Canada Food Exporter Guide Annual Report 2009

A Hot Tip about Food , Beverages and Tobacco in Canada

Posted on: 4 Jan 2010

A practical guide for U.S. food exporters in the Canadian market; includes updates to the organic food section, market sector reports, consumer trends, and best prospects for U.S. consumer-oriented agricultural products in the Canadian market.

Required Report - public distribution Date: 8/20/2009 GAIN Report Number: CA9042 Canada EXPORTER GUIDE ANNUAL Canada Exporter Guide Annual 2009 Approved By: Robin Tilsworth Prepared By: Matthew John Thoren Report Highlights: A practical guide for U.S. food exporters in the Canadian market; includes updates to the organic food section, market sector reports, consumer trends, and best prospects for U.S. consumer-oriented agricultural products in the Canadian market. Post: Commodities: Fruits, Vegetables, Ottawa Meats, Snack Foods, Beverages, Organics SECTION I. MARKET OVERVIEW A) General Canada is the No. 1 market for U.S. agricultural exports. In CY2008 U.S. agricultural exports to Canada reached a record $16.2 billion. U.S. agricultural exports to Canada accounted for 14 percent of total U.S. food and agricultural product exports of $115.4 billion. Consumer-oriented agricultural products accounted for 74 percent of total U.S. food and agricultural product sales to Canada in CY2008 with fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, snack foods, breakfast cereals, processed horticultural products, and red meat products as the category leaders. American products accounted for 62 percent of total Canadian agricultural and food imports in 2008. During CY2008, a number of consumer-oriented agricultural categories posted record sales to Canada. The top 5 categories are fresh vegetables (US$1.5 billion), fresh fruit (US$1.4 billion), snack foods (US$1.4 million), red meat ($1.3 billion). Canada is also an important market for U.S. fish and forestry exports. Canada is the No. 2 market for U.S. fish, and seafood exports reached US$708 million in CY2008. Despite being a major producer and world exporter of forest products, Canadian imports of U.S. forest products reached about $2.3 billion in 2008. Combined, total U.S. farm, fish and forestry product exports to Canada reached a record $19.26 billion during CY2008, $2.6 billion more than to Mexico, the next largest market destination. The United States and Canada have the world's largest bilateral trading relationship. During CY2008, two-way merchandise trade valued $568 billion. Total bilateral agricultural trade between the U.S. and Canada reached $34.2 billion in CY2008, or more than $90 million per day. Two-way truck traffic alone exceeds 7,000 trucks per day. That?s an average of almost one truck, every-other-minute, 24 hours a day. Under the tariff elimination provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the majority of U.S. agricultural products have entered Canada duty-free since January 1, 1998. On December 4, 1998 the United States and Canada signed a Record of Understanding, an agreement to further open Canadian markets to U.S. farm and ranch products. Tangible benefits of the agreement have accrued to the U.S. agricultural industry. Canadian Market Overview Summary Advantages Challenges Tariff rate quotas for certain products Proximity Similar lifestyles and consumption Differences in standard package sizes trends Wide exposure to American culture Differences in chemical residue tolerances Frequent business and personal trips Differences in nutrition labeling to U.S. Duty free tariff treatment for most Bilingual (English & French) labeling products under NAFTA Ease of entry for business travel High U.S. brand awareness High U.S. quality and safety perceptions Similar food shopping patterns Trade with Canada is facilitated by proximity, common culture, language, similar lifestyle pursuits, and the ease of travel among citizens for business or pleasure. Many American products have gained an increased competitive edge over goods from other countries as the result of the FTA/NAFTA. American manufacturers also have a competitive advantage over Canadian manufacturers in the scale of production. Canada?s grocery product and food service trades have been quick to seize opportunities under FTA/NAFTA, which permit them to expand their geographical sourcing area to include the United States. Declining import duties under the trade agreements and an easing of Canadian packaging requirements for processed horticultural products for the food service market have resulted in significant gains in the Canadian market for U.S. consumer-ready foods and food service foods. However as similar as the United States and Canada are, there are differences that exporters need to acknowledge. Understanding the nuances of a marketplace is critical to a successful launch of a product in any foreign market. B) Consumer Trends in Retail Food Canada?s population as of October 6, 2008 was estimated at 33.5 million. The growth rate is relatively slow at about 0.83 percent. The popularity of U.S. food products is very high and Canadian consumers are keenly aware of new product offerings in the United States. The closer integration of the North American food market under the NAFTA means that U.S. food and agricultural products are in high demand by Canadian retailers. There are some important trends in the Canadian retail food market that can help U.S. food exporters better understand the market. The following highlights are taken from an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada review with updates and/or additional information incorporated by the Office of Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. For more information on food marketing and trends in Canada, see Section III on Market Sector Structure. Overview Population growth is slow 0.83 percent a year Graying population - double the number of seniors compared to 25 years ago. In 1984, persons 50 years and older accounted for 23 percent of the population. By 2008, the percentage had increased to 33 percent Family structure - household size decrease from 3.7 people in 1970 to under 3 people in 2008 Graying Population Seniors are well off financially, well educated, and willing to spend Have time to shop for what they want Increasingly interested in health and product quality Demanding smaller portions, single packages, easy to open and easy-read labels Cultural Diversity Canadian ethnic diversity is different from U.S. with less Hispanic influence and more Asian influence Ethnic diversity - Asia is the major source of immigrants (more than half of all immigrants during the 1990s) The cultural diversity is an increasingly important force in the marketplace, particularly in urban centers, creating new demands in the food industry Ethnic foods like Pad Thai and Shwarmas are gaining in popularity Economic Trends Real personal disposable income growth has experienced a slowdown during the past ten years but price inflation has been low Dual-income families are the norm but single-parent families are also prominent Increasing number of women in the workforce Canadian Food Expenditures Real spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages has decreased to a national average of about 10.4 percent of average Canadian household income Spending on food outside the home (restaurants) is increasing, to 27 percent of food expenditures Market Place Behavior Consumers still want value and will price shop More consumers own microwaves than own barbeques Consumers lack time to shop and prepare meals and thus seek convenience Increased demand for home delivery, "ingredient solutions,", home meal replacements, hand-held foods and microwavable products The majority of fish and seafood sales are in foodservice Kosher food sales are rising rapidly Demand for organic food continues to increase considerably, accounting for approximately 1.5 percent of the food market Demand for health foods is on the rise Increase in private label products Retail Store Trends Grocery stores are growing in size with most new superstores of over 97,000 sq ft More ready-made foods to compete with fast food take-out food service outlets Big supermarkets are locked in a market share battle against the big box stores, and other non-traditional chain stores Major chains increasingly have organic sections Red Meat and Poultry Demand Canadians spend more money on meat than on any other food category Poultry meats have performed well compared to other meats, the category grew 5 percent in 2008 vs. 2 percent for red meat Increase in Food Label Consciousness Canadians are becoming more food label conscious regarding nutrition and ingredients. There is increased concern for the levels of trans fats, sodium, fiber, and sugar in packaged foods and increased awareness of the issues surrounding allergens, food fortification and health claims. SECTION II. EXPORTER BUSINESS TIPS; SERVICES; FOOD REGULATION A) Export Services for U.S. Food and Agricultural Exporters USDA-FAS offers a variety of export marketing services to assist U.S. exporters find customers overseas. Whether a new or experienced exporter, USDA-FAS services are the perfect tools to grow a business. Services 1. Foreign Buyers List - Information on over 25,000 foreign buyers of food, farm, fish, seafood and forest products in more than 80 countries. Fee: $15 per list (per country/per product) 2. Export Directory of U.S. Food Distribution Companies - This directory provides information on U.S. suppliers of mixed containers of grocery and/or food service products to foreign buyers. Registration is free of charge. 3. U.S. Suppliers List - A searchable database of over 3,500 U.S. exporters and their products (over 500 product categories), used by USDA-FAS to help facilitate connecting potential buyers with U.S. suppliers. Registration is free of charge. 4. U.S. suppliers who want to inform foreign buyers about their products will be directed to the State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs) for assistance. The SRTGs, which are FAS program participants, offer customized export assistance on a wide variety of export- related topics from "connection to collection." The SRTGs list can be obtained by accessing the FAS Web page at State Departments of Agriculture The state departments of agriculture and associated organizations also promote U.S. food and agricultural exports and are an additional valuable source of information. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) represents all 50 State departments of agriculture and those from the trust territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. In addition, there are four regional organizations associated with their respective departments of agriculture. Prospective exporters are encouraged to check with their respective state and/or regional organizations for assistance. Website: Country Commercial Guides The Country Commercial Guides (CCG) are prepared by U.S. Embassy staff annually and contain information on the business and economic situation of foreign countries and the political climate as it affects U.S. business. Each CCG contains the same chapters, and an appendix, which include topics such as marketing, trade regulations, investment climate, and business travel. Available at B) Business Customs Import Procedures Customs Brokers Some U.S. firms choose to obtain the services of a Canadian customs broker (a private company operating as a trade facilitator) to help them comply with Canadian import requirements and in some cases, market their product. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) licenses customs brokers to carry out customs-related responsibilities on behalf of their clients. A broker's services include: Obtaining release of the imported goods; Paying any duties that apply; Obtaining, preparing, and presenting or transmitting the necessary documents or data; Maintaining records; Responding to any Canada Customs and Revenue Agency concerns after payment. Clients have to pay a fee for these services, which the brokerage firm establishes. Importers who do not wish to transact business with the CBSA directly may authorize an agent to transact business on their behalf. Although importers may use an agent to transact business with the CBSA, the importer is ultimately responsible for the accounting documentation, payment of duties and taxes, and subsequent corrections such as re-determination of classification, origin and valuation. The importer remains liable for all duties owing until either the importer or the agent pays them. Agents are required to obtain written authorization from their clients in order to transact business on behalf of their clients. This business may include but is not limited to: Registering for a Business Number (BN), Importer/Exporter Account Providing assistance in cases involving the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) Submitting refund requests (B2s) Preparing release (interim accounting) documentation Preparing final accounting documentation Remitting payment of duties and taxes to the Receiver General of Canada For additional information, contact: Canadian Society of Customs Brokers Suite 320, 55 Murray Street Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3 Tel: 613-562-3543 Fax: 613-562-3548 Email: Web Site: Searchable list of members: Credit Checks Besides the well-known private credit service checks that may be available, the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) Trade Administration offers a World Trade Data Report (WTDR) service designed to verify the credit worthiness of companies in Canada. U.S. companies seeking more information on the WTDR service should contact the closest U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in the United States. The USCS also offers additional services to help U.S. exporters. The Commercial Import Process In order to bring goods into Canada, importers must provide the proper documents to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency including: Two copies of the cargo control document (CCD); Two copies of the invoice; Two copies of a completed Form B3, Canada Customs Coding Form; One copy Form A - Certificate of Origin (when necessary); Any import permits, health certificates, or forms that other federal government departments require; calculate and declare the value for duty of the imported goods (where necessary) according to the valuation provisions of the Customs Act; make sure that the goods are properly marked with their country of origin; pay any duties that apply. This information can be found at the site below. Import Service Centers The Canadian Food Inspection Agency?s (CFIA) Import Service Centers (ISC) are a control point in the import process and can respond to import information requests electronically or by fax. The ISC works closely with the Canada Border Services Agency in determining the Customs release of food items. In addition, ISC is equipped to handle telephone inquiries regarding import requirements for all commodities regulated by the CFIA. Non-Resident Importers Non-Resident Importers are companies that import goods into Canada but which have addresses outside of Canada. These companies are required to have a Business Number (BN) and an import/export account registered with the Canadian Border Services Agency and Canadian Revenue Agency. For more information: Food Brokers For U.S. companies entering the Canadian market, it is helpful to find a Canadian food broker to help with the logistics of entering the country in addition to marketing products. For a partial listing of Canadian food brokers refer to the latest food brokers report on the FAS web site under Attaché Reports. C) Food Regulation Labeling Requirements The basic packaging and labeling requirements necessary for U.S. agricultural exports to Canada are: Labels in English and French, Net quantities in metric, List of ingredients, Durable life date (if shelf life 90 days or less), Common name of product, Company name and address, Minimum type size specifications, Conformity to standardized package sizes stipulated in the regulations, and Country of origin labeling on shipping container Although the Universal Product Code (UPC) or bar code is not required or administered by government, virtually all retailers require products to be labelled with a UPC. The Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising in Canada The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has prepared a Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising that details the regulatory requirements for selling packaged foods in Canada. The CFIA has the authority to refuse entry, detain, return, or remove from retail shelves any imported processed food product that does not meet the federal food labeling requirements. The CFIA Guide includes information on: -Basic Labeling Requirements -Advertising Requirements -Claims as to the Composition, Quality, Quantity and Origin of Foods -Nutrition Labeling -Nutrient Content Claims -Health-Related Claims -Other Product Specific Requirements The full guide is available on the CFIA website at: Label Review The Canadian Food Inspection Agency consolidates federal food label review under its Food Labeling Information Service. The labeling service, designed particularly for new entrants in the marketplace who are not familiar with the Canadian regulatory system, is provided at specified regional locations across Canada. These offices coordinate the requirements of the aforementioned federal departments to simplify product approval and label compliance. It is recommended that U.S. exporters submit their labels to the closest regional office. Prompt answers can often be received to general and specific label questions. British Columbia Canadian Food Inspection Agency 400-4321 Still Creek Avenue Burnaby, British Columbia V5C 6S7 Tel: (604) 666-6513 Fax: (604) 666-1261 Canadian Food Inspection Agency 1905 Kent Road Kelowna, British Columbia V1Y 7S6 Tel: (250) 470-4884 Fax: (250) 470-4899 Canadian Food Inspection Agency 103-4475 Viewmont Avenue Victoria, British Columbia V8Z 6L8 Tel: (250) 363-3455 Fax: (250) 363-0336 Alberta Canadian Food Inspection Agency 7000 - 113 Street, Room 205 Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6 Tel: (780) 495-3333 Fax: (780) 495-3359 Canadian Food Inspection Agency 110 Country Hills Landing NW, Suite 202 Calgary, Alberta T3K 5P3 Tel: (403) 292-4650 Fax: (403) 292-5692 Saskatchewan Canadian Food Inspection Agency 301-421 Downey Road Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 4L8 Tel: (306) 975-8904 Fax: (306) 975-4339 Manitoba Canadian Food Inspection Agency 269 Main Street, Room 613 Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1B2 Tel: (204) 983-2220 Fax: (204) 983-6008 Ontario Tel: 1-800-667-2657 e-mail: Central Region: Canadian Food Inspection Agency 709 Main Street West Hamilton, Ontario L8S 1A2 Tel: (905) 572-2201 Fax: (905) 572-2197 Northeast Region: Canadian Food Inspection Agency 38 Auriga Drive, Unit 8 Ottawa, Ontario K2E 8A5 Tel: (613) 274-7374 Fax: (613) 274-7380 Canadian Food Inspection Agency 145 Renfrew Drive, Unit 160 Markham, Ontario L3R 9R6 Tel: 905-513-5977 Fax: 905-513-5971 Toronto Region: Canadian Food Inspection Agency 1124 Finch Avenue West, Unit 2 Downsview, Ontario M3J 2E2 Tel: (416) 665-5055 Fax: (416) 665-5069 Southwest Region: Southwest Region: Canadian Food Inspection Agency 1200 Commissioners Road East, # 19 London, Ontario N5Z 4R3 Tel: (519) 691-1300 Fax: (519) 691-0148 Quebec Canadian Food Inspection Agency 25 des Forges Road, Suite 418 Trois-Rivières, Québec G9A 6A7 Tel: (819) 371-5207 Fax: (819) 371-5268 Canadian Food Inspection Agency Place Iberville IV Suite 100, 2954 Laurier Boulevard Ste-Foy, Quebec G1V 5C7 Tel: (418) 648-7373 Fax: (418) 648-4792 Canadian Food Inspection Agency Carillon Place II 7101 Jean Talon Street East, Suite 600 Anjou, Quebec H1M 3N7 Tel: 514-493-8859 Fax: 514-493-9965 Nova Scotia Canadian Food Inspection Agency P.O. Box 1060 1992 Agency Drive Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 3Z7 Tel. (902) 426-2110 Fax (902) 426-4844 New Brunswick Canadian Food Inspection Agency 850 Lincoln Road P.O. Box 2222 Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5G4 Tel. (506) 452-4964 Fax (506) 452-3923 Prince Edward Island Canadian Food Inspection Agency 690 University Avenue Charlottetown, PEI C1E 1E3 Tel. (902) 566-7290 Fax (902) 566-7334 Newfoundland Canadian Food Inspection Agency Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre P.O. Box 5667 St. John's, Newfoundland A1C 5X1 Tel. (709) 772-8912 Fax (709) 772-5100 Labeling of Shipping Containers Labels of shipping containers are exempt from bilingual labeling requirements. The outer container requires a product description, the name and address of the U.S. company and a net quantity declaration in either metric or Imperial measure. If the food in the inner container(s) is not for sale directly to consumers (i.e., foodservice, etc.), that label may also be in either French or English, but all other mandatory label information, such as the list of ingredients, is required to be shown. Nutrition Labeling On December 12, 2007, Canada?s mandatory nutrition labeling regulations for prepackaged foods came fully into force. Small manufacturers, domestic or foreign, with gross sales of C$1 million or less in Canada were granted an additional two years to comply after December 12, 2005. The U.S. nutrition panel is not permitted on the labels of foods sold in Canada. U.S. prepackaged food product exporters are advised to familiarize themselves with Canadian nutrition labeling regulations and to bring their packaging into compliance to avoid entry refusals at the border or product detention. Nutrition Labeling Policy is set by Health Canada while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for enforcement. The Nutrition Labeling toolkit website is located at: Labeling Exemptions Some prepackaged foods are exempt from Mandatory Nutrition Labeling (Excerpt from the 2003 CFIA Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising, Section 5.3) The following products are exempt from displaying a Nutrition Facts table: a) foods, such as spices and some bottled waters, for which all the nutritional information (other than serving of stated size) set out in column 1 of the table to B.01.401 may be expressed as "0"; b) beverages with an alcohol content of more than 0.5 percent; c) fresh vegetables and fruits without added ingredients, oranges with color, and fruit and vegetables coated with paraffin wax or petrolatum; This category includes fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, thyme, etc. (but not dried herbs); sprouts; and fruits and vegetables that are minimally processed (e.g., washed, peeled, cut-up, shredded, etc.), including mixtures of fruits and vegetables, such as bagged mixed salad and coleslaw (without dressing, croutons, bacon bits, etc.). NOTE: The exemption is lost if any health claim set out in the table following B.01.603 is made, including the following: "A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer," [B.01.401 (3)(e)(ii), and item 4 of the table following B.01.603]. d) raw, single ingredient meat, meat by-product, poultry meat, and poultry meat by-product; NOTE: Prepackaged ground meat, ground meat by-product, ground poultry meat and ground poultry meat by-product must always carry a Nutrition Facts table [B.01.401(3)(d)]. e) raw, single ingredient marine or freshwater animal products (such as fish, crustaceans, etc.); f) foods sold only in the retail establishment where the product is prepared and processed, including products made from a pre-mix when an ingredient other than water is added to the pre-mix; NOTE: A Nutrition Facts table is required when only water is added to a pre- mix or when a product is only baked, cooked, etc. on the premises without the addition of other ingredients. g) foods sold only at a roadside stand, craft show, flea market, fair, farmers' market and sugar bush by the individual who prepared and processed the product; h) individual servings of foods that are sold for immediate consumption (e.g., sandwiches or ready-made salads), when these have not been subjected to a process or special packaging, such as modified atmosphere packaging, to extend their durable life; i) foods sold only in the retail establishment where the product is packaged, if the product is labeled by means of a sticker and has an Available Display Surface less than 200 cm2; j) prepackaged confections, commonly known as one-bite confections, that are sold individually (e.g., small individually wrapped candies, mints, etc.); k) prepackaged individual portions of food that are solely intended to be served by a restaurant or other commercial enterprise with meals or snacks (e.g., crackers, creamers, etc.); and l) a variety of cow and goat milk products sold in refillable glass containers. Losing the Exemption (Excerpt from the 2003 Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising, Section 5.3.1) The last three items listed above (a one-bite confection, an individual portion served with meals, milk in glass containers) never lose their exemption. The remaining items listed above lose their exempt status and are required to carry a Nutrition Facts table when: A vitamin or mineral nutrient is added to the product; A vitamin or mineral nutrient is declared as a component of an ingredient (other than flour); Aspartame, sucralose, or acesulfame-potassium is added to the product; The product is ground meat, ground meat by-product, ground poultry meat or ground poultry meat by-product; or The label or advertisement contains one or more of the following: A nutritional reference or nutrient content claim, A biological role claim, A health claim, A health-related name, statement, logo, symbol, seal of approval or other proprietary mark of a third party, or The phrase "nutrition facts", "valeur nutritive" or "valeurs nutritives". Tariffs and Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) Effective January 1, 1998 the tariff provisions of the U.S.- Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) removed all tariffs between the two countries with the exception of those products for which Canada implemented tariff rate quotas on January 1, 1995. The provisions of the FTA were incorporated into the NAFTA to which Mexico is also a signatory. The NAFTA came into effect on January 1, 1994. In 1995, under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, Canada replaced import quotas on certain agricultural products with Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs). Under the TRQ system, imports that are within quotas are subject to low or free rates of duty, until the quota limit has been reached. Once quota limits have been reached, over-quota imports are subject to significantly higher Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) rates of duty. The Canadian importer must be in possession of an import permit to import TRQ commodities. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Export and Import Controls Bureau) is responsible for administering Canada?s Tariff Rate Quotas for Agricultural Products. For more information go to: Canada administers TRQs that affect exporters of the following U.S. agricultural commodities: 1. Broiler Hatching Eggs & Chicks 2. Cheese 3. Chicken and Chicken Products 4. Milk & Dairy Products 5. Cheese 6. Turkey and Turkey Products 7. Margarine 8. Wheat, Barley and their Products Important Note for U.S. meat exporters: Canada has further TRQs that affect both the level and the tariff rates of imports from non-NAFTA origin of pork, beef, and wheat, barley and their products, but they do not apply to imports of U.S. origin (or Mexican origin when eligible). Detailed Information is located at the link below. Packaging and Container Regulations Canadian regulations governing package sizes for fruits and vegetables, processed horticultural products and processed meats stipulate standardized package sizes that may differ from U.S. sizes. The standards of identity and the container sizes are generally stipulated in the regulations encompassing agriculture and food products. Electronic access to all Canadian food-related regulations is available through: Food Additive Regulations Canada?s Food and Drugs Act and Regulations strictly control the use of food additives. Most foods approved for sale in the U.S. would comply with Canadian additive regulations, but differences can occur in the permissible levels and uses of food colorings and food preservatives. The food additive tables in Division 16 of the Regulations prescribe which additives may be used in foods sold in Canada, to which foods they may be added, for what purposes, and at what levels. Products containing non-permitted food additives may be refused entry into Canada. Canada?s Food and Drugs Regulations are available on the Internet at: Specific technical questions relating to Canada?s Food and Drugs Regulations may be directed to: Regulatory Assistant Bureau of Food Regulatory, International & Interagency Affairs Food Directorate Health Canada Building No. 7, Tunney's Pasture (PL 0702C1) Ottawa, ON K1A 0L2 Telephone: (613) 957-0360 Fax: (613) 941-3537 Email: Pesticide and other Contaminants Some agricultural chemicals approved for use in the United States are not registered in Canada. As a result, these pesticides are deemed to have a zero tolerance in Canada and imported foods which contain unregistered pesticide residues above 0.1 parts per million are deemed to be adulterated under Section B.15.002(1) of Canada's Food and Drug Regulations. The goods are subject to detention, destruction, or return. Canada is currently reviewing its policy of the 0.1 ppm default level. A discussion document issued by Health Canada on this policy review is available at: Health Canada?s Health Protection Branch sets maximum reside limits (MRL) for pesticides. A full listing of Canadian MRLs is available on the Pest Management Regulatory Agency?s (PMRA) website at: The PMRA is also responsible for pesticide registration. The address is: Pest Management Regulatory Agency Health Canada 2250 Riverside Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9 Telephone: 613-736-3799 D) Other Regulations and Requirements Inspection and Registration Fees As part of a Canadian government initiative to partially recover costs associated with providing inspection services, most federal departments charge fees to industry for inspection and product registrations. Canada claims its fee structure is consistent with WTO provisions for national treatment in that the fees apply equally to Canadian and import sales. Container Sizes: Processed Meats Canada?s Meat & Poultry Inspection Regulations stipulate the standard package size requirements for processed meat and poultry products such as bacon, sausages, sliced meats and wieners. Common U.S. package sizes for these products are different from Canadian standardized sizes. For example, sliced bacon cannot be sold in a 1 lb. package in Canada. It is mostly sold in 500 g packages, one of the standardized sizes in the regulations. Schedule II of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Regulations lists all the acceptable package sizes for processed meats. It can be viewed on the Department of Justice website at: 288/index.html Requirements for Fresh Meats Federally inspected USDA meat and poultry plants must be on the Food Safety Inspection Service?s (FSIS) list of approved establishments to export fresh meats to Canada. U.S. exporters should be aware that establishments not listed in the current FSIS Meat and Poultry Inspection Directory may experience delays in getting their certificates pre-verified. Contact the FSIS Technical Service Center, Omaha, NE, phone (402) 221-7400 for assistance. An Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Export Verification (EV) program is no longer required for export of beef and beef products to Canada, but it is required for bison or buffalo meat. Since U.S. BSE regulations do not apply to bison or buffalo, meat and meat products derived from these species must be produced under an approved AMS EV program. The red meat export requirements for shipments to Canada are detailed in the FSIS Library of Export Requirements. Requirements for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables All fruits and vegetables imported into Canada must meet specific standards and packaging regulations laid out in the Canada Agricultural Products Act?s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations and Processed Product Regulations. U.S. fresh fruits and vegetable exporters must: Comply with Canadian grade standards and packaging regulations, Obtain Canadian Confirmation of Sale form. Consignment selling is prohibited, Obtain a fresh fruit and vegetable license Obtain special waiver of standard container regulations for bulk products File a Canada Customs invoice Beginning in 1995, Canada dropped the mandatory requirement (except for apples, onions, and potatoes) that U.S. exports of fresh produce be accompanied by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) certification that the produce meets Canadian import requirements. Some U.S. exporters still choose to obtain AMS certification as evidence that the produce left the shipping point in grade and condition. Canada requires all foreign shippers of fresh produce to place a grade on consumer size packages for which Canadian grades are established. The law also requires a country of origin declaration with the grade and weight (in metric) printed in a letter size directly proportional to the size of the package display surface. If grades and standard container sizes are specifically addressed in Canadian regulation, bulk imports require a special exemption from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This exemption is not granted unless there is a shortage of domestic supply. However, in November 2007, the countries signed an arrangement to facilitate bilateral potato trade. The arrangement will provide U.S. potato producers with predictable access to Canadian Ministerial exemptions, a regulatory vehicle to import potatoes that is only granted by the Government of Canada on a case-by-case basis when there is a proven shortage of potatoes in Canada. The arrangement, when fully implemented in the third year, will allow contracts between U.S. growers and Canadian processors to serve as sufficient evidence of a shortage in Canadian potatoes. For more on the potato arrangement, see the following. Canadian Import Requirements for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables can be found below. Further information on fruit and vegetable regulations is available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency?s Fruit and Vegetable website. Processed Horticultural Products Imported processed horticultural products are subject to the requirements of Canada?s Processed Products Regulations. These regulations stipulate the standards and grades for processed fruits and vegetables. The maximum container size permitted for importation is 20 kg or 20 liters. Beyond these sizes, Canadian rules require a ministerial exemption, or bulk waiver of standardized package. The Processed Product Regulations are available for viewing at the following Justice Department website: E) Other Specific Standards Fish and Seafood Fish and fish products are subject to the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations, which contain requirements for wholesomeness, labeling, packaging, grading, and health and safety. There is no requirement under those regulations for imported fish products to be accompanied by a health certificate. However, the person who imports fish into Canada must hold a fish import license and must provide written notification to the CFIA for each imported shipment of fish and must make the fish available for inspection. Product inspections are conducted at frequencies that depend on the product's risk and the trader?s history of compliance. The normal inspection frequency for fresh fish such as wild caught salmon from an exporter with a good history of compliance would be 2 percent. More information regarding the requirements to import fish into Canada can be found on the CFIA web site in the document titled Guide to Canadian Regulatory Requirements and Examination Procedures for Imported Fish. The fish inspection act can be found here: Labeling requirements for packaged fish must include all mandatory information normally found on consumer packages such as: Country of origin; Common name of the fish; Name and address of the manufacturer; Day, month and year of processing; and Quantity (metric or imperial units) Information regarding the labeling of fish products is available on the CFIA web site at: Novel Foods (Genetically Modified Foods) Health Canada defines novel foods as: products that have never been used as a food; foods that result from a process that has not previously been used for food; or foods that have been modified by genetic manipulation (i.e., genetically modified foods). Pre-Market Notification: The Novel Foods Regulation (under the Food and Drugs Act) requires that pre-market notification be made to Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) by any company who wants to sell a biotechnology-derived food. The following is Health Canada?s website for information concerning the sale of genetically modified foods in Canada: Contact for Novel Food Pre-Market Notification/Submission Novel Food Notification Food Program Food Directorate Health Canada 4th Floor West Sir Frederick G. Banting Research Center 251 Sir Fredrick Banting Driveway Tunney's Pasture, PL 2204A1 Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9 Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages The federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act gives the provinces and territories full control over the importation of intoxicating liquor into their jurisdictions. Provincial liquor commissions control the sale of alcoholic beverages in Canada and the market structure can vary considerably from province to province. Alcoholic beverages can only be imported through the liquor commissions in the province where the product will be consumed. In general terms, U.S. exporters are required to have their products ?listed? by the provincial liquor control agency. In many provinces, U.S. exporters must have a registered agent who provides the necessary marketing support within the province to obtain a provincial liquor board listing. As an initial step, U.S. exporters should contact the provincial liquor board in the target market for a listing of registered agents or consult the Office of Agricultural Affairs wine report (CA7006) available on the FAS website under Attaché Reports for a partial listing of agents. Provincial Liquor Commissions: Newfoundland Liquor Corporation ? Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation - Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission - New Brunswick Liquor Corporation ? Société des alcools du Québec ? Liquor Control Board of Ontario ? Manitoba Liquor Control Commission ? Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority ? Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission ? British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch ? Yukon Liquor Corporation Board ? Northwest Territories Liquor Commission - Tel.: (867) 874-2100 Canadian packaging and labeling requirements for wine and beer are administered under Canada?s Food and Drug Regulations and the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Regulations. In addition to the general packaging and labeling requirements for most foods, the regulations for alcoholic beverages include common names and standardized container rules. For example, light beer in Canada is defined by regulation as beer with a percentage alcohol of 2.6 to 4.0, by volume. Wine container sizes are standardized and metric. The most common containers for wine are 750 milliliters or 1, 1.5 and 2 liters. The province of Quebec has additional requirements to alcoholic beverage labeling. Organic Foods 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 foods with regard to import requirements. Currently, all Canadian packaging and labeling, grade, and inspection regulations apply equally to organic and non-organic foods. Canadian Organic Regulations became official after they were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on December 21, 2006. With the support of the Canadian organic industry, Canada?s previously voluntary system for marketing organic food now falls under a federal regulatory framework. Enforcement Date of Regulations Federal regulations for organic products ? the Organic Products Regulations ? came into full force on June 30, 2009. On this date, organic products marketed in or imported into Canada must be certified by a certification body accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The National Standard for Organic Agriculture, which sets out the permitted and prohibited practices, can be accessed online at the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB). anic/index-e.html) 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 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 listed above. Normally, whenever a country seeks U.S. determination of its organic standards, the U.S. proceeds with a similar request of the USDA National Organic program (NOP) by the foreign government in order to facilitate the entry of U.S. organic exports. The U.S. and Canada have been involved in negotiations for the past year and announced on June 17th, 2009 that an official equivalency agreement has been reached. The agreement, the first of its kind is expected to expand market opportunities for organic products in both countries. Kosher Foods In the labeling, packaging and advertising of a food, Canada?s Food and Drug Regulations prohibit the use of the word kosher, or any letter of the Hebrew alphabet, or any other word, expression, depiction, sign, symbol, mark, device or other representation that indicates or that is likely to create an impression that the food is kosher, if the food does not meet the requirements of the Kashruth applicable to it. Kosher style foods are defined in Canada?s Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising (mentioned above). For more information on Kosher Food Marketing in Canada, see FAS Ottawa?s latest Kosher Report CA5061 available under ?Attaché Reports? from the FAS homepage at: Food Fortification The addition of vitamins and minerals to food in Canada is controlled by the Food and Drug Regulations and only foods fortified with certain nutrients, and to levels specified in the Regulations, may be sold in Canada. In 1998, Canada began a review of its food fortification policy. The review responded to concerns that the current policy and practices are too restrictive and that they limit the development of new products, as well as Canadians' access to fortified foods available in other countries. The proposed policy is outlined in the document, Addition of Vitamins and Minerals to Food, 2005: Health Canada's Proposed Policy and Implementation Plans. It would retain current fortification practices to prevent and correct nutritional problems, such as requiring the addition of Vitamin D to milk to combat the childhood disease of rickets and the addition of folic acid to flour to reduce birth defects. Fortifying foods to restore vitamins and minerals lost through processing would also continue. The policy would create a new provision for food fortification done at the "discretion" or "choice" of the manufacturer (within defined limits set by Health Canada) to meet a market demand, a process known as discretionary fortification. The policy also calls for an expansion of the product category of special purpose foods. The policy review is ongoing. Health Canada is expected to draft regulations to implement the policy, although no time frame has been announced. There will be a comment period when the draft regulations are published in the Canada Gazette Part I. The regulatory process usually takes about 12-18 months. For more information on food fortification, visit Pet Food Labeling The labeling and advertising of pet food sold in Canada is governed by the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act and by the Competition Act as administered by Industry Canada. This oversees that pet food labels and advertising are truthful and verifiable. The manufacture and sale of pet food, however, is not regulated in Canada by the CFIA or by any other governmental department. There are voluntary quality assurance programs in place that deal with the quality, safety and nutritional value of pet food for pets. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) operates a voluntary pet food certification program for pet food manufacturers that sets basic quality standards. Manufacturers can voluntarily submit their pet foods for testing based on the CVMA nutritional and digestibility standards. For more information, go to: Animal Health Requirements Related to Pet Food The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the following directive in 2006 regarding imports of pet foods and chews that include products of ruminant origin. Cooked canned commercially prepared pet food containing animal by-products (bone meal, meat meal, blood meal, rendered animal fats, glue stock, meat, and inedible meat): From the United States: Proof of origin acceptable to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), a copy of the list of ingredients, and a written declaration from the importer (dated, signed, and linked to the shipment being imported) stating that (1) there are no ingredients derived from bovine animals in the pet food, or (2) the bovine ingredients in the pet food are not derived from Specified Risk Material (SRM), or (3) the bovine animals from which the pet food ingredients are derived originated from the U.S. or Canada or a country considered to be of negligible BSE-risk by the CFIA (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand or Uruguay). For pet food containing ingredients of ruminant (bovine, ovine or caprine) origin, the designated country must be free of foot-and mouth disease (FMD) and of negligible risk (category 1) for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Dried pet chews such as cattle ears, bull pizzles and cow hooves must come from countries free from foot-and-mouth disease only (BSE is not a disease of concern for these last products). For finished rawhide pet chews, there are no diseases of concern. Rawhide Pet Chews: From the United States: Proof of origin acceptable to CBSA, and a written declaration from the importer (dated, signed, and linked to the shipment being imported) stating that the finished product does not contain any hides or skins from the head of a ruminant. If the pet food contains ingredients of porcine origin, designated country must be free of foot-and- mouth disease, swine vesicular disease, African swine fever, and classical swine fever (hog cholera). If the pet food contains ingredients of avian origin, the designated country must be free from Velogenic Newcastle disease and pathogenic avian influenza (fowl plague). Under new CFIA Health of Animals Regulations due to go into effect June 30, 2009, U.S. exporters of pet food must meet three critical provisions. First, products must be Specified Risk Material (SRM) free. Information on SRM are located here. Canada will require import permits, facility inspections and health certificates by the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for products with bovine ingredients. This provision will be enforced. Second, facilities exporting pet food with bovine ingredients must either be dedicated or have a dedicated line. A dedicated line reinforces the fact that the product must be SRM-free. Third, facilities exporting only non-bovine based pet food are allowed to use an FDA approved flushing and separation protocol to prevent product contamination. Livestock Feeds Using the authority of the federal Feeds Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency administers a national livestock feed program to regulate domestic and imported livestock feeds. The program is delivered by means of pre-sale product evaluation and registration by staff of the Feed Section, and post-market inspection and monitoring by Agency field staff located in all provinces of Canada. As an initial step, U.S. livestock feed exporters must apply to have the feed registered in Canada. They must also retain an agent who is resident in Canada and has the legal authority to act on their behalf. For more information on how to meet requirements for livestock feeds in Canada and the on-line forms for product registration and resident agent, go to: Meat Labeling Claims All meat and meat product labels used in Canada must be registered with the following CFIA office. Ideally this should be done prior to application for the labels with the claims on them. CFIA requires three proof copies of the intended labels for Canada, as well as an application form #1478 available from CFIA), formulation and processing methods. CFIA will not review existing U.S. marketplace labels. Dr. Mark Bielby, D.V.M. Recipe and Label Registration Unit Canadian Food Inspection Agency 8 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y9 Telephone: (613) 221-1428 Fax: (613) 228-6622 ?Natural? Meat Claims The term ?natural? cannot be used on any meat product in Canada, as it is felt that the term cannot be defined properly in terms of the context of food production. Any natural product can only have come from completely wild and unfarmed animals that are harvested and processed. However, the Method of Production protocol can be submitted to CFIA prior to label application. The phrase must be worded exactly as printed in the Canadian policy on Method of Production claims. This can be obtained by request from Dr. Bileby?s office. A written protocol must be submitted to the Label Registration Unit. This must include a written description of the procedures that are in place to validate the claim made (e.g. meat raised without the use of antibiotics would require evidence from birth, from hatcheries and feed mills, if applicable) from slaughter and from processing that there is segregation of the product from the conventional line). These protocols must be audited by an independent third person auditor who then will send a report to CFIA. There are 20-30 common method of production claims that have been approved by the Fair Labeling Unit. Some of these are: Raised without the use of antibiotics (this includes anticoccidials) Raised without the use of added hormones Raised without animal by-products Free-range Free run Grain Fed Vegetable Grain Fed Milk-fed veal There has been some tightening of definitions of the above label claims. A practical definition and review is available through contacting the office above. This above list of claims is not exhaustive, and any company may submit a Method of Production claim for review by CFIA. Diet-Related Health Claims The 2002 amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations allow diet-related health claims on foods for the first time in Canada. These claims are based on sound scientific evidence that has established a relationship between certain elements of healthy diets and reduction of risk of certain diseases. A diet-related health claim is a statement that describes the characteristics of a diet that may reduce the risk of developing a diet-related disease or condition, such as osteoporosis or stroke, and the properties of a food that make it a suitable part of the diet. For more information, go to: eng.php For example, the label of or an advertisement for a food which is low in sodium might carry the following diet-related health claim (providing specific composition and labeling conditions are met): "A healthy diet containing foods high in potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. (Naming the food) is low in sodium." The Regulations provide for claims that deal with the following relationships: A diet low in sodium and high in potassium, and the reduction of risk of hypertension; A diet adequate in calcium and vitamin D, and the reduction of risk of osteoporosis; A diet low in saturated fat and trans fat, and the reduction of risk of heart disease; A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, and the reduction of risk of some types of cancer; and Minimal fermentable carbohydrates in gum, hard candy or breath-freshening products, and the reduction of risk of dental caries. See section on labeling requirements Food Allergens In Canada, the nine Priority Food Allergens are peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts), sesame seeds, milk, eggs, fish (including crustaceans (e.g. crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp) and shellfish (e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops), soy, wheat and sulphites. According to the CFIA, these Priority Allergens have been shown to account for more than 90 percent of severe adverse reactions related to food allergens. The CFIA recommends that food companies establish effective allergen controls to minimize the potential for allergic reactions. When the CFIA becomes aware of a potential serious hazard associated with a food, such as undeclared allergens, the CFIA investigates and takes all appropriate action to protect consumers, which may include a recall of the food product. A CFIA industry reference guide with regard to the food allergens and labeling is available at the following website: Sample Products Food samples for research, evaluation, or display at trade shows and food exhibitions are permitted entry, but may not be offered for commercial sale. For meat, poultry, dairy or egg, and fruits and vegetable samples it is recommended that exhibitors apply for an import permit and declare that the food is not for resale. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will direct inquiries for permits to the appropriate office. Contact the nearest CFIA Import Service Center, locations are available at the following site. Entry at the border will be facilitated if U.S. exporters show proof of their food exhibition participation and that the products are of U.S. origin. In general, up to 10 samples are permitted entry, but the weight of each may not exceed 100 kilograms (about 220 pounds). Entries for personal consumption are generally restricted to 20 kg. Regulations vary by product. More information is available by searching specific commodities on the automated import reference system (AIRS) available here: Test Marketing: Processed Food Products Canada's Processed Product Regulations permit, in special instances only, the test marketing of domestically manufactured or imported processed food products that may not meet packaging, labeling, or compositional requirements of the regulations. However, the provision is designed to facilitate the marketing of new products of a type that are new, unique and unavailable in Canada. U.S. companies should note that it does not apply to U.S. brand introductions into Canada for processed foods of a type already available on retail shelves. By regulation, for a food to be granted a Test Market Food status, it must never have been sold in Canada in that form and must differ substantially from any other food sold in Canada with respect to its composition, function, state or packaging form. In the case of imported foods, applications for test marketing must be submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency by the Canadian importer who may be granted authorization to test market a food product for a period of up to 12 months. A dealer wishing to conduct a test market must, six weeks prior to conducting the test market, file a Notice of Intention to Test Market in the prescribed form and manner. The Notice of Intention to Test Market should be completed on company letterhead and should include the following: A description of the prepackaged product, together with submission of a sample in prepackaged form or alternatively, an illustration of the prepackaged product and the label; The quantity to be distributed; The period of time for test marketing (maximum period is 12 months); and The geographic area or region in which the test market is to be conducted; and Dealers must also include information, with supporting data, to substantiate that the test market product was not previously sold in Canada in that form and to establish that it differs substantially from any other product sold in Canada with respect to its composition, function, state or packaging form. The Notice of Intention to Test Market should be addressed to: Director, Consumer Protection Canadian Food Inspection Agency 1400 Merivale Road Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0Y9 Temporary Marketing Authorization Letter (TMAL) There is a distinction between a Test Market Food and a food that has received Temporary Marketing Authorization. A Temporary Marketing Authorization Letter (TMAL), issued by the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, authorizes the sale of a food that does not meet one or more of the compositional, packaging, labeling or advertising requirements under the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations. The authorization is granted for a specified period of time, within a designated area and in a specified quantity for a specific manufacturer or distributor. A TMAL does not exempt foods from the requirements under the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act and Regulations. The purpose of a Temporary Marketing Authorization is to generate information in support of a proposed amendment to the Food and Drug Regulations. For example, as a condition for obtaining a TMAL for the use of non-permitted labeling on a food, the companies involved agree: To use only those non-permitted labeling statements approved by the Health Products and Food Branch, To use these to carry out studies to determine consumer attitudes to the labeling and advertising material, and To submit the results of these studies to the Health Products and Food Branch. Once the TMAL is issued, those manufacturers or producers of foods that are subject to mandatory label registration through the CFIA (such as registered meats and processed products) will be expected to follow normal procedures to register their labels. Applications for a Temporary Marketing Authorization Letter should be addressed to: Assistant Deputy Minister Health Products and Food Branch Health Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2 Questions regarding any procedural details in applying for the TMAL may be addressed to: Chief, Nutrition Evaluation Division Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, Food Directorate Health Products and Food Branch Health Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2 Tel. (613) 957-0352 Fax (613) 941-6636 Interim Marketing Authorization The Interim Marketing Authorization (IMA), allows the sale of foods not in compliance with the regulations while an amendment to permit their ongoing legal sale is being processed. Permission is given through the publication of a Notice of Interim Marketing Authorization in Canada Gazette Part I and is effective beginning on the date of publication. Categories of amendments eligible for IMA are limited to a food which: contains an agricultural chemical or any of its derivatives in excess of the maximum residue limit that has been established in Division 15, or for which a maximum residue limit has
Posted: 04 January 2010

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