According to USDA’s organic exemption rule, as it applies to the National Honey Board’s order, a first handler/importer who operates under an approved organic system plan authorized under the USDA AMS organic regulations (7 CFR Part 205) and maintains a valid organic certificate issued by an AMS-accredited certifying agent, handles and/or imports products eligible to be labeled “organic” or “100% organic” under the USDA organic regulations and is subject to assessments under the research and promotion program for which this exemption is requested may apply for an “Organic Exemption” from the National Honey Board. The exemption expires on December 31 of the year for which the exemption was approved. The exemption must be applied for on a yearly basis on or before January 1 to be exempt for the entire year. The Board will determine the eligibility of an exemption application request within 30 days of receipt and if/when approved the exemption will then be effective. A Certificate of Organic Exemption will be issued to eligible applicants. A Certificate of Organic Exemption is not retroactive from the date the certificate is issued.

Here is a summary from the Federal Register “Exempting Organic Producers from Assessment by Research and Promotion Programs.

Download the necessary “Organic Exemption Request Form” for eligible honey handlers and importers to apply for the exemption.

A first handler who handles less than 250,000 pounds of honey or honey products per calendar year or an importer who imports less than 250,000 pounds of honey or honey products per calendar year is exempt from paying assessments.

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First Handler's report form for honey packers and importers research, promotion, consumer education, and industry information order.

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To request reimbursement of assessments collected by the U.S. Customs Service or paid by first handlers on honey and honey products that should have been exempted but were paid to the National Honey Board, complete the Application for Reimbursement of Assessment form and return to the National Honey Board within 90 days of the period of the exemption.

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