Integrated Agency Inspection Model – Consultation Draft (December 4, 2013)
2.0 Permissions

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Introduction

CFIA grants permission authorizing regulated parties to conduct specific activities to meet regulatory requirements.

There are two types of permission:

  • With a Preventive Control Plan (PCP)
  • Without a Preventive Control Plan

Permissions are used to describe all relevant activities the applicant is approved to conduct and include licences, permits and certificates (e.g. for export, domestic movement). An applicant may request permission for each physical location, a number of physical locations, a type of commodity or activity (e.g. import, export).

Frequent and/or commercial regulated parties will be required to have effective preventive control plans in place to be licensed. Parties participating infrequently in regulated non-commercial activities (for example one-time imports or exports of a regulated article) subject to plant or animal health requirements may be eligible for permissions without preventive control plans. An applicant for a licence must be located in Canada or have a resident agent while they are a licence holder, to enable the CFIA to carry out inspection activities and take compliance and enforcement actions as necessary.

Primary producers, such as growers, fishers and livestock producers are not expected to be covered by the proposed licensing regime. In circumstances where primary producers choose to import or export or are subject to domestic animal and plant health requirements (i.e. those premises considered to be high risk), a licence would be required. Primary producers are expected to comply with applicable Acts and Regulations.

Permissions may be amended or suspended to address a disease outbreak, plant pest detection or contaminant event (such as a nuclear event) that is not addressed by the conditions of an existing licence.

Regulated parties will be required to immediately notify the CFIA when they have reason to believe there is a non-compliance that has an impact on human, animal or plant health or the environment. The CFIA will take steps appropriate to the nature and severity of the issue.

2.1 Parties subject to licensing with a PCP

A licence will be required for most regulated parties who are subject to the Acts and regulations administered and enforced by the CFIA to:

  • import
  • export (e.g. facility prepares food for export)
  • operate domestically, such as
    • interprovincial businesses (e.g. food preparation)
    • regulated areas (e.g. to control animal disease and plant pests)
    • high risk facilities (e.g. plant auctions and animal auction yards, research and quarantine facilities, medicated feed manufacturers)

Not all operations involved in the preparation of commodities will require a licence - some may not be subject to licensing. For example, operations not subject to licensing would include the following:

  • those that only sell food within the province (intraprovincial); however, they are still required to meet the appropriate federal legislation (for example, the Food and Drugs Act));
  • transporters of food, unless there is a plant or animal health requirement;
  • facilities that store or retail commodities but are not involved in importing, exporting or preparing the commodity provided it remains packaged and sealed from receipt to transportation, and meets the requirements of the relevant legislation;
  • those that export to countries that do not require Canadian export certification and for which there is no Canadian export regulatory requirement;
  • operations (or individuals) that import pets (such as cats and dogs) from low risk countries;
  • importers of the following plants and plant products from the US: cut flowers, house plants for personal use and most lumber without bark.

Operations may choose to apply for a licence under the federal scheme even if they are not subject to licensing (for example, food businesses selling food commodities within a province). If a licence is issued, the licence holder will be subject to all applicable requirements of the federal legislation and the licensing regime.

2.1.1 Licensing requirements with a PCP

In order to obtain a licence, an applicant must:

  1. develop, implement, and maintain an effective written preventive control plan to meet regulatory requirements,
  2. complete an application, and
  3. pay the licence fee.

An applicant for a licence will be required to attest to having implemented a preventive control plan that is commensurate with the nature of their operations and meets the criteria set out in Section 3 and Annex B, as applicable.

2.1.2 Period of validity of a licence with a PCP

A licence will be valid for the period indicated on the certificate. Licence holders may apply to renew their licence before it expires. The CFIA is proposing a two-year licence period for food. Further consultation will be done for the other commodities as part of regulatory modernization.

2.1.3 Issuing, renewing and amending a licence with a PCP

The following subsections outline the approach that is proposed for issuing, renewing and amending a licence. Additional information on the approach can be found in Annex A.

2.1.3.1 Issuing a licence with a PCP

In order to obtain a licence, the applicant will be required to submit a licence application to the Minister (or CFIA delegate of the Minister). A new licence will be required anytime the ownership of a business (legally responsible party) changes.

A pre-licensing inspection may be required for high-risk activities and will be a priority for first-time applicants. Notifications will be sent to the applicant when a pre-licensing inspection is required.

2.1.3.2 Renewing a licence with a PCP

A licence holder will be required to apply for renewal before the end of the licence's period of validity. A licence will not be renewed if there are any outstanding fees.

2.1.3.3 Amending a licence with a PCP

A licence holder will be required to request an amendment to the licence when there is a change in the business profile or operations. The licence holder's preventive control plan may need to be updated to reflect those changes.

Amendments may also be made by the Minister (or CFIA delegate of the Minister) with or without a request from the licence holder.

2.1.4 Suspension of a licence with a PCP

Reasons to suspend a licence include the following:

  • the licence holder failed to comply with the conditions of the licence or with provisions of an Act or its regulations;
  • there are unpaid fees; or
  • there is a reason to believe that human, animal or plant health or the environment, may be compromised or endangered if the operations continue.

The suspension will continue until the reason for the suspension is resolved or, if unresolved, until a decision to cancel the licence is rendered or the licence has expired. The purpose of a licence suspension is to protect Canadians while allowing a licence holder the opportunity to come back into compliance.

If a licence expires while it is under suspension, it will not be renewed until the reason for suspension had been resolved.

2.1.5 Cancellation of a licence with a PCP

A licence may be cancelled for reasons that include the following:

  • the licence was issued based on false or misleading information, or false or falsified documents submitted in or with the application;
  • the reason for suspension cannot be resolved within 90 days of the day the licence was suspended (the licence holder may request an extension if necessary);
  • the licence holder continued to import, export or prepare a commodity for export or interprovincial trade while the licence was under suspension.

A licence may also be cancelled at the request of the licence holder.

2.2 Parties subject to permissions without PCPs

Permissions without PCPs will be issued on a case-by-case basis to deal with particular one-time or low frequency non-commercial situations related primarily to animal or plant health requirements.

By exception, permissions without PCPs will be issued on a case-by-case basis to deal with particular one-time or low frequency activities.

A non-transferable permission without a PCP for a single transaction will be issued to the applicant to carry out the activity. The permission would describe all relevant activities the applicant is approved to conduct or the conditions the commodity must meet.

Such permissions will convey to regulated parties authorization to conduct a specific activity under specific conditions to mitigate risk, as needed. Examples where a permission without PCP may be applicable include:

  • importation of a live animal or plant for personal use, such as pet birds, horses for competition, or house plants;
  • domestic movement of personal property, such as, machinery or animals moved to or from areas for domestic control of a pest or disease;
  • exportation of a live animal(s) or plant(s) to meet foreign country requirements

This provides for flexibility and control over movement/disposition of products or things. Permissions without PCPs may include conditions for entry, movement or exit of regulated articles.

Regulated parties operating under permission without a PCP will be subject to regulatory requirements and CFIA inspection and oversight.

2.2.1 Permission requirements without a PCP

In order to obtain a permission without a PCP, an applicant must

  1. complete an application,
  2. pay the fee,
  3. meet the conditions for a permission without a PCP

Applicants will be required to attest to having met the conditions of the permission without a PCP. Examples of those conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • zoosanitary certificate by an official veterinary inspector of the central veterinary service of the country of origin of an animal or animal products/by-products proposed to be imported;
  • plant shipments accompanied by a valid phytosanitary certificate and/or treatment certificate issued by a recognized authority in the exporting country;
  • provisions for how a commodity imported for research must be handled to ensure its segregation from other plants in Canada

2.2.2 Period of validity of a permission without a PCP

Permissions without a PCP will be issued for a specified period of time and for a single transaction.

2.2.3 Issuing and amending a permission without a PCP

The following subsections outline the approach that will be used for issuing, renewing and amending a permission. Additional information can be found in Annex A.

2.2.3.1 Issuing a permission without a PCP

In order to obtain permission without a PCP, applicants will be required to submit an application to the Minister (or CFIA delegate of the Minister).

An inspection may be required.

2.2.3.2 Amending a permission without a PCP

Permissions without a PCP may be amended prior to use if there are changes to the conditions under which it was granted.

2.2.4 Suspension of a permission without a PCP

If there is a reason to believe that human, animal, or plant health or the environment may be endangered, a permission without a PCP may be suspended.

The suspension will continue until the reason for the suspension was resolved or, if unresolved, until a decision to cancel the permission without a PCP was rendered.

2.2.5 Cancellation of a permission without a PCP

Permissions without a PCP may be cancelled for reasons that include the following:

  • the permission without a PCP was issued based on false or misleading information, or false or falsified documents submitted in or with the application;
  • the reason for suspension cannot be resolved;
  • the permission holder conducted the activity while the permission without a PCP was under suspension;
  • there was a change in a hazard, pest or disease status.

It may also be cancelled at the request of the permission holder.

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