A New Regulatory Framework for Federal Food Inspection: Discussion Document
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Disclosure of Information
Although the CFIA currently provides information regarding the outcomes of its enforcement actions and decisions to the public in the context of its transparency initiative, the SFCA provides the Minister with a new authority for the disclosure of personal information (PI) and confidential business information (CBI) to the public. Circumstances where CFIA is considering disclosing PI and CBI include:
- Food safety investigations,
- Food recalls,
- Licence suspensions or cancellations,
- Notice of violations, warning and penalties issued under AAAMPS, and
- Order the removal of unlawful imports.
Question 26: What are your views on the proposed disclosures? Would more compliance and enforcement information be of interest?
Administrative Monetary Penalties
The Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (AAAMPA) provides an alternative enforcement tool to prosecution and supplements existing enforcement measures. It allows for the issuance of an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) for the contravention of any specified provision of an agri-food act or its regulations (including the SFCA, when it will come into force) that is designated as a violation under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (AAAMPR). The AAAMPR establishes the penalty amounts based on the type of violation and the classification of the violation (minor, serious, or very serious). These amounts may be adjusted in light of harm, history and intent, but may not exceed the maximum penalty amounts established in the AAAMPA. To date, CFIA has not used AMPs in the context of its food safety enforcement measures. However, the CFIA is in the process of developing a regulatory proposal to amend the AAAMPR to include violations under the MIA and its regulations.
AMPs are an important element of a modern enforcement and inspection regime and allow alternate actions to be taken to help ensure compliance with requirements. CFIA could use its compliance and enforcement policy and guidelines to respond to the non-compliance and would take action by using tools as described in the Improved Food Inspection Model that provide for a range of possible responses. If a person having been issued an AMP wishes to appeal it, they may request a review of the facts by the Minister or by the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal.
The SFCA will amend, upon coming into force, AAAMPA to provide the opportunity to issue AMPs to persons who contravene the SFCA and its regulations.
Examples of provisions that could be included are under an AMP scheme:
- Conducting certain activities not in accordance with the regulations or without a licence
- Failure to assist an inspector
- Failure to produce documents, information or samples
The process of allowing AMPs to be issued for violations of the proposed regulations will begin after the content of the proposed food regulations is finalized.
Question 27: What are your comments in regard to the use of AMPs for contraventions under the SFCA and its regulations?
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