Returns and Permit Application Process for Canadian Animals, Semen, Embryos, Animal Products, Animal By-Products, and Finished Pet Food

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TAHD-DSAT-IE-2010-9-1
October 28, 2010

Canadian animals, animal products, and animal by-products exported from Canada are sometimes returned by the importer or the authorities of the importing country, or even recalled by the exporting firm itself. The reasons for returns include the following:

  • there were changes in market conditions;
  • the client's specifications were not met;
  • the importing country's requirements were not met.

Definitions

Animal: Under the Health of Animals Act, Interpretation, section 2, "animal" includes embryos, and a fertilized egg or ovum but not semen or unfertilized ova; it includes regulated animal as defined by the Health of Animals Regulations, part II, section 10.

Animal products: Within this procedural directive, includes semen, animal products, animal by-products, finished pet food, or any other thing that falls under the jurisdiction of the Terrestrial Animal Health Division (TAHD) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) under the authority of the Health of Animals Act and its Regulations.

Delegated inspector: The inspector or veterinary inspector who is authorized to permit the importation or return of an animal or animal product.

Regulated animal: Under the Health of Animals Regulations, section 10, is a hatching egg, turtle, tortoise, bird, honeybee, or mammal.

Species excluded from the definition of regulated animals are members of the orders Cetacea, Pinnipedia and Sirenia; or members of the order Rodentia, with the exception of the following:

  • Prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.); African giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus); and squirrels of the family Sciuridae, from any country; and any members of the order Rodentia from Africa. These latter, members of the order Rodentia, are fully regulated under the Health of Animals Regulations.

Overview

Once an application for return is received by the appropriate CFIA office, the request for return will be evaluated by a CFIA delegated inspector (the person who is delegated to authorize or reject the particular return). For returns requiring import permits, the file will be forwarded to the TAHD National Headquarters for review by the delegated veterinary officer, so designated by the director of TAHD. Only after a successful review will the delegated veterinary officer, as authorized by the Director of TAHD, provide the written authorization for the return. This written authorization for return from TAHD National Headquarters is required prior to issuance of an import permit by the inspector or veterinary inspector.

How to Return a Shipment by a Canadian Exporter/Re-importer

Note: For animals or animal products that require TAHD import permits, no Canadian export shall be returned to Canada from any country unless authorized in writing prior to the re-importation by the delegated veterinary officer, as authorized by the Director of TAHD.

For animal products, consideration to authorize a return will be given only to Canadian animal products that were legally exported from Canada and that are in their original sealed, clean, and undamaged containers, unless samples or inspection occurred under the control of, or by, the Central Competent Authority of the re-exporting country. Under these circumstances, the Central Competent Authority issues certification describing the testing/sampling and indicating that official control over the commodity was maintained.

The procedural directive Import Procedure for Canadian Semen and Embryo Shipments That Are Returned to Canada (TAHD-DSAT-IE-2010-10-1) provides additional information for returning shipments of semen and embryos.

The procedural directive Pet Food Program provides additional information for returning shipments of pet food.

The following procedural directives provide additional information for returning shipments of edible meat products and by-products from the United States:

Illegal Exports and Illegal Returns

It is important to note that this procedural directive applies to shipments that are legally exported from Canada, i.e. those that left the country once a duly issued export certificate was obtained, as prescribed under the Health of Animals Act and its Regulations, or other Canadian legislation, if an official export certificate is required by law. Applications for returning shipments not exported as prescribed by applicable Canadian Acts and Regulations will be rejected automatically, and shipments will be denied entry into Canada. In addition, if received by the CFIA, such applications must be forwarded to CFIA Enforcement and Investigation Services (EIS) for appropriate follow-up with respect to their export from Canada.

In the case where these Canadian exports return to Canada, they are to be detained and ordered removed from Canada, under the authority of section 18 of the Health of Animals Act. Canadian exports, legally exported, but returning without proper authorization, are also to be detained and ordered removed from Canada, under the authority of section 18 of the Health of Animals Act, as follows:

  • Removal of imports
    18. (1) Where an inspector or officer believes on reasonable grounds that an animal or thing has been imported into Canada and that it
    1. was imported in contravention of this Act or the regulations,
    2. is or could be affected or contaminated by a disease or toxic substance, or
    3. is a vector,
  • the inspector or officer may, whether or not the animal or thing is seized, require the owner or the person having the possession, care or control of the animal or thing to remove it from Canada.

The importer will be notified in writing when an imported animal or commodity is refused entry into, or ordered removed, from Canada. The Form CFIA/ACIA 5311 – Notice to Remove From Canada will indicate the reason for refusal and the procedures to destroy or remove the commodity under CFIA supervision, according to section 18 of the Health of Animals Act, as follows:

  • Notice
    (2) A requirement under subsection (1) shall be communicated by personal delivery of a notice to the person being required to remove the animal or thing or by sending the notice to the person, and the notice may specify the period within which and the manner in which the animal or thing is to be removed.
  • Non-forfeiture
    (3) An animal or thing that is required to be removed from Canada shall be deemed not to have been forfeited under section 17.

Regarding animal products illegally imported into Canada, which are not removed in compliance with a Notice to Remove From Canada, they are to be forfeited, as per section 18 of the Health of Animals Act, and disposed of in accordance with methods detailed in the International Waste Directive (TAHD-DSAT-IE-2002-17-4). Section 18 of the Health of Animals Act directs as follows:

  • Forfeiture where non-compliance
    (4) Where the animal or thing is not removed from Canada as required under this section, it shall, notwithstanding section 45, be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be disposed of as the Minister may direct.

The importer of animals or animal products illegally returned is responsible for all costs related to the destruction or export out of Canada, as per section 60 of the Health of Animals Act.

Return Application Process

1. Verify document requirements for the return in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).

2. Fill out Return Application Form (CFIA/ACIA 5609), including Central Competent Authority official certification, as required. If an import permit is required, also complete Application for Permit to Import (CFIA/ACIA 5083).

3. Submit the form(s) to the appropriate CFIA office, as follows:

  1. Animals or animal products not requiring import permits for return – review, and final authorization or refusal for return to Canada, will be handled by the Area Import Veterinary Specialist or the delegated inspector.
  2. For animals or animal products requiring import permits for return – the file will be forwarded and reviewed at TAHD National Headquarters by the delegated veterinary officer for authorization or refusal for return.

4. If all necessary information is provided, authorization or refusal for return will be issued by the appropriate delegated inspector.

5. If more information is required, the Canadian exporter, re-importer, or re-exporting Central Competent Authorities will be contacted to provide those details.

6. If an import permit is required, and if, after review of the application, authorization for return to Canada has been granted by TAHD National Headquarters, the import permit will be issued within five working days by the Area Import Veterinary Specialist, or delegate.

Note: Wherever an import permit is required for returns, the permit must be issued prior to the arrival of the animal or commodity at the port of entry into Canada.

7. Special conditions for the return will be indicated on either Form CFIA/ACIA 5083, parts B and C (reserved for CFIA official use) or the import permit, as applicable. The importer is fully responsible for all associated costs of the return and for abiding by all the specific import conditions, which are detailed within the return authorization or import permit.

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