WisconsinAquaculture.com - Dec 10 2012 Canada to Begin Enforcing Import Regs
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Dec 10 2012 Canada to Begin Enforcing Import Regs

UPDATE: Canada Will Begin Enforcement of New Aquatic Animal Import Regulations as of December 10, 2012.

The three U.S. federal agencies that function as Competent Authorities for exported aquatic animals (the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [USDA-APHIS]; the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service [NOAA Fisheries]; and the U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS]) have worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on specific export requirements that will facilitate continued US trade in aquatic animals and products with Canada.

As of December 10, 2012, each shipment must be accompanied by an import permit issued from CFIA and a health certificate from APHIS.

Regulated species and the diseases of concern.

Two health certificates are nearly finalized and will be available in early November.

Specific attestations for “Aquatic Animals and Germplasm Intended for Culture” and “Live Ornamental Aquatic Animals Intended for Commercial Aquarium use in CLOSED Premises in Canada” are available below”.

Additionally, APHIS is working closely with CFIA to establish zones of equal disease health status and compartmentalization (management) equivalence programs to facilitate trade and provide alternative means for US exporters to meet CFIA requirements. APHIS anticipates some of these options will be available in 2013.

Background: On December 22, 2010, CFIA published changes to the Canadian Health of Animals Regulations and Reportable Diseases Regulations. These changes resulted in new import controls for aquatic animals that are listed in Schedule III of the regulations, covering hundreds of aquatic animal species. New phased-in import requirements for these animals will include the need for importers in Canada to obtain an import permit issued from CFIA, and for shipments of listed aquatic animals to be accompanied by a zoosanitary (health) certificate issued in the country of origin. This effort is focused on preventing the introduction, and/or spread within Canada, of certain animal diseases.

The new regulations and list of regulated aquatic species (finfish, mollusk, and crustacean), developed in a context of end-purposes and aquatic animal diseases.

CFIA had delayed the enforcement of the changes to their Health of Animals Regulations and Reportable Diseases Regulations until December 10, 2012. Because of the potential for significant impact on international trade in aquatic animals, CFIA has implemented a Stream of Commerce Policy to facilitate trade during a transition to enforcement period between December 10, 2011 and December 10, 2012.

Additional information regarding the Stream of Commerce Policy

Until December 10, 2012, U.S. exporters may ship aquatic animals listed in Schedule III without an import permit and zoosanitary/health certificate. However, exporters should be aware that the additional delay of enforcement does not eliminate the need to eventually comply with Canada’s new regulations, and should carefully review the information at the website above to determine the relevance of these changes for their exported aquatic animals. Exporters are encouraged to work with their Canadian import counterparts regarding the exact import conditions that will come into effect for their specific exports in December 2012.

For concerns or questions regarding specific exports, please contact the appropriate offices below:

  • Live aquatic animals intended for relay or rearing in Canada: please contact APHIS National Center for Import and Exports (NCIE) Animals Export staff (301) 851- 3300, Option 2.  
  • Aquatic animals intended for direct retail or human consumption: please contact NOAA Seafood Inspection Program at (800) 422-2750.  
  • Aquatic products for bait and pet food: please contact APHIS NCIE Products staff at (301)

851- 3300, Option 6.


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