Integrated Agency Inspection Model – Consultation Draft (December 4, 2013)
Annex D: Range of Regulatory Actions
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The following is a list of the CFIA's possible regulatory actions, whether due to activities on the part of regulated parties or due to events involving contaminants or disease/pest incursions. They are not listed in order of magnitude and it is not a comprehensive list. More than one response may be used in any given situation.
An assessment and verification that a regulated party meets the requirement of the Acts and regulations administered or enforced by the CFIA. For example, a consumer or industry complaint could trigger an inspection.
- Refusal to issue export certificate/documents
The Minister may refuse to issue export documents if the regulated party's export controls outlined in the preventive control plan were not effective or the commodity did not comply with other federal legislative requirements or the requirements of the importing country.
- Start or stop activities
If critical non-compliance were to be found during an inspection, the inspector may order any person who conducts a regulated activity or prepares a regulated commodity, to start or stop the activity.
- Seizure and detention
Seizure and detention allow the CFIA to control anything that the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe was used or obtained in contravention of any provision of the Acts or the regulations administered or enforced by the CFIA. For example, a commodity can be seized and detained until
- the commodity is brought into compliance,
- the court or AMP proceedings are complete, or
- it is ordered returned by the Court or the Tribunal.
- Removal from Canada
If an importer does not possess a valid licence or if an imported commodity does not comply with legislative requirements or is imported illegally, the inspector may order the commodity removed from Canada.
- Quarantine/Movement Controls
The declaration of infected place, the notice of infested place and movement controls are used to contain regulated pests or diseases.
- Corrective action request
A corrective action request (CAR) is issued by the CFIA to a regulated party in cases of serious or critical non-compliance. The CAR requires the regulated party to implement corrective measures within a defined timeframe.
- Meeting with the regulated party
A meeting may be held with the regulated party to discuss the need to apply corrective actions, set timelines and outline possible further action if the non-compliance were to remain unresolved.
- Notice of non-compliance
The regulated party may be sent a notice of non-compliance if he or she has failed to respond to the CFIA's corrective action request and further enforcement action is being considered.
- Publication of non-compliance
Compliance and enforcement actions may be published on the CFIA external website.
A commodity (or anything) that violates the Acts and regulations administered or enforced by the CFIA may be ordered destroyed or disposed in accordance with the applicable Acts and regulations.
A product may also be disposed of or destroyed if it has been forfeited or if the regulated party consents to its disposal.
Currently, on application by the Attorney General, the court may issue an interim or permanent injunction ordering a person to stop doing an activity that may be in violation of the Acts and regulations administered or enforced by the CFIA, or start an activity to prevent the commission of an offence. Under section 18 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, the CFIA may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an interim injunction. Once the Safe Food for Canadians Act is fully in force, the Minister will be able to apply for a permanent injunction.
Recalling a product would be appropriate when there are reasonable grounds to believe the regulated product poses a risk to the human, animal or plant health or the environment. If the regulated party were to refuse to initiate a recall of the product, a recall order may be issued pursuant to section 19 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, which provides that: "the Minister may, by notice served on any person selling, marketing or distributing the product, order that the product be recalled or sent to a place designated by the Minister."
- Actions taken with regard to licences
A licence may be suspended and/or cancelled if the licence holder does not comply with the regulatory requirements or conditions of the licence. Refer to Section 2 (Permissions) for a list of grounds and more details.
Furthermore, the Minister may make a licence subject to any additional conditions considered appropriate.
- Administrative Monetary Penalties
Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs), enabled by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (AAAMPA) are an important element of a modern enforcement and inspection regime and offer specific benefits.
- AMPs allow for alternative actions to be taken to encourage compliance with requirements, without having to immediately resort to the suspending or cancelling of licences or to instituting proceedings;
- AMPs provide an avenue other than the penalties section of an Act for encouraging compliance with requirements;
- AMPs allow for regulated parties to request a review of the facts by the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal, or to the Minister; and
- AMPs can take the form of either a notice of violation with a warning, or a notice of violation with a penalty determined in accordance with the AAAMPA.
The Health of Animals Act and the Plant Protection Act currently contain provisions for AMPs. Monetary penalties may be issued in respect of the scheduled violations specified under the animal and plant health legislative authorities.
Under the SFCA, the CFIA will have the authority to adopt AMPs as an enforcement tool for food commodities. AMPs are under consideration for commodities to which the legislation does not currently apply.
- Recommendation to prosecute
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) has the responsibility for all prosecutions relating to legislation enforced by the CFIA. If the CFIA were to conclude that prosecution is the most appropriate response, briefs of evidence would be forwarded to the PPSC with the recommendation that charges be laid. The PPSC would then decide whether to initiate prosecution.
- Treatment order
The CFIA can order the treatment of a commodity to mitigate the risk of a pest or disease.
Vaccination of animals can be used as a means to prevent the spread of disease.
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