Testing Phase of the Certification Process

The USDA BioPreferred Program® has contracted with SEI, a subsidiary of ASTM, to provide oversight of the biobased content testing phase of the certification process. Once you have received notification from USDA that your product has met the initial screening criteria, you can proceed with the steps below. For an overview of the entire certification process, please refer to this complete list of steps or contact BioPreferred Support.

Next Steps

  • Email the Documents - Review for accuracy the SEI Biobased Participant Agreement that was attached to the email notification you received from USDA.Sign the agreement and send it to cert@astm.org. SEI will send you an email acknowledging that they have received the agreement. This agreement only needs to be completed once per company, so if you have already had products certified, you do not need to turn the agreement in again.
  • Send Product Sample to Laboratory - After SEI has acknowledged they received your agreement, review the Operations Manual for the Biobased Product Certification Program, and review the Documentation of Sample Selection by Manufacturer/Vendor Form that was attached to the email notification you received from USDA. Complete the form by adding the name of the laboratory you intend to use to test your product (see the list of accepted laboratories below). Include a copy of this form in the shipment of your sample to the accepted laboratory and email a copy to cert@astm.org.
  • Receive Test Results - After your product has been tested using ASTM D6866-16 by one of the accepted laboratories, the test results will be sent to you and SEI. SEI will transmit the test results to USDA, who will email you an official notification of certification within a few days. This email also describes how to download your certification label and points you to the guidelines describing how you can use your new label.

Accepted Testing Laboratories to Conduct Testing of Biobased Products

The following laboratories have been accepted to conduct testing in accordance with ASTM D6866:

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.