set aside as an ecological compensation area (Information note), and the quality of the ecological compensation area will be assessed.

  • As a rule, the same crop may not be cultivated for two years in a row in the crop rotation (information note), and there must be a share of at least 20% soil-building crops in the rotation.

  • Permanent crops must have green cover throughout the year.

  • The fertilizer limits for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are lower, depending on the crop. Synthetic chelates are prohibited.

  • Plant protection products are permitted as per appendix II of the EU organic regulations, with the exception of synthetic pyrethroids, bioherbicides and plant growth regulators. Use of sulphur (S) and copper (Cu) is restricted, and where the use of copper is permitted, the limits are lower.

  • There is a general prohibition against air freight.

  • Very few substances are permitted for storage protection. Storage areas must be completely empty of organic products during and for at least 24 hours after fumigations with a permitted substance (with the exception of CO2/N disinfestation treatments). (Information note)

  • Information notes on other topics can be found here
Who bears the costs?
The costs for Bio Suisse certification through ICB AG are generally paid by the importer. The importer consents to pay before ICB AG starts processing a certification application for an operation.
The fee schedule can be requested from
How long is the certificate valid?
Bio Suisse certification is based on EU organic certification. Therefore, the inspection date for the EU organic inspection is decisive. From the date of that inspection, the Bio Suisse certificate is generally valid for about 1.5 years.
How often do Bio Suisse inspections and certification take place?
For certification to remain constant, Bio Suisse inspections must take place annually.