Applying for Certification

Manufacturers and distributors of biobased products, as well as entities who incorporate these materials into another product, may apply for the USDA Certified Biobased Product label. An overview of the application process is available for download here.

To apply for a label for a product:

  1. Request a Level 1 USDA eAuthentication Account

    If you do not already have one, you must create a Level 1 eAuthentication user ID and password, which provides a proven security process for accessing the BioPreferred program’s Company Tools. To do so, click Create eAuthentication Account and under "USDA Customers," click on "Request Level 1 Access."
  2. Enter Company and Product Information

    Once you have created an eAuthentication account, click on the above Tools tab to login to Company Tools and to begin entering company and qualified product information, initiate an application for the USDA Certified Biobased Product label, download labels for certified products, and complete other functions.

A tutorial for Company Tools is available for download here.

Applicants should not test their products for biobased content via ASTM D6866 until after they have been advised to do so. Results from biobased content testing that are conducted outside of the certification process will not be considered valid for certification applications.

Biobased
Containing renewable plant, marine, and forestry-based resources not derived from petroleum.
Biobased Content
A ratio of a product's new organic carbon to total organic carbon, as measured by a standard test method (ASTM D6866). Biobased content is expressed as a percentage. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon (which originates from petroleum). The presence of new organic carbon is an important attribute in a product's sustainability footprint.
Biobased Products
Biobased Products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Biobased products generally provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products and include a diverse range of offerings such as lubricants, detergents, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics.
Percent Biobased Content
The ratio of new organic carbon to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon, which originates from petroleum.
Qualified Biobased Product
Meets the requirements for one or more product categories identified by USDA as part of the federal government procurement preference program.
Renewable
An inexhaustible resource, readily replaced. In the context of biobased products, renewable resources includes agricultural, forestry, and marine resources such as algae.
USDA Certified Biobased Product
Has achieved third-party verification of biobased content and has earned USDA certification and approval to display the label.