Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Food , Beverages and Tobacco in Canada

Posted on: 9 Mar 2010

The report identifies export certificates issued by U.S. issuing authorities to comply with Canadian import standards and regulations or to attest that the product is subject to U.S. government regulation

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 1/19/2010 GAIN Report Number: CA0001 Canada Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Certification FAIRS Export Certificate Report Approved By: Robin Tilsworth Prepared By: Robin Gray Report Highlights: The report identifies export certificates issued by U.S. issuing authorities to comply with Canadian import standards and regulations or to attest that the product is subject to U.S. government regulation. It is intended as a supplement to the Food and Agricultural Importation Regulation Report (FAIRS) submitted in September 2008 as CA9052. Updates, including some new hyperlinks, were made to the sections covering FDA contacts, Organic standards, and the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification. Executive Summary This report identifies export certificates issued by competent U.S. authorities to comply with Canadian import standards and regulations or to attest that the product is subject to U.S. government regulation. It is not intended as a compendium of Canadian import requirements but rather as a supplement to the Food and Agricultural Importation Regulation Report (FAIRS) submitted in September 2009 as CA9052. It was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service in Ottawa, Canada for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their foreign customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPORTING COUNTRY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT ENTRY. Section I. List of All Export Certificates Required By Government (Matrix) : Product(s): All Name of Certificate: NAFTA Certificate of Origin, CBP, Form 434 Purpose/Attestation: To claim preferential tariff treatment Issuing Authority: Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Authority Requiring Certificate: CBSA Legal Reference: NAFTA Electronic Copy Included: Yes ______________________ Product(s): Bison/Buffalo Name of Certificate: Export Verification Certificate Purpose/Attestation: To attest to eligibility to export beef to Canada Issuing Authority: AMS Authority Requiring Certificate: CFIA Legal Reference: Meat Inspection Regulations Electronic Copy Included: No ____________________ Product(s): Meat and Poultry Products Name of Certificate: FSIS Form 9135-3, Certificate for Export of Meat and Poultry Products to Canada Purpose/Attestation: Product Safety and Wholesomeness Issuing Authority: FSIS Authority Requiring Certificate: CFIA Legal Reference: Meat Inspection Regulations Electronic Copy Included: No ____________________ Product(s): Live Animals, Honeybees Name of Certificate: Zoosanitary Export Certificate; VS Form 17-140 Purpose/Attestation: Animal Health Issuing Authority: APHIS Authority Requiring Certificate: CFIA Legal Reference: Animal Health Regulations Electronic Copy Included: No ____________________ Product(s): Plant and Plant Products Name of Certificate: Phytosanitary Certificate PPQ Form 577 Purpose/Attestation: Plant Health, Freedom from Pests Issuing Authority: APHIS Authority Requiring Certificate: CFIA Legal Reference: Plant Health Regulations Electronic Copy Included: Yes ____________________ Product(s): Fresh Apples, Onions, Potatoes Name of Certificate: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Certificate FV-300 Purpose/Attestation: Grading and Quality Issuing Authority: AMS Authority Requiring Certificate: CFIA Legal Reference: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations Electronic Copy Included: No ____________________ Product(s): Fish and Seafood Name of Certificate: NOAA Inspection Certificate Purpose/Attestation: Vessel and Plant Sanitation, Product Inspection, Grading, Safety and Wholesomeness Issuing Authority: NOAA Authority Requiring Certificate: none Legal Reference: Voluntary Electronic Copy Included: No ____________________ Product(s): Other Foods Name of Certificate: FDA Certificate of Export Purpose/Attestation: The Food is Regulated by FDA Issuing Authority: FDA Authority Requiring Certificate: Not an entry requirement Legal Reference: N/A Electronic Copy Included: No ____________________ Section II. Purpose of Specific Export Certificate(s) NAFTA Certificate of Origin This is a trilaterally agreed upon form used by Canada, Mexico, and the United States to certify that goods qualify for the preferential tariff treatment accorded by NAFTA. The Certificate of Origin must be completed by the exporter. A sample is provided in Appendix I, and is available on the U.S. government export portal: http://www.export.gov/ USDA Export Verification (EV) Program for Bison, Lamb, and Goat The EV certification provides the specified product requirements for marketing U.S. bison/buffalo and lamb and goat meat to Canada. The requirements apply to U.S. suppliers (slaughterers, fabricators, or processors) of bison, bison products and sheep and goats less than 12 months of age that are eligible for export to Canada as listed with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). There is no longer an EV requirement for beef and beef products to Canada. Meat and meat products derived from these species must be produced under an approved Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) EV program. The Audit, Review, and Compliance Branch of AMS has been assigned responsibility for reviewing and approving companies as eligible suppliers of meat and meat products under the USDA Export Verification (EV) Programs. Additional information about the EV program and a list of EV approved establishments can be obtained from the following websites: http://www.ams.usda.gov Meat and Poultry Export Certificate FSIS Form 9135-3, Certificate for Export of Meat and Poultry Products to Canada certifies that U.S. meat and poultry exports to Canada meet the eligibility, safety and wholesomeness requirements laid out in the Canadian Meat Inspection regulations for imports of meat and poultry from the United States. Zoosanitary Export Certificate Is an animal health form certifying that certain live animals and bees meet the animal health import requirements of Canada. For further information, see the electronic Animal Products Manual of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of USDA: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/manuals/port/APM_Chapters.htm Phytosanitary Certificate A phytosanitary certificate certifies that the plants or plant products are free from quarantine pests, practically free from other injurious pests, and conform with the current phytosanitary regulations of Canada. For further information see the electronic manuals of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of USDA: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/manuals/online_manuals.html APHIS export certificates are available on the APHIS Export Services Program webpage in two categories, downloadable and viewable: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_exports/export_certificates_forms.shtml Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Certificate AMS form FV-300 certifies that U.S. fresh apples, onions, or potatoes meet Canadian import standards for grade and quality established in the Canadian Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations. Section III. Specific Attestations Required on Export Certificate(s) The United States does not require phytosanitary export certification but provides the service, if requested. Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) is the unit within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that serves to assist exporters in meeting the plant quarantine import requirements of foreign countries. Also: see tabulation of certificates in Section I. Section IV. Government Certificate?s Legal Entry Requirements Export Certification Manual Serves as an operational reference to be used when inspecting and certifying plants and plant products offered for export and when issuing federal plant export certificates. Provides Authorized Certification Officials specific instructions on how to help exporters meet the plant quarantine import requirements of foreign countries. For additional information on APHIS Export Certification services, go to the following APHIS webpage: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_exports/ Also: see tabulation of certificates in Section I. Section V. Other Certification/Accreditation Requirements NOAA Inspection Certificate The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Seafood Inspection Program offers a variety of professional inspection services which ensure compliance with all applicable food regulations. In addition, product quality evaluation, grading and certification services on a product lot basis are also provided. Benefits include the ability to apply official marks, such as the U.S. Grade A, Processed Under Federal Inspection (PUFI) and Lot Inspection. Food and Drug Administration The U.S. Food and Drug Administration can issue a Certificate of Export, which will generally indicate that the product is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that the product is not at this time the subject of any enforcement action by the FDA. Such certificates are neither guarantees nor a certification of the product's safety and quality. They are issued at the request of a domestic (U.S.) company. FDA will issue Certificates assuming the product meets the requirements of 801(e) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act as follows: 1. accords to the specifications of the foreign purchaser, 2. is not in conflict with the laws of the country to which it is intended for export, 3. is labeled on the outside of the shipping package that it is intended for export, and 4. the particular shipment is not sold or offered for sale in domestic commerce. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition now has five offices that process requests for Certificates of Export. When mailing your request, include the specific office address as indicated below: Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages, HFS-300 Or Office of Seafood, HFS-400 U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740-3835 For more information about FDA export certificates, go to the following FDA webpage: http://www.fda.gov/Food/InternationalActivities/Exports/default.htm Organic New organic products regulations (OPR) make certification in accordance with the National Standard for Organic Agriculture mandatory for all organic products as of June 30, 2009. These regulations fall under the authority of the Canada Agricultural Product Act which regulate the use of the Canada Organic Label. Requirements and regulations for methods of production comply with the most recent edition of the CAN/CGSB-32.310 Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards. Under this regime, in order to market a product as organic in Canada, the product needs to be certified by a certification body accredited by a Conformity Verification Body (CVB) recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Canada has updated their Organic Products Page to include links to OPR 2009, the Draft Stream of Commerce Enforcement Policy, the list of CVBs that have applied CFIA as well as other information documents relative to the Organic Regime. The links to CFIA organic products page can be found below. http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/orgbioe.shtml Although Canada has had this organic standard since 1999, it had been voluntary and not supported by regulation. Now, new mandatory standards are in place. Organic claims are required to be printed in English and French. A government logo bearing the official program name ?Canada Organic Regime? is available to indicate organic compliance to the Canadian regulation. Use of the seal is voluntary. The new version of the regulations also allows CFIA to enter into equivalency agreements with other countries. The import and sale of organic food products in Canada are governed by the same rules and regulations that apply to non-organic food products. No distinction is made between organic and non-organic food with regard to import requirements. Currently, all Canadian packaging and labeling, grade, and inspection regulations apply equally to organic and non-organic foods. Other Specific Standards: On June 17, 2009, the United States and Canada jointly announced an organics equivalency agreement, the first one of its kind. The equivalency agreement follows a review by both nations of the other?s organic certification program and a determination that products meeting the standard in the United States can be sold as organic in Canada, and vice versa. Under a determination of equivalence, producers and processors that are certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) standards by a U.S. Department of Agriculture accredited certifying agent do not have to become certified to the Canada Organic Product Regulation (COPR) standards in order for their products to be represented as organic in Canada. Likewise, Canadian organic products certified to COPR standards may be sold or labeled in the United States as organically produced. Both the USDA Organic seal and the Canada Organic Biologique logo may be used on certified products from both countries. The COPR goes into effect on June 30, 2009. The equivalency agreement is expected to lead to greater market opportunities for organic producers in both countries. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Canada has published an unofficial list of certifiers operating in Canada. Additions to this list, as well as details on certifiers active outside of Canada are expected in the coming year. To view this information, visit: http://www.ota.com/otacanada/abcb.html For more information about the Canadian government?s Organic Product Regulations and about the organic agriculture industry in Canada, go to the following websites: Organic Products Regulations, 2009 http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2009/2009-02-14/html/reg1-eng.html Canadian Food Inspection Agency: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/otfgtspbe.shtml Contacts: Mike Leclair Senior Market Development Advisor, Organic Sector Sectoral Food Industry Services Division Markets and Trade Team Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 5th Floor, 930 Carling Ave Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0C5 Telephone: 613-759-7537 Fax: 613-759-7480 Email: mike.leclair@agr.gc.ca Michel Saumur National Manager Canada Organic Office Agri-Food Division Tel: 613-221-7165 Fax: 613-221-7296 Email: msaumur@inspection.gc.ca Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada: http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1183748510661&LANG=3 Organic Production Standards The definitions of Canada?s production methods for organic agriculture and the substances used (i.e., permitted substances list) are laid out in the Canadian General Standards Board?s (CGSB) publications entitled the Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards and the Organic Production Systems Permitted Substances List. These documents are available on the following CGSB webpage: http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/organic/index-e.html Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection Systems The Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection Systems is charged with developing principles and guidelines for food import and export certification and inspection systems. Included in the charge is the application of measures by competent authorities to provide assurance that foods comply with essential requirements. Recognition of quality assurance systems through the development of guidelines will help ensure that foods conform to the essential requirements. Food Import and Export Food Inspection and Certification Systems materials adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission are located in Volume 1A of the Codex Alimentarius, General Requirements. The 18th Session of CCFICS will be held in Australia from March 1 ? 5, 2010. The Committee is continuing work on: Proposed draft Guidelines for the Conduct of Foreign Audit Team Inspections; Proposed Draft Principles and Guidelines for the Conduct of Foreign On-site Audits and Inspections; Proposed Draft Principles and Guidelines for National Food Control Systems. For more information see: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/Codex_Committee_Import_Export/index.asp Appendix I. Electronic Copy or Outline of Each Export Certificate Samples of several export certificate forms are shown on the following pages. Example: State Application for Inspection and Certification of Plants and Plant Products for Export
Posted: 09 March 2010

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