Dairy Import Activities

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1.1 Background

The mandate of CFIA's Dairy Import Program is to ensure that dairy products being imported into Canada are safe, wholesome, and accurately labelled to avoid misleading consumers.

The Dairy Import Program has been developed in accordance with the Dairy Products Regulations (DPR), the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations (FDA/R) and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations (CPLA/R). The Dairy Import Program uses a science based approach for hazard identification and risk analysis to prioritize inspection activities and determine their frequencies.

In the DPR, section 2.2 requires that any dairy product marketed in import trade as food be edible, not contaminated and be prepared in a sanitary manner. All other requirements of the FDA/R and the CPLA/R must be met.

Section 26 of the DPR requires that no person import any dairy product unless the dairy products originate in a country that has standards for dairy products that are at least equivalent to those set out in these regulations and a system of inspection for dairy products and for establishments that prepare them that is at least equivalent to that in Canada. The imported dairy product must also bear a label with all information required and be accompanied by a properly completed import declaration.

In addition to product description and information about the manufacturer, exporter, importer and consignee, section 26.(1)(f)(vii) of the DPR states that the import declaration must include a statement that the dairy product:

  1. was obtained from sound raw materials in accordance with good manufacturing practices,
  2. was prepared in a sanitary manner,
  3. in the case of a low-acid dairy product, was subjected to a thermal process that assures commercial sterility,
  4. originated in a country that has
    1. standards for dairy products that are at least equivalent to those set out in the DPR, and
    2. a system for the inspection of dairy products and of establishments that prepare dairy products that is at least equivalent to that in Canada,
  5. was, at the time of shipment, sound and edible,
  6. is accurately identified as to the name and address of the manufacturer or the manufacturer's authorized agent,
  7. is accurately described in the import declaration and does not contain any ingredients other than those permitted by the DPR, and
  8. meets the grade, container and labelling requirements of the DPR.

The Dairy Import Program was reviewed and enhanced in response to the CFIA's National Import Control Policy (NICP). This policy is based on risk analysis and emphasizes the responsibilities of the importers. The NICP has been developed for all CFIA programs to address the growing demands of global commerce and consumer preferences. The six elements that constitute the import control policy framework are:

  • foreign equivalency / certification;
  • point of entry control;
  • tracking and informatics;
  • importer Quality Management Systems (IQMS);
  • inspection program; and
  • new technology.

1.1.1 Dairy Program Partners / Stakeholders

The Dairy Program works in collaboration with various internal and external partners and stakeholders to design, manage, and deliver effective dairy import controls. These are briefly presented in Appendix 1 to provide a better understanding of the Dairy Import Program environment. In conjunction with its partners, the Dairy Program performs environmental scans to identify emerging issues and then evaluates whether they have any impact on the import program.

1.1.2 Importer's Responsibilities

To enable entry of dairy products into Canada, the importer must meet the requirements of the CFIA's Terrestrial Animal Health Division and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). These authorities should be contacted for information on import permits, requirements, and tariff quotas. Additional information on the CFIA's import requirements for specific products can be found by using the CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).

The importer has to be able to demonstrate that the dairy products imported are safe and meet the Canadian regulatory requirements as declared on the Import Declaration statement. Detailed information regarding the product(s) imported, including information about the supplier, manufacturer or exporter are required. As well, the importer must demonstrate that safe food handling procedures are in place at the importer's facility (see Section 1.6.3 Importer Verification for details).

An importer has the responsibility to accurately describe the imported product. Where an imported dairy product does not meet the Canadian labelling requirements, the importer is responsible for informing the CFIA of his intention to relabel the product. The importer indicates on the import declaration that the product is for Relabelling and attaches a letter of commitment to correct the labelling to the import declaration and presents it to the Import Service Centre/Canada Custom with the other documents at the time of entry. The Customs Transaction Number (bar coded figure) is identified on the letter to provide a link between the letter of commitment and the shipment. The product is properly relabelled at the importer's location in a timely manner to avoid distribution of mislabelled product. If commitment is not respected, permission to import further lots for relabelling could be denied.

The importer's (or legally delegated agent's) signature on the Import Declaration (Appendix 2) is an acknowledgment of the importer's responsibility to ensure that the imported dairy products meet all the Canadian requirements.

1.2 Objectives of the Dairy Import Program

  1. Imported dairy products are safe and comply with regulations and policies.
  2. Importers assume responsibility for the safety and quality of imported dairy products.
  3. Dairy Program resources are focused on imported products of highest risk.
  4. Recalls and food safety issues are effectively managed.
  5. Consumers have confidence in the safety and quality of imported dairy products.

1.3 Scope

This program assesses the controls put in place by the importer to ensure that the product complies with all Canadian requirements, including sanitary storage conditions and handling

It also includes monitoring activities to verify the effectiveness of the importer's controls such as facility and product inspections (can integrity, label and net quantity), sampling, and other inspection activities (e.g. IREP, CDC). The frequencies for these activities are listed in Appendix 4.

The frequency of inspection and testing of imported dairy products is based on the risk to human health and the history of the product's compliance with Canadian requirements.

A dairy product is defined in the DPR as: "milk or a product thereof, whether alone or combined with another agricultural product, that contains no oil or fat other than that of milk" e.g. butter, cheese, milk powder, etc.

An "Agricultural product" is defined under the Canadian Agricultural Products Act (CAPA) as:

  1. an animal, a plant or an animal or plant product;
  2. a product, including any food or drink, wholly or partly derived from an animal or a plant, or
  3. a product described for the purposes of CAPA.

Shipments of Canadian dairy products returned to Canada are also subject to Dairy Program import requirements.

Manufactured foods such as cheesecake, breaded cheese sticks, cheese sauce, cheese pizza, combination snack packs with dairy products (e.g. pepperoni and cheese snacks, cheese and cracker packs etc.), are not considered dairy products and are not regulated by the Dairy Program. These are regulated by other CFIA programs and are not inspected as part of the Dairy Import Program.

1.3.1 Exemptions

CFIA and DFAIT have each established exemptions for the importation of dairy products for personal use, and for non-commercial or sample purposes. Despite these exemptions, the products must still meet applicable Animal Health requirements.

1.3.1.1 Personal Exemptions

Under the DPR Section 26.(3), dairy products do not require an import declaration and are not subject to certain labelling and standards requirements when imported if they are not sold in Canada and:

  • weigh 20 kg or less;
  • are part of an immigrant's personal effects; or
  • are imported from the United States onto the Akwesasne Reserve for use by an Akwesasne resident ;

DFAIT allows dairy products for personal use with a value of $20 CDN or less to be imported exempt from tariffs. This $20 limit in value does not apply to fluid milk imports for personal use.

1.3.1.2 Other Exemptions

Under the DPR Section 26.(3), dairy products do not require an import declaration and are not subject to certain labelling and standards requirements when imported if they are not sold in Canada and:

  • are carried on any vessel, train, motor vehicle, aircraft or other means of transportation for use as a food for the crew or passengers thereof; or
  • are consigned to a national or international exhibition and weigh 100 kg or less.

As well, the Health of Animals Regulations have specific requirements for the importation of dairy product samples for analysis, evaluation, testing or research.

For further information see Memorandum D 19-1-1 - PDF (589 ko).

1.4 Required Equipment and References

  • Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAPA)
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act (CFIAA)
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice (CFIAFN)
  • CFIA Import Policy
  • Cheat Sheets to Assist Importers to Meet Requirements of Dairy Importing ActivitiesFootnote 1
  • Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations (CPLA/R)
  • Dairy Establishment Inspection Manual (DEIM)
  • Dairy Imports - Compliance Status of cheese and other dairy products – Appendix 15
  • Dairy Inspection Report (CFIA/ACIA 950)
  • Dairy Product Inspection Procedures
  • Dairy Products Regulations (DPR)
  • Food and Drugs Act and Regulations (FDA/R)
  • Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising (Guide)
  • Health Canada's Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods (HC Lm Policy)
  • Import Declaration (CFIA/ACIA 4560) and Annex A - Dairy Products (CFIA/ACIA 5304) – Appendix 2 and 3
  • Importer Verification Worksheet – Appendix 12
  • IREP Policy and Worksheet – Appendix 17 and Appendix 18
  • Metal Can Defect Manual
  • Request for release approval (CFIA/ACIA 5272) – Appendix 7

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Website

CFIA Import computer applications

Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)
The purpose of AIRS is to provide accurate and timely information on import requirements. The application guides the user through a series of questions about the harmonized system codes, origin, end use and miscellaneous qualifiers of the product they wish to import to determine the CFIA import requirements.

This system is used by both government (CFIA, ISC, CBSA) and industry (importers, brokers) for import requirements. AIRS is accessible from the CFIA website.

Import Retrieval System (IRS)
This is an internal application used to prepare ad hoc reports for imported products.

Health Canada

Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to–Eat Foods

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

CBSA Website

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Website

Export and Import Controls Bureau

Codex Alimentarius

Milk and Milk Products - PDF (2.66 MB)

EU - France Approved Plant List

Section IX Processing Plants for Milk and Milk Products

1.5 Cheese Import Licensing

Amendments to the cheese compositional standards in federal regulations came into force on December 14, 2008. These amendments introduced requirements for a cheese import licence and revised the compositional standards for cheese.

Requirements related to a cheese import licence are specified in Sections 26.2 to 26.6 of the Dairy Products Regulations (DPR). These sections describe the requirements that must be met to apply for and maintain a cheese import licence as well as the conditions for suspension or cancellation of a licence.

Exemptions for requiring a cheese import licence are the same as outlined in Section 1.3.1.

1.5.1 Application for a Cheese Import Licence

An application for the issuance, renewal or amendment of a cheese import licence shall be sent to the local dairy inspector in a form provided by the Agency (Application for a Cheese Import Licence (CFIA/ACIA 5562)), and shall indicate:

  • whether it is an application for a new cheese import licence or for the renewal or amendment of an existing cheese import licence;
  • the number of the importer's existing cheese import licence, if any and expiry date; and
  • the name, address, including postal code, telephone number, emergency contact number and e-mail address.

The application shall have annexed to it:

  1. a copy of the importer's cheese recall program, indicating:
    • the person responsible for carrying out the program,
    • the cheese coding system description, and
    • the notification and other procedures to affect the recall;
  2. a list of cheeses expected to be imported during the period of the cheese import licence, and the country in which they originate; and
  3. if the importer has an establishment in Canada for the purpose of cutting, shredding, repackaging, etc. (not including storage) of the imported product, other than a registered establishment, the application shall also have annexed to it:
    • plans and specifications for the establishment including description of the location of the establishment in relation to adjacent facilities, intended uses of rooms and types and location of equipment to be used,
    • a copy of the sanitation program for the establishment, indicating
      • the person responsible for carrying out the program,
      • the equipment and chemical agents required to maintain clean and sanitary conditions,
      • the measures proposed to be taken to ensure clean and sanitary conditions,
    • a copy of the pest control program for the establishment, indicating
      • the person responsible for carrying out the program, and
      • the measures proposed to be taken to safely and effectively control insects, birds, rodents and other vermin, and
    • a document indicating of the source of water to be used at the establishment for drinking or for cheese preparation and a copy of a certificate of microbiological analysis of this water.

To evaluate if an application for a cheese import licence meets the above applicable requirements, the local dairy inspector reviews the application package, consisting of the applicant's current information and the annexed information. A visit is not necessary to evaluate the application but may be scheduled to explain the importer's responsibilities and assess the facilities.

If the applicant's current information and the annexed documents are not complete and accurate, the application will be returned to the applicant for resubmission.

If the application and the annexes meet the above requirements, the local dairy inspector sends the application to the Area Dairy Specialist for final review. A licence number is assigned (see Section 1.6.3 for number allocation) and the Director will issue a cheese import licence (CFIA/ACIA 5563 (2008/08). The Specialist will send the licence to the importer using the covering letter in Appendix 5. A cheese import licence is not assignable and expires two years after the date of issue indicated on it.

In the case of an application for the renewal or amendment of a cheese import licence, the applicant only needs to indicate changes or updates to:

  • the recall program,
  • the list of cheeses expected to be imported,
  • the plans, specifications, location of rooms and equipment to be used,
  • the sanitation and pest control programs.

1.5.2 Conditions to Maintain a Cheese Import Licence

Every importer who holds a cheese import licence shall:

  1. maintain the recall program referred to above;
  2. maintain and carry out the sanitation and pest control programs referred to above and produce a certificate of microbiological analysis of the water once a year, if the importer has an establishment in Canada for the purpose of cutting, shredding, repackaging, etc. of imported cheese, other than a registered establishment;
  3. be able to provide evidence that each imported cheese meets the Dairy Products Regulations, including the revisions to the compositional standards for cheese (see Section 1.5.2.1), and,
  4. keep for two years at an address in Canada, in respect of each imported cheese,
    • a copy of the import declaration;
    • a copy of any evidence in the possession of the importer that substantiates that the cheese meets the requirements set out in the Dairy Products Regulations and
    • a record of:
      • the product code for the cheese,
      • the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the persons to whom the cheese was distributed,
      • any complaints received about the cheese and how the complaints were handled, and
      • any recall carried out with respect to the cheese.

These conditions will be monitored and evaluated by CFIA inspectors as per Section 1.6.3.

1.5.2.1 Revisions to Cheese Compositional Standards

Revisions to the cheese compositional standards in the DPR (sections 6 and 28) and the FDR (sections B.08.033 and B.08.034) include requirements for a minimum amount of casein in cheese to be derived from milk or from ultrafiltered milk, partly skimmed milk, ultrafiltered partly skimmed milk, skim milk, ultrafiltered skim milk or cream, rather than from other milk products, and for the whey protein to casein ratio of cheese not to exceed that of milk. All cheese is included in the revisions, except for those with separate compositional standards – cream cheese, whey cheese, cottage cheese. The casein content requirement does not apply to Feta cheese.

  1. Inspectors will assess the compliance to this revised requirement as part of the Importer verification activity (Section 1.6.3.1).
  2. Acceptable documentation that importers require on record includes specification sheets for the cheese and if necessary, supporting documentation (i.e. attestation based on the compliance formula - see Appendix 6) that the cheese meets the revised regulatory requirements.
  3. Attestations should appear on company letterhead and include statements covering:
    • Awareness of Canada's revised compositional standards for cheese (FDR and DPR) and the formula used to assess compliance.
    • That Brand Name XXXX cheese (could link to specification sheet, reference to a formulation, production dates, etc.), shipped/supplied to YYYY falls into the XX% casein from milks requirement and meets this criteria.
    • If shipping Pizza Mozzarella (63% category) or Feta, additional statement that this cheese also meets the requirement that the whey protein to casein ratio does not exceed that of milk.
    • Printed name and title of company official as well as signature.

For cheese made entirely from milk or from ultrafiltered milk, partly skimmed milk, ultrafiltered partly skimmed milk, skim milk, ultrafiltered skim milk or cream, rather than from other milk products, as confirmed by the ingredient list on the specification sheet, no attestation is required. This documentation is not required with each shipment but needs to be kept on record and updated whenever the formulation changes.

1.5.3 Suspension/Cancellation of Licence

The Director may suspend or cancel a cheese import licence if conditions outlined in Sections 26.5 or 26.6 of the DPR are met. Suspension or cancellation are available enforcement options and recommendations to proceed with the appropriate enforcement option will be made by CFIA operational and program staff on a case-by-case basis.

1.6 Inspection Procedures

1.6.1 Point Of Entry (ISC Task)

The CFIA has established three regional Import Service Centres: (ISC) Eastern Region – served from Montreal; Central Region – served from Mississauga; and Western Region – served from Burnaby. These are the CFIA primary contact points with brokers and importers for import documentation and procedures.

Dairy products' entry documents are generally presented to the ISC. Brokers or importers submit the following documents to the ISC for processing:

  • the Request for Release Approval (for cheese, import licence number indicated in the comments section) (CFIA/ACIA 5272; Appendix 7),
  • Import Declaration (for cheese, import licence number indicated in box 4) (CFIA/ACIA 4560; Appendix 2) and Import Declaration Annex A - Dairy Products (CFIA/ACIA 5304; Appendix 3) if necessary,
  • any supplementary documents such as the commercial invoice, manifest, cargo control document

These documents are initially reviewed for completeness and accuracy by the ISC staff, including validation of the CFIA cheese import licence number. Specific requirements for import declaration for the importation of dairy products are found in Appendix 8.

When submitted, if entry documents are found to be incomplete, the Request for Release Approval is not further processed. The ISC issues a Reject Notice with justification and faxes both the Request and the Reject notice back to the broker or importer for follow up.

When submitted, if entry documents are found to be complete, the Request for Release Approval is stamped and initialled. Alternately, if it is an EDI transaction, the release will be approved via the EDI program, and a paper stamp will not be used. EDI sends a release notification directly to the CBSA and the broker. The ISC generates an invoice for the collection of fees for standardized dairy products only. Specific fee requirements are found in Appendix 8 and Appendix 9. The Import declaration(s), and if applicable, the invoice and/or stamped (dated) Request for Release Approval are faxed back to the broker or importer who then submits the release package to CBSA.

In addition, the ISC inspector forwards a copy of the Dairy Import Declaration and any related documents to the CFIA regional office nearest to the product destination for further inspection purposes. Dairy inspectors receive these documents. See Appendix 10.

All Import Declarations and import documents are archived by ISC for reference.

1.6.2 Import Declaration Review and Product Verification (Dairy Inspector's Tasks)

1.6.2.1 Import Declaration Review (at CFIA office):

The dairy inspector must verify all import declarations for completeness and accuracy and to determine whether it is necessary to conduct an inspection of the imported product(s).

All dairy products must be listed on the Import Declaration (CFIA/ACIA 4560) or, on an attached supplementary sheet, Import Declaration Annex A - Dairy Products (CFIA/ACIA 5304).

For cheese varieties, the thermal process (pasteurized, unpasteurized (heat treated or raw milk) must be included along with the common name. For raw milk soft and semi soft cheeses from France, the Health certificate to export of some raw milk cheeses to Canada must be included in the documentation package. (See Appendix 11 for background information on the policy for raw milk soft and semi soft cheese from France, as well as a copy of a sample of certificate.) The inspector must also check other foreign certificates, if attached, for accuracy and completeness.

It is important that the import declaration is signed by the person who is legally responsible for bringing the imported product into Canada. For dairy products imported under quota, the quota holder is the legally responsible party and therefore should be the name and address used in Box 4 on the Import Declaration.

All non satisfactory (inaccurate, incomplete, etc.) or non-applicable import declarations must be followed up with the importer or Import Service Centre.

1.6.2.2 Product Verification (at facility site)

Product verification activities include label verification, net quantity verification, container integrity verification, lab sampling, follow-up inspections and follow-up to issues identified by environmental scanning.

The type of product inspection activities are based on the Import Dairy Program Activities Table (Appendix 4) and the compliance record of the importer and of the imported product.

The specific information regarding product inspection tasks and follow up to non-compliance is detailed in other documents of the Dairy Products Inspection Procedures.

1.6.3 Importer Verification (Dairy Inspector's Tasks)

This task assesses whether the importer assumes responsibility for the safety and compliance of imported dairy products. There are different importer facility types and inspections as follows:

  1. Non Registered Facilities: An importer that stores, distributes and/or further prepares dairy products for intra-provincial shipment, is inspected using Appendix 12 (see sections 1.6.3.1, 1.6.3.2 of this procedure for details).
  2. For an importer that does not store product, documentation is verified at the location where the records are stored using the Importer Verification Worksheet (Section A.0 – Importer Controls  A.2 – A.5, A.7, A.9, A.10 only).
  3. In addition to an inspection using Section A.0, storage facilities/warehouses receiving, distributing and/or further preparing dairy products may be inspected using the Importer Verification Worksheet (Section B.0 – Onsite Practices) during visits to perform product sampling/verification activities.
  4. Establishments importing dairy products for use as an ingredient in other food products (e.g. bakeries, restaurants) are not inspected by the Dairy Program.
    Note: Facilities further preparing imported products for intraprovincial trade may also be inspected by provincial and/or municipal authorities. When interprovincial trade of cut, shredded and/or repackaged imported dairy product occurs, the facility must become federally registered.
  5. Registered Facilities that also import: For registered facilities that also import, no extra facility inspection is required - follow the DEIM inspections or FSEP-HACCP Audit procedures

For identification and tracking purposes, importers are entered into the Client Management System (CMS) using importer as the client type. Each importer will be assigned a code (4 digits) according to the distribution below:

6000-6100 Atlantic (6001-6040NB, 6041-6080NS, 6081-6090PE, 6091-6100NF)
6101-6400 QC
6401-6700 ON
6701-6999 West (6701-6750MB, 6751-6800SK, 6801-6900AB, 6901-6999BC).

At non registered facilities the first four tasks of the Importer Verification Worksheet (Section 1.0 -1.1 – 1.4) are inspected at every visit (see Section 1.6.3.3). The Inspector verifies the Importer's controls and procedures and inspects on-site product storage conditions once a year. This activity should be performed in conjunction with one or more other product inspection activity(ies). No advance notice should be given prior to an Importer Verification inspection. Tasks must be assessed according to the criteria on the Import Verification Worksheet (Appendix 12) and the explanations provided below. The tasks are to be rated as Satisfactory, Non-Satisfactory, Not Applicable, Not Rated. Tasks with an * have a higher health and safety risk and therefore have a higher impact on overall assessment

Any deficiencies must be recorded on the CFIA/ACIA 950 form and the appropriate worksheet. All non-satisfactory tasks must be discussed with the importer and the CFIA/ACIA 950 signed by the importer or importer's designate and the inspector. Dates for the corrective measures must be set and noted on the CFIA/ACIA 950.

1.6.3.1 Completing the Importer Verification Worksheet (Appendix 12):
Section A.0 Importer controls

A.1 Import Documentation:

At the storage facility, the inspector ensures that the information provided on the import declaration matches the actual goods.

To evaluate this task, the inspector takes the appropriate import declaration and any supplementary documents (e.g. Sanitary certificates from France, IREP documents) and compares them with the related products available onsite. Items to be verified on the import declaration include: product identification, net quantity, pasteurized or unpasteurized, country of origin.

For soft and semi-soft cheeses made from raw milk and imported from France, a Health Certificate is required from French authorities confirming that:

  • the product is from a recognized establishment; only those recognized establishments are authorized to export raw milk, soft and semi-soft cheeses from France
  • the establishment performs microbiological self-testing of their production,
  • the establishment has had official sampling and analyses of its product within the last three months performed by the French authorities. (Note: the French document does not necessarily relate to the particular lot being imported.)

This certificate is acceptable in lieu of the 60 day storage requirement for unpasteurized cheeses.

If any non-conformity has an impact on food safety or fraud or when documents are missing, this task is rated as Non-satisfactory.

A.2* Product Specification Sheets:

The importer demonstrates that the dairy products imported meet the requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations, Dairy Products Regulations and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations and other applicable regulations. These sheets are required for the first shipment and updated whenever the formulation changes.

  1. Food ingredients, additives and allergens:
    Written specifications related to the products being imported are available. The specifications contain all details of the product as follows:
    • identification of specific ingredients,
    • components (ingredients of ingredients),
    • food additives (e.g. common name, type, specific name of food colours);
    • added nutrients
    • allergens
  2. Composition Requirements:
    Where regulatory standards for composition exist, (e.g. fat, moisture, total solids, casein content), evidence that substantiates that these requirements are met is included. Section .5.2.1 provides an explanation of acceptable documentation to assess compliance to the revised compositional standards for cheese.
  3. Packaging Material:
    Packaging materials coming in direct contact with the dairy products do not pose a contamination risk to the product (FDR, Division 23). Further documentation could be requested (e.g. certification from foreign regulatory authority, letters of no objection etc.)

To evaluate this task, the inspector reviews the product specifications. The inspector checks to see that food additives and product specifications meet Canadian requirements. The inspector also identifies presence of any potential allergens.

If the product specification sheets are incomplete, not available, or indicate that the product does not meet Canadian standards, this task is rated as non-satisfactory.

A.3 Foreign Certificates of Analysis:

The importer maintains a documented history of adherence to specifications for each product (not each lot) e.g. analytical results (for both micro and composition). The tests required on the certificate of analysis depend on hazard identification including the type of product, and its end-use (e.g. cheese vs. caseinates). The analyses can be performed using approved test methodologies by the manufacturer, a private laboratory, or a competent authority in the country of origin. (Dairy Sampling Procedures and DEIM 1.10.07.03 and .04 in the Process Control Program for further details.

When an importer changes suppliers, purchases product from a new supplier or purchases a new product from an existing supplier, a new history is developed.

The certificate of analysis (in English or French) includes the following:

  1. sampling procedure(s) (e.g. number of sub samples, composite sample, sample size, environmental sampling of food contact and non-food contact surfaces etc.) and analytical method(s) used
  2. date sampled and analysed, tests performed and results, name of laboratory conducting the analysis, product identification (including brand name and lot number), and the name and signature of the analyst.

To evaluate this task, the inspector reviews a representative sample of the files containing the certificates of analysis from all imported dairy products. When no foreign certificates of analysis or no historical data is available, this task is rated as non-satisfactory unless enhanced sampling and analysis is performed by the importer (see A.4). If the importer maintains an effective sampling and analysis program, this task is rated as Not Applicable.

A.4* Verification of Analyses:

In addition to receiving foreign certificates of analysis, the importer has a program in place to verify the accuracy of certificates of analysis (microbiological and composition). This can be done by analysing a representative sample at a scheduled frequency. The analysis can be performed by the importer or a private laboratory. Priority is given to: raw milk cheeses, cheeses at higher risk for supporting the growth of Lm (e.g. washed rind and surface ripened, soft and semi-soft cheeses) when the importer does not have evidence that the foreign manufacturer has an environmental monitoring program for Listeria (see HC Lm Policy), products with a history of non-compliance, and products imported at a high frequency and/or volume. When the importer's analyses do not agree with the foreign certificate of analysis, the importer should follow up with the supplier.

For sampling of dairy products see the Dairy Sampling Procedures and the Dairy Product Sampling section (1.6) of this chapter.

If environmental scans or CFIA monitoring identify a chemical residue issue, then chemical residue sampling of imported product may also be required.

To evaluate this task, the inspector reviews the analytical results for products. If the importer is not doing any verification or does not follow up on identified issues, this task is rated as Non-satisfactory.

A.5 Foreign Manufacturer's Information:

Prior to importation, the importer verifies that the manufacturer is capable of providing dairy products that comply with Canadian requirements including Health Canada's Policy on Listeria mononcytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods. This is done by the importer by obtaining information demonstrating that the critical steps of the manufacturing process are adequately controlled to ensure safety, quality and to prevent misrepresentation and fraud. Control of critical steps of the manufacturing process refers to process description, Listeria environmental monitoring, audit reports, microbiological verification results. The evaluation of foreign manufacturers should be conducted by technically competent personnel.

In the absence of such controls, the importer conducts increased product control (e.g. sampling, product and laboratory evaluation) to ensure risks are mitigated.

To evaluate this task, the inspector asks the importer for information pertaining to the manufacturer. If this is not available then the inspector evaluates other practices (e.g. sampling) that the importer is undertaking to ensure imported products meet Canadian requirements.

When no information pertaining to the manufacturer or no other documentation regarding practices undertaken by the importer is available, this task is rated as Non-satisfactory.

A.6 Receiving and Shipping Procedures:

All incoming products and products distributed by the importer are visually inspected for packaging conditions and checked for appropriate receiving / shipping temperatures.

The importer or responsible personnel has acceptance / rejection criteria for each product plus adequate technical knowledge and understanding of the significance of any food safety concerns. Stock rotation is controlled to minimize deterioration and prevent spoilage that could present a health hazard, e.g. product exceeding shelf life.

To evaluate this task the inspector reviews the importer's product receiving / shipping procedures and if possible watches the receiving and shipping of product. If no shipping or receiving is taking place during the inspection, the inspector inspects the product in storage to evaluate product damage. This task is rated Non-satisfactory if:

  1. Damaged or broken packages are not being discarded,
  2. Receiving/ shipping temperatures are not appropriate for the product,
  3. No acceptance/rejection criteria is established
  4. Stock rotation is not controlled.
A.7 Product Control Procedures (label, net quantity and can integrity):

Label:
The importer has procedures in place to ensure that all mandatory information is properly declared on food labels in compliance with the Canadian food labelling requirements and that all label claims are accurate and not misleading. This includes, but is not limited to mandatory information, quality and compositional claims, net quantity declaration, coding, nutrition facts, health claims, and standards. There are specific labelling requirements for unpasteurized cheese i.e. any cheese that is not made from pasteurized source. See FDR sections:

B.08.042 (marked with the date of the beginning of manufacturing),
B.08.043 (storage and labelling of cut cheese portions),
B.08.046 (whole cheese stamped with the date of beginning of manufacturing),

Net Quantity:
The importer has procedures in place to verify that the net quantity is correct. See the document on Dairy Net Quantity Verification procedures for more information.

Can Integrity:
The presence of serious container defects in low acid foods in hermetically sealed containers may result in a loss of container integrity or microbial contamination. A trained person at the facility performs can integrity checks on incoming lots of canned products to ensure cans meet Canadian requirements. The frequency is based on historical data and country of origin status. For more information as to how these inspections are performed see Low-Acid and Acidified Low-Acid Foods in Hermetically Sealed Containers - Visual Inspection Protocol.

Records of container integrity checks are available for the inspector to review.

To evaluate this task the inspector reviews records and discusses with the importer how labels, net quantity and can integrity are verified. If the importer has no procedures in place and no verification is being performed, this task will be rated as Non-satisfactory.

A.8 Pest Control:

The importer takes effective measures to prevent entry, to detect and eliminate pests and to prevent the contamination of food. All animals, birds and insects are excluded from facility.

To evaluate this task, the inspector will discuss the pest control program with the importer. At cheese importers who cut, shred, repackage etc., the inspector evaluates the written pest control program. The final determination is based on observations made during the on-site of this inspection (See B.5 below). This task is assessed Non-satisfactory if no procedures are in place or when the on-site is done and the procedures are deemed ineffective.

A.9 Complaint Handling:

The importer has an effective system to handle and investigate product complaints. Complaints are accurately categorized according to food safety, composition, quality and other regulatory concerns. Potentially serious food safety complaints are forwarded immediately to appropriate personnel, including the CFIA, for action. The importer maintains detailed records of consumer complaints received, investigation findings and corrective actions taken.

To evaluate this task the inspector reviews the importer's complaint file. This task is assessed Non-satisfactory if no procedures are in place and when complaints are not filed or investigated adequately.

A.10* Recall Procedures:

The importer has a written recall procedure to ensure an effective recall of any lot of dairy product from the market. The written procedure includes:

  • the person or persons responsible, e.g. recall coordinator(s),
  • the roles and responsibilities for coordination and implementation of a recall,
  • methods to identify, locate and control recalled product,
  • a requirement to investigate other products that may be affected by the hazard and that should be included in the recall,
  • procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the recall, e.g. effectiveness check to the appropriate level of distribution specified in the recall notice,
  • immediate notification of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Area Recall Coordinator in the area or region where the importer is located.

Recall procedures are tested periodically to verify the capability to rapidly identify and remove product from the market. This can be done by internal simulations on a code lot and by reconciling the amount of product imported, in inventory and in distribution. Any deficiencies in the recall procedures are identified and corrected.

For information on creating a Recall Plan see CFIA website.

Additional guidelines on food emergencies can be found in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Food Investigation Response Manual

To evaluate this task, the inspector reviews the importer's written recall procedure and documentation related to mock recall. If a recall has recently occurred, the inspector also reviews the documentation related to the recall. This task will be rated Non-satisfactory when the importer has no written recall procedure or no mock recalls have been done, or the recall procedures have been found to be ineffective.

A.11* Water Quality (establishments preparing dairy products)

Importers preparing (cutting, shredding, repackaging) dairy products have controls in place to ensure they are continuously using safe/potable water in the preparation and processing of food. Source of water is documented (well or city). There must be a safe, sanitary and adequate supply of water for use in the establishment at all times. The water supply source must meet the requirements of Health Canada's "Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality". Water is analyzed by the importer or the municipality at a frequency adequate to confirm its potability.

To evaluate this task, the inspector reviews records confirming the source and the microbiological quality of the water. This task is rated as non-satisfactory when no water records are available or if unsatisfactory results have not been followed up.

A.12* Sanitation Program (establishments preparing dairy products)

Importers preparing (cutting, shredding, repackaging) dairy products have controls in place to ensure that the facility and equipment are clean and sanitary. Each importer has a documented cleaning and sanitation program which specifies the cleaning policy (what is done), type and frequency of cleaning (when it is done or how often), procedures used (how it is done), responsible personnel (who is doing it), cleaning verification (both on-site and record review), records to be kept and results of monitoring and action taken for deviant situations. The program specifies the parameters of acceptability/unacceptability (tolerances). Special sanitation and housekeeping procedures required during production are specified (e.g. removal of product residues during breaks). This program is updated as required when changes occur.

Importers of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) dairy products that are further prepared need to verify that their sanitation and Listeria controls are effective and in accordance with HC's Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods.

Adequate environmental and end product sampling and testing are performed (refer to HC's Compendium of Analytical Methods). Sampling of Food Contact Surfaces (FCS) during production and non-FCS is required to assess adherence to good manufacturing practices (GMPs).

Timely and appropriate follow up action is required for non-compliant findings and is to be taken into account for trend analysis and changes to frequency of monitoring.

Sampling frequencies for finished product are based on risk assessment taking into consideration product characteristics, history of compliance, further processing (i.e. cutting, shredding, and grating) etc. All positive results for L. monocytogenes or persistent ones for Listeria spp on a FCS are communicated to CFIA with a corrective action plan.

To evaluate this task, the inspector reviews the sanitation program and records including controls for Listeria in the environment and end product. This task is rated as non-satisfactory if the sanitation program is absent, incomplete or ineffective or if records are not available.

1.6.3.2 Completing the Importer Verification Worksheet (Appendix 12) Section B.0 On-site practices

At the importer's storage facility, the inspector will observe operations, including the employees at work, paying particular attention to their personal hygiene practices, food handling practices and movement within the establishment (cross contamination).

B.1 Sanitary Handling and Preparation (establishments preparing dairy products)

This task applies where persons are handling unprotected food products specifically in cutting, shredding and repackaging facilities.

Sanitary Handling:
Hands free hand washing facilities are made available to employees in production areas of the facility. Hands are washed before starting work, after breaks, after using toilet facilities and after handling contaminated materials such as skids. Where necessary to minimize microbiological contamination, employees use disinfectant hand dips.

Protective clothing, hair covering, footwear and/or gloves, appropriate to the operation in which the employee is engaged are worn and maintained in a sanitary manner. Any behaviour which could result in contamination of food, such as eating, use of tobacco, chewing gum, or unhygienic practices such as spitting are prohibited in food handling areas. All persons entering unprotected-food handling areas remove jewellery and other objects which may fall into or otherwise contaminate food. Jewellery which cannot be removed, including wedding bands and medical alerts, is covered. Access of personnel and visitors is controlled to prevent contamination. To reduce the risk of contamination in food handling areas the movement of personnel between areas is well controlled.

Cutting, Shredding, Repackaging, etc. of Product (Preparation - not including storage):
In these facilities, food additives used are controlled to meet the requirements of the FDA/R. Inadequate control of food additives could result in chemical or biological hazards. All food additives used are permitted for use in the particular food and meet the requirements of the FDR. The specifications for all food additives are on file. Calculations demonstrate that food additives used are within the maximum level specified.

To evaluate this task, the inspector watches employee practices and makes an evaluation of potential product contamination due to poor handling practices. This task will be rated as non-satisfactory when the inspector determines that there is potential contamination of the product due to poor handling procedures.

B.2 Product Coding and Information:

Every prepackaged dairy product imported, or imported and repackaged, is labelled on any surface of the container with a batch number, code number or lot number identifying an appropriate, meaningful sized unit of production. This information must be permanent and legible. All prepackaged and bulk dairy products with a durable life of ninety days or less must have a durable life date and instructions for proper storage. The code marks used and the exact meaning of the code must be available. Case codes (where used) must be legible and represent the container code within.

For cheese which is not made from a pasteurized source, see Section A.7 Product Control Procedures above.

To evaluate this task, the inspector selects at least one label, and checks for lot/batch coding, best before date and instructions for proper storage as applicable. This task will be rated as non-satisfactory when the product label is not properly coded.

B.3* Suitable Storage Conditions (temperature and relative humidity):

Imported dairy products are stored under conditions to prevent damage, deterioration and contamination.

  • the products requiring refrigeration are stored at 4°C (39°F) or less and are monitored and recorded,
  • frozen products are stored at temperatures that do not permit thawing and are monitored and should be recorded,
  • the products are handled and stored in a manner to prevent damage and/or contamination e.g. microbial spoilage, rusting or corrosion, protection of susceptible product to the effects of light, and forklift damage,
  • products sensitive to humidity are stored under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration,
  • any other acceptable manufacturer instructions for specific products should be followed.

To evaluate this task, the inspector visits the storage facility and verifies that temperatures, humidity and appropriate storage conditions are met (e.g. canned products are not corroding due to excessive humidity or dry milk powder bags do not show visible deterioration). This task will be rated non-satisfactory when the product is stored under inappropriate conditions or temperatures are not being monitored.

B.4 Receiving and Shipping Conditions:
  • carriers are inspected by the importer upon receipt and prior to loading to ensure they are free from contamination and suitable for the transportation of food,
  • carriers are loaded, arranged and unloaded in a manner that prevents damage and contamination of the food,
  • products are transported under conditions to minimize microbiological, physical and chemical deterioration,
  • products requiring refrigeration are transported at 4°C (39°F) or less and are appropriately monitored (no records required),
  • frozen products are transported at temperatures that do not permit thawing.

If the inspector observes the receiving and shipping of product, he/she evaluates if the requirements are met. This task is rated non-satisfactory when the product is transported under inappropriate conditions or temperatures are not being monitored.

B.5 Absence of Cross-contamination:
  1. Pests:
    • poisonous rodenticides are not used in food, packaging or storage areas
    • birds, insects and animals are excluded from the facility

    To evaluate this, the inspector inspects the facility, looking at the pest control devices in use, as well as observing for presence of pest activity.

  2. Returned products:
    • returned defective or suspect products are clearly identified and isolated in a designated area for appropriate disposition/sorting

    To evaluate this, the inspector inspects the storage areas and observes storage practices and segregation of any returned, defective or suspect product.

  3. Garbage:
    • adequate containers and equipment are provided and maintained for the storage of waste and inedible material prior to removal from the establishment,
    • containers are designed to prevent contamination,
    • containers used for waste are clearly identified, leak proof and where appropriate are covered,
    • waste is removed and containers are cleaned and sanitized at an appropriate frequency to minimize potential contamination.

    To evaluate this, the inspector inspects garbage containers. No excessive garbage build up should exist in the facility.

  4. Structure:
    • building interiors and structures are designed, constructed and maintained in a manner to prevent conditions which may result in the contamination of food.

    To evaluate this, the inspector observes the general conditions of floors, walls, ceilings and overhead structures. The inspector determines if there is the possibility of cross contamination if food is exposed.

  5. Non-Food Chemicals:
    • non-food chemicals are stored in designated areas such that there is no possibility for cross contamination of food or food contact surfaces,
    • chemicals are dispensed and handled only by authorized and properly trained personnel.
    • in areas where there is exposed food, the chemicals used for sanitation purposes are:
      1. suitable for use in food processing operations, and used in accordance with the written sanitation program
      2. listed in "CFIA Reference listing of accepted construction, packaging materials and non-food chemical products" or the manufacturer has a "letter of no objection" from Health Canada.

    To evaluate this, the inspector observes storage and handling practices of chemicals in the facility and reviews the chemicals used.

  6. Glass Breakage Policy:

    The importer has a documented glass breakage policy to control the risk of glass or glass substitute contamination should breakage occur. In areas where there is exposed food, if glass is used it is recommended that it be shatterproof.

    In case of breakage:

    1. the effected processing area is shut down
    2. broken glass containers and fragments are removed from the area
    3. clean up procedures are outlined (so not to spread the contamination)
    4. area is inspected to ensure that the clean up was adequate
    5. the breakage and type (thermal shock, impact etc.) is recorded
    6. food in the area of the breakage is segregated and examined for contamination

    Records are maintained with date, time and location.

    To evaluate this, the inspector reviews the importer's glass breakage policy, on-site conditions and records.

    Overall task rating: This task (not each sub-task) is rated as Non-satisfactory if there are inadequate controls to prevent potential cross contamination or if any sub-task(s) poses a contamination risk

B.6 Sanitary Conditions (establishments preparing dairy products)
  • equipment coming into contact with product is clean and sanitary
  • floors, walls and ceiling of the facility are clean and sanitary to prevent contamination of exposed product

To evaluate this task the inspector observes the facility and equipment for cleanliness. This task is evaluated as non-satisfactory when poor sanitation is observed.

1.6.3.3 Tasks to perform at every visit

At every visit to the importer's facility, the CFIA inspector assesses, where applicable, the four first tasks of the Importer Verification Worksheet (Appendix 12 - Tasks A.1-A.4). These tasks refer to appropriate documentation related to the product being imported and to the control procedures that the importer has in place to confirm its conformity. Although no overall score is given for these inspections, the importer is expected to correct any tasks rated as non-satisfactory.

1.6.4 Overall Inspection Assessment - Importer Verification

The overall inspection is rated as non-satisfactory under the following conditions:

  1. When one or more inspection tasks identified with an asterisk (* - tasks with higher risk relative to health and safety) is/are rated non-satisfactory i.e. A.2, A.4, A.10, A.11, A.12 and B.3; or,
  2. When four or more tasks not identified with an asterisk are rated non-satisfactory

Otherwise, the overall inspection is rated as satisfactory.

The overall assessment is noted on the CFIA/ACIA 950. Actions to be taken depend on the overall assessment and are outlined below.

1.6.4.1 Satisfactory Inspections

Even if the overall inspection is assessed as satisfactory, any non-satisfactory tasks are noted on the CFIA/ACIA 950 form.

The inspector may request (e.g. in case of unsanitary handling of product, cross-contamination) that the importer respond in a letter outlining their intended plan of action. This action plan should be received by the CFIA office no later than 3 weeks from the inspection date.

The corrective action(s) is verified on a subsequent inspection.

1.6.4.2 Non Satisfactory Inspections

The overall results are discussed with the importer. It is important that the importer understands the results of the inspection, why the tasks are non satisfactory and that these tasks must be corrected. A written corrective action plan must be received by the CFIA office no later than 3 weeks from the inspection date. A covering letter may accompany the inspection report. An example of a covering letter can be found in Appendix 13.

Actions to be taken for non-satisfactory inspections are based on the severity of the findings and/or level of responsibility taken by the importer. The impact of the deficiency is evaluated to determine if product safety has been compromised and what actions, if any, the importer has taken to determine that the product is safe. The corrective actions are verified on a subsequent follow up inspection. For the following two scenarios, it is important that the inspector inform the appropriate Dairy Specialist in order to jointly determine the action to be taken:

a) Health & Safety implications:

This could be due to the non-satisfactory evaluation of any task with an asterisk (*) on the Importer Verification Worksheet or the occurrence of direct product contamination. If any of these tasks are non-satisfactory, immediate action is taken to isolate affected product.

If the importer has not demonstrated to the inspector that the product is under control or safe, it is detained as per the Detention and Release Procedures. Microbiological, chemical or physical analysis of the affected lots may be done to determine the product's safety.

If the inspector suspects there may be contamination due to environmental conditions, particularly in an importer's facility which is cutting or repackaging products, the inspector may choose to take an environmental sample. Environmental sampling of an importer's facilities is conducted according to procedures outlined in Environmental and Finished Dairy Product Sampling Monitoring for Listeria monocytogenes. If positive results are received, the inspector must refer the issue to non-satisfactory inspection procedures outlined in the above document.

If product has been distributed, the inspector immediately contacts the appropriate Area Recall Coordinator / Specialist with the relevant details to determine if a product recall is necessary as per the recall protocol.

In addition to controlling the affected product, the importer also takes the appropriate measures (e.g. training, reviewing written procedures) to prevent the problem from re-occurring,

b) Lack of importer responsibility:

This is indicated by repetitive inaction by the importer either to formulate an action plan or to carry out any corrective actions.

A meeting is set up with the appropriate responsible management to thoroughly explain the deficiencies and why they must be corrected. The meeting should end with developing a mutually agreed upon action plan and a commitment for its implementation.

If subsequent inspections do not indicate satisfactory corrective action and it is felt that compliance will not be forthcoming, some of the mechanisms that can be applied include targeting the product through border lookouts, product detentions, increased sampling, suspension or cancellation of cheese import licence, etc.

1.7 Dairy Product Sampling

In addition to the sampling and analysis required by the importer, CFIA verifies compliance by taking monitoring samples. Samples are selected based on risk of the product itself, its history of compliance, by country or manufacturer, environmental scans etc.

In light of historical trends, volumes of dairy imports and general risk, cheese is the main focus for sampling and analysis, and protocols have been designed for imported cheese versus other imported dairy products.

1.7.1 Imported Cheese Sampling Protocol

This protocol has been established to document a compliance history of imported cheeses, by variety and manufacturer. This protocol is used by CFIA for sampling and may be used by the importer as a guideline for analyses to perform and the number of samples to select.

1.7.1.1 Types of Laboratory Analysis

Lab analyses can include microbiological, phosphatase, compositional and chemical residue testing to evaluate compliance to regulatory requirements.

i. Microbiological: Samples are analysed for the pathogens E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes using acceptable test methodologies; MFO-14; MFHPB-20; MFHPB-30; AOAC methods. The Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products by the American Public Health can be consulted for other methodologies. The HC website provides a reference of laboratory methods in the Compendium of Analytical Methods.

Preference is given to methods which have been validated for the commodity concerned preferably in relation to reference methods elaborated by international organizations.

While methods should be the most sensitive and reproducible for the purpose, methods used for in-house plant testing often sacrifice to some degree sensitivity and reproducibility in the interest of speed and simplicity. They should, however, be proven to give a sufficiently reliable estimate of the information needed.

In the case of sampling bulk cheese, follow the directions provided in Dairy Sampling Procedures for aseptic sampling.

ii. Phosphatase: The phosphatase enzyme in milk is destroyed by pasteurization temperatures. Phosphatase testing is required when there is doubt as to whether the product has been made from raw or pasteurized milk. This analysis is requested to validate claims which may be made on the packages

iii. Compositional: Cheese is tested for percent milk fat and percent moisture. This is related to compositional standards as per the DPR, and label declarations.

iv. Chemical residues: Chemical residues are analyzed by the CFIA as per the annual monitoring plans or sampling alerts. If chemical residues are found, the importer may be required to request or perform subsequent testing.

1.7.1.2 Cheese Sampling Summary

In order to have meaningful data for product compliance, it is important that appropriate sampling be done to get an accurate representation of the lot of the imported product. The following table outlines the number of sub-samples according to lot size to be taken for various lab analyses.

The following table outlines the number of sub-samples according to lot size to be taken for various lab analyses.
Analysis Lot Size Sub-Samples
Microbiological Any 5
Composition, Additives < 50 2
Composition, Additives 50 - 500 3
Composition, Additives > 500 5
Phosphatase Any 3
Chemical Residues Any as per sampling plan
Extraneous Material Any 3
Calcium, Omega-3
Nutrient content Claims
Any as per sampling plan

For more overall information about sampling, especially aseptic sampling of techniques, please refer to the Dairy Sampling Procedures.

1.7.1.3 Determination of Compliance Status

For each variety, manufacturer and size of imported cheese coming into, Canada, a compliance status is established. Sampling priority is given to unpasteurized (raw milk) cheese and cheeses without historical data (new varieties). Compliance status is based on historical data, type (pasteurized or unpasteurized), country of origin, manufacturer, cheese variety and size.

The categories for compliance status are new cheese, normal and directed. An explanation of the switching rules regarding the compliance status of cheese can be found in Appendix 14.

1.7.1.3.1 New cheese (no history)

A new cheese, for the purposes of sampling and analyses, is a cheese never before imported into Canada from a specific foreign manufacturer. The compliance status of new cheeses must be established. In some instances, the determination of new product status may have to be made in consultation with the Dairy Specialist. Some examples of new cheeses are as follows:

Examples:

  1. Brie cheese is manufactured by foreign manufacturer A, and imported into Canada on a regular basis by a number of Canadian importers. One of the Canadian importers would like to begin to import Brie cheese manufactured by foreign manufacturer B. Since the Brie cheese from this foreign manufacturer has never been imported into Canada, it is considered to be a new product for the purposes of sampling.
  2. Cream cheese is manufactured by foreign manufacturer C and is imported regularly into Canada. A Canadian importer would like to begin to import cream cheese with herbs, manufactured by the foreign manufacturer C. Cream cheese with herbs is considered to be a new dairy product even though cream cheese made by the same manufacturer has been imported into Canada on a regular basis.
  3. Emmental cheese (10 kg package) manufactured by foreign manufacturer D is imported regularly. A Canadian importer would like to begin importing Emmental cheese in a 500 g package manufactured by the same manufacturer D. This cheese is considered to be a new product since no history exists on Emmental cheese (500 kg package) from this manufacturer.

For new cheese being imported into Canada, a complete laboratory analysis (all microbiological analyses and fat and moisture for compositional analyses) for the original lot is performed by a private laboratory to ensure that the product meets Canadian standards for microbiological and compositional analyses as described in Dairy Sampling Procedures. The product is sampled by a CFIA Inspector and sent to a private laboratory. The importer is responsible for the cost of the analysis for the first shipment. The sample results are sent directly to the Inspector by the private laboratory who then inputs this information into a National database. Results of the initial laboratory sampling are used to determine the compliance status of the cheese. This status, in turn, is used to determine the frequency of sampling and the types of analysis required for future shipments of the same product, from the same foreign manufacturer by any importer. (See Appendix 15 for the type of information collected in the database).

If no infractions are found, the cheese is assigned to Normal Status for sampling. However, failure to meet any microbiological or composition standard will result in future shipments of the same cheese being assigned to Directed Status for sampling. (See sections below for more information and for further actions to be taken).

1.7.1.3.2 Normal Status

Imported cheese with no history of non-compliance and/or new cheese with satisfactory analyses are assigned a Normal Status. In addition to the importer's lab analyses controls for this cheese, product is sampled and analysed once a year (microbiological and compositional) under the CFIA monitoring program, with priority given to microbiological sampling of cheese made with raw milk. This sampling is conducted by CFIA staff at no cost to the importer. If no infractions are found with this sampling the product maintains the Normal Status frequency level. Cheese may also be sampled for chemical residue monitoring under the CFIA chemical residue monitoring program.

1.7.1.3.3 Directed Status

When a cheese fails to meet microbiological or compositional standards either on the initial sampling (new cheese) or during the annual monitoring sampling it is assigned to Directed Status. The follow-up analysis may be limited to the pathogen(s) or compositional parameter of concern (e.g.: 5 sub-samples analyzed for S. aureus only). The product must be Held by the importer until satisfactory analysis results are received.
Note: A CFIA detention is issued if the inspector has reasons to believe that it is required.

When cheese fails to meet microbiological standards, the next ten (10) lots of this cheese imported by any importer, nationally, are sampled by a CFIA inspector. Eight (8) out of ten (10) lots are analysed at the importer's expense at a private laboratory. Two (2) of the ten lots are analysed at CFIA laboratories.

Copies of all results of analysis from a private laboratory are sent directly to the CFIA office in addition to the importer. To return to Normal Status frequency level, 10 consecutive lots must be satisfactory.

When a cheese fails to meet the compositional standards, the inspector will refer to Dairy Sampling Procedures for instructions.

See Appendix 16 and Appendix 14.

1.7.1.4 Products with Non-Satisfactory Results

Follow-up procedures in Dairy Sampling Procedures are used when a cheese fails to meet microbiological, compositional or chemical residue standards.

Infraction information may be brought to the attention of the Area Dairy Specialist. For non-satisfactory results with food safety implications, and when the lot has been distributed, the Area Recall Coordinator is informed and a risk assessment requested. An incident file on IMS is opened.

The inspector makes the importer aware of all non satisfactory and satisfactory results. In the case of non satisfactory results the importer, in addition to subsequent sampling, provides the Inspector with written corrective actions and preventative measures to prevent reoccurrence. A copy of the importer's written communication with their supplier is one way the importer can prove follow up action to the inspector.

If cheese is imported by a food manufacturing facility usually covered by other programs (e.g. Food Safety and Fair Labelling, Meat, Fish), appropriate inspection staff are advised when the dairy inspector is planning to sample at this location. When unsatisfactory analytical results are received, the related program is contacted for follow up.

1.7.2 Other Imported Dairy Products Sampling Protocol

Imported dairy products are monitored under various annual CFIA dairy sampling plans and may be collected either at registered facilities or non-registered facilities (e.g. bakeries). Follow directions given in Table 2 and Dairy Sampling Procedures. If non satisfactory results identify an emerging issue, sampling program procedures are developed related to the risk and the National database is used to track results.

In order to have meaningful data for product compliance, it is important that appropriate sampling be done to get an accurate representation of the lot of the imported product. The following table outlines the number of sub-samples according to lot size to be taken for various lab analyses.

The following table outlines the number of sub-samples according to lot size to be taken for various lab analyses.
Product Analysis Lot Size Sub-Samples
Butter, frozen products, milk products Microbiological Any 5
Butter, frozen products, milk products Composition, Additives < 50 2
Butter, frozen products, milk products Composition, Additives 50 - 500 3
Butter, frozen products, milk products Composition, Additives > 500 5
All dairy products Phosphatase Any 3
Butter Chemical Residues Any as per sampling plan
Powders Microbiological Any 5
Powders Salmonella Any 2 composited samples
Powders Composition/Chemical Residue/Additives Any 1 (composite)
Fluid Milk, Evaporated Milk, Powdered Milk Vitamin Analysis Any 3
Raw Milk (farm samples) Chemical Residues Any as per sampling plan
Nutrient Content Claims Calcium, Omega-3 Any as per sampling plan

If dairy products are imported by a food manufacturing facility usually covered by other programs (e.g. Food Safety and Fair Labelling, Meat, Fish), appropriate inspection staff are advised when the dairy inspector is planning to sample at this location. When unsatisfactory analytical results are received, the related program is contacted for follow up.

1.7.3 Repeated Non Satisfactory Results

Consultation with the Country of Origin
Depending on the product and the analytical test found non satisfactory, the National Program Representative is advised and may initiate consultation with officials of the product's country of origin. This consultation is to advise about the non-satisfactory findings.

Border Lookout
In case of recurrent problems where other measures have not resulted in compliance, a border lookout may be created. The CFIA Border Lookout is a system used to control products at the border through the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with a mechanism to inform the CFIA of the arrival of these products into Canada. The standard procedure consists of CBSA notifying the Import Service Centre (ISC) of the targeted shipment at the border. The ISC reviews the import documentation and makes a decision regarding the importation. If the documentation is in order, the ISC will inform the local CFIA staff of the arrival of the dairy product (for established follow up action) and advises CBSA to allow entry. If the documentation is not in order, the load will not be released into Canada. The Border Lookout provides the information and direction required to reduce or manage imports with identified risks.

1.8 Inspection Activities for the Canadian Dairy Commission

CFIA has a Memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) to conduct inspections on their behalf, in CDC contracted warehouses e.g. inspection of warehouse premises, inventory. For further details, consult the Canadian Dairy Commission Activities.

1.9 Import for Re-export Program (IREP)

IREP is a Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) program where Canadian processors import dairy products for processing or repackaging to manufacture dairy or food products for re-export. The products imported under IREP are not subject to tariffs charged under DFAIT; however importers still must pay the applicable dairy fees under DPR (see Appendix 9). Inspection and sampling of the imported products may occur.

1.9.1 Raw Milk/Cream

Canadian dairy processors wishing to import raw milk or cream into Canada to be processed into dairy products and subsequently re-exported from Canada must be federally registered under the DPR. To assist DFAIT, CFIA performs verifications in registered dairy plants. See Appendices 17 and 18. A list of establishments participating in this program will be provided by DFAIT. The CFIA may sample raw milk and cream coming from the USA for chemical residues. Inspectors are to use the sample bottles provided for raw milk sampling. Sample size and program requirements are found in the annual sampling plan.

1.9.2 Non-Dairy Facilities Importing Butter, Cheese and other Dairy Products

Inspection staff may sample other dairy products such as butter and cheese imported under the IREP program but this type of sampling is given a low priority. The annual sampling plan and Dairy Program guidelines are followed. Importer facility inspections are not required by the Dairy Program in non-dairy processing facilities (e.g. bakeries). When unsatisfactory analytical results are received, the Food Safety or Fair Labelling Practices programs are contacted for follow up.

Appendix 1 Dairy Program Partners / Stakeholders

The Dairy Program works in collaboration with various internal and external partners and stakeholders to design, manage, and deliver effective dairy import controls. These are briefly presented in this appendix to provide a better understanding of the Dairy Import Program environment.

Internal CFIA Partners

Import Service Centres

The CFIA has established three regional Import Service Centres (ISC) Eastern Region ‑ served from Montreal; Central Region ‑ served from Mississauga; and Western Region ‑ served from Vancouver.

The ISC handle telephone inquiries regarding import requirements for all commodities regulated by the CFIA. The ISC processes the import declarations (ID) sent by the importing community across Canada for further release by CBSA and prepares the invoices for dairy import fees collection for standardized dairy products listed in DPR.

Terrestrial Animal Health Division

Develops and implements programs to prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases through imports and determines eradication actions when required. They establish which product(s) and /or country(ies) is at risk for animal health; if it is permitted to import these dairy products from specific country; under what conditions and what documents are required to accompany the shipment such as sanitary certificate. The updated information is provided through the CFIA website, see Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) under section 1.4 (Required Equipment and References) of this document. Regulated milk and milk products under the Health of Animals Regulations include all fresh, concentrated, dried, frozen or reconstituted milks and creams, butter, butteroil/ghee and buttermilk, whey, whey butter and whey cream. Cheeses, milk proteins, milk sugars and milk enzymes are not regulated under these regulations.

Food Safety Investigation Recall

As a single point of contact for both domestic and international food-related issues and food-related emergencies, Food Safety Investigation Recall is responsible and accountable for the coordination and consistency of decision making on food safety issues and recalls.

Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate

The Consumer Protection Division contributes to consumer protection and fair competition for industry through the administration of federal legislation which establishes standards for the net quantity, quality, composition, labelling and advertising for all food offered for sale in Canada. This program applies to all foods produced or imported by establishments which are not federally registered, to foods that are manufactured, packaged or labelled in retail stores, and to food sold in restaurants.

The Food Safety Division enforces the safety and nutritional quality provisions of the Food and Drugs Act (FDA). Science committees - imports

Laboratories Operations (Science Branch

The Laboratories Operations (LO) provide a range of laboratory services across Canada, including: chemical, microbiological and physical analytical services related to foods, feeds, fertilizers and seeds. The LO provides diagnostic testing standards, technology development and transfer, laboratory accreditation, scientific advice and analytical capability for animal, fish and plant diseases and pests. The LO also provides technical expertise to support the development and operation of evolving inspection practices, and laboratory testing and advice needed by Program officials for monitoring and targeted activities.

International Policy

The International Policy Directorate works with other Agency Directorates to ensure that the international regulatory system within which the CFIA carries out its responsibilities is science based, rules based, coherent and transparent (policy division).

Enforcement and Investigations Services (EIS)

The EIS HQ works to achieve CFIA's enforcement and compliance objectives by planning, developing and implementing the CFIA's national enforcement and compliance programs policies and procedures, as well as monitoring consistency in measures taken in response to non compliance, identifying challenges and developing a process for improvement.

External Partners

Health Canada

Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. Health Canada is responsible for establishing policies and standards relating to food safety and nutritional quality of food sold in Canada and for assessing the effectiveness of the Agency's activities related to food safety.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)

DFAIT helps Canadian companies expand and succeed internationally by promoting Canada as a dynamic place in which to invest and do business, and by negotiating and administering trade agreement. DFAIT supports Canadians abroad, helps Canadian companies succeed in the global market, implements trade restrictions in support of Canada's supply management programs and manages the dairy import permit system.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA

CBSA ensures the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Canada Revenue Agency administers tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories.

Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC)

The CDC is a Crown corporation which was established in 1966 with the mandate of coordinating federal and provincial dairy policies and creating a control mechanism for milk production which would help stabilize revenues and avoid costly surpluses. The CDC plays a key role as facilitator and stakeholder in the various forums that influence dairy policy in Canada and offers a framework for the management of the industry as a whole, which is a jurisdiction shared by the federal government and the provinces.

Industry Stakeholders

CFIA provides technical advice and liaises with partners and stakeholders including industry and importer associations such as the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters, International Cheese Council of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Dairy Processors Association of Canada etc.

Appendix 2 CFIA/ACIA 4560 - Import Declaration

Import Declaration (CFIA/ACIA 4560) form

Appendix 3 CFIA/ACIA 5304 - Import Declaration Annex A - Dairy Products

Import Declaration (Annex A – Dairy Products) (CFIA/ACIA 5304) form

Appendix 4 Import Dairy Program Activities Table

Activity Frequency
Sampling Plans As per annual plan
Inland Import Declaration Review and Recommendation 100%
Importer Verification Tasks 1 per year per importer
Label Verification 6 per year
Environmental Sampling As required
Can Integrity Verification 2 per year
Net Quantity Verification 4 per year
IREP Verification 1 per year
CDC Activities As requested

Note: This is being updated by the inspection frequencies project

Appendix 5 Covering Letter Example - Cheese Licence Issuance

Dear Sir/Madam:

Enclosed please find your Cheese Import Licence No. #### from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency pursuant to the Canada Agricultural Products Act and the Dairy Products Regulations. This licence will expire (insert date).

Please keep this licence and its number available for use. When you present cheese shipments for clearance into Canada, indicate your cheese import licence number in the comments box of the CFIA Request for Document Review form as well as on the Import Declaration - Box 4.

Section 26.3 and 26.4 of the revised Dairy Products Regulations clearly outlines the requirements that must be met to maintain your cheese import licence. As well, the applicable sections of these regulations related to cheese must also be met. Please note that this licence is not assignable to another importer.

Please note that prior to (insert date), should you wish to renew your licence, you will need to re-apply on the Application for a Cheese Import Licence.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at (insert number).

Yours truly,

Dairy Specialist

Enclosure

Appendix 6 Example of an Attestation of Compliance to Cheese Compositional Standards

Supplier's Company Letterhead

Date

Subject: Compliance attestation of cheese to Canada's revised compositional standards

Dear Mr./Ms Importer,

In accordance with Canada's revised compositional standards for cheese which require:

  • cheese, except for feta cheese, have a casein content that is derived from milk or from ultrafiltered milk, partly skimmed milk, ultrafiltered partly skimmed milk, skim milk, ultrafiltered skim milk or cream, rather than from other milk products, that is at least the following percentage of the total protein content of the cheese, namely,
    1. 63 per cent, in the case of Pizza Mozzarella cheese and Part Skim Pizza Mozzarella cheese,
    2. 83 per cent, in the case of Cheddar, Brick cheese, Canadian Style Brick cheese, Canadian Style Munster cheese, Colby cheese, Farmer's cheese, Jack cheese, Monterey (Monterey Jack) cheese, Mozzarella (Scamorza) cheese, Part Skim Mozzarella (Part Skim Scamorza) cheese, Part Skim Pizza cheese, Pizza cheese, Skim Milk cheese and any other variety of cheese not referred to in clause (A) or (C), and
    3. 95 per cent, in the case of any other variety of cheese named in the table section 28 of the Dairy Products Regulations,

    or, in the case of cheese making a claim of "low in", "lower in", or "reduced in fat", "%X fat-free", "reduced in", or "lower in saturated fatty acids", or "light" in energy or fat under section B.01.513 of the Food and Drug Regulations,

    • 78 per cent for the varieties listed in (B)
    • 90 per cent for the varieties listed in (C)
  • have a whey protein to casein ratio that does not exceed the whey protein to casein ratio of milk, or,
  • in the case of cheddar cheese labelled as aged, be made solely with milk, ultrafiltered milk, partly skimmed milk, ultrafiltered partly skimmed milk, skim milk, ultrafiltered skim milk or cream or a combination of those things, and aged for at least nine months and the period for which it has been aged is specified on the principal display panel of the label of the product.

and using the compliance formula,

percent casein derived from milk

this letter attests to the fact that space (Brand Name: XXXX named variety cheese, linked to e.g. specification sheet/reference to a formulation/ production dates, etc.) shipped/supplied to space (name of importer) meets the above requirements, falling into the space (state the %) casein requirement.

space (Signature)
(Printed name and title of company official)

Appendix 7 CFIA/ACIA 5272 - Request for Documentation Review

Request for Documentation Review (CFIA/ACIA 5272) form

Appendix 8 Import Requirements - Dairy Products

Milks (Fresh and Concentrated) and Milk By-Products
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Sterilized milk, Sterilized cream, skim milk powder, whole milk powder, partly skimmed milk powder, evaporated milk, evaporated skim milk, evaporated partly skimmed milk, sweetened condensed milk, buttermilk powder, whey powder, acid-type whey powder, blended skim milk and whey powder Yes 040130350702, 040120350402, 040210351701, 040221352001, 040221352002, 040229352301, 040291352301, 040229352302, 040291352302, 040229352303, 040291352303, 040299352701, 040390354002, 040410354302, 040410354303, 0404903547
Skimmed milk, partly skimmed milk, milk, liquid cream, cream powder, buttermilk, curdled milk or cream (sour cream), kephir, evaporated whey, whey as a packing material for cheese, other modified whey No 040110350101, 040120350301, 040120350302, 040120350401, 040130350701, 040221352003, 040390354001, 040390354003, 040390354004, 040410354301, 040410354306, 040410354399
Colostrum, including colostrum whey No 0404901000
Butter
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Butter, butter oil (clarified butter, ghee), anhydrous butter oil, whey butter, butter with flavour or seasoning, butter with (naming the fruit, vegetable, or relish), whipped butter, cultured butter Yes 040510355700, 040590356301, 040590356302, 040410354304
Light butter, calorie reduced butter, dairy spreads Yes 040520356001, 040520356002, 0405203560
Miscellaneous Preparations of Milk or Milk By-Products
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Butteroil sugar blends, confectionery blends, other blended preparations of dairy products No 210690725305
Cheese
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
(Naming the variety) cheese, Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, whey cheese, cream cheese with (named added ingredients), cream cheese spread, cream cheese spread with (named added ingredients), processed (named variety) cheese, processed (named variety) cheese with (named added ingredients), processed cheese food, processed cheese food with (named added ingredients), processed cheese spread, processed cheese spread with (named added ingredients), cold-pack cheese food, cold-pack cheese food with (named added ingredients), cottage cheese and creamed cottage cheese Yes All products under 0406, (except 040610356612 for personal use)
Protein Concentrates
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Whey protein concentrates (< 80% whey proteins on dry weight basis),  whey protein isolates, milk protein concentrates, milk protein isolates, milk albumin and derivatives No 040410354305, 3502200000, 3502201854, 210610
Casein
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Casein, caseinates and casein related products (including rennet casein) Yes 3501100000, 3501101850, 040410354305, 3501101851, 3501900000
Yogurt
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Yogurt, Kishek No 0403103537, 0403103538
Frozen Dairy Products
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Ice cream, light ice cream, sherbet/sherbert/sorbet (dairy), frozen dairy desserts, ice milk Yes 210500377501, 210500377502, 210500377503, 190190372508, 210500377505
Mix for Frozen Dairy Products
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Ice cream mixes, light ice cream mixes, ice milk mixes, milk shake mixes, frozen dairy dessert mixes, Yes 180690367504, 190190372504, 180690367505, 190190372505, 180690367506, 190190372506, 180690367503, 190190372509, 180690367507, 190190372507
Flavoured Milk Powders
Products Included Dairy Fee & Import DeclarationFootnote 2 AIRS HS Codes
Chocolate milk powder No 180690367501, 190190372501, 180690367599, 190190372599
Malted milk powder, flavoured or not Yes 180690367502, 190190372502, 190190372503

Table Notes

Table Note 2

For historical reasons dairy fees are only to be charged on products standardized by the Dairy Products Regulations. The dairy fee is applicable on IREP products for standardized products only, as indicated in the Dairy Fee & Import Declaration column.

Non commercial imports of < $20 and < 20 kg are exempt from dairy fees and do not require an import declaration.

These requirements apply to dairy products imported for human consumption only. Products labelled for animal feed only, are under the jurisdiction of the Animal Feed Program.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Appendix 9 CFIA Fees Notice - Dairy Products

Interpretation

1. (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Part.

"Act" means the Canada Agricultural Products Act. (Loi)

"Regulations" means the Dairy Products Regulations. (Règlement)

(2) Unless otherwise provided in this Part, other words and expressions have the same meaning as in the Act and the Regulations.

Payment

2. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the fee set out in subitem 1(1) of the table to this Part shall be paid at the time the application for the registration or renewal is submitted.

(2) If the registration or renewal is for more than 12 months, the fee calculated in accordance with sub-item 1(2) of that table may be paid as follows:

(a) a first payment that is equal to the applicable fee set out in item 1(1) of that table at the time of application; and

(b) another payment that is equal to the remaining balance of the fee, within 90 days after the date of issue of the Certificate of Registration.

(3) The fees set out in items 2 and 3 of that table shall be paid

(a) on the completion of the grading or inspection;

(b) on the issuance of the grade certificate or export documents; or

(c) if the person has a charge account with the Agency, on receipt of an invoice from the Agency.

(4) The fees set out in items 4 and 5 of that table shall be paid on receipt of an invoice from the Agency.

3. Despite section 2, if required by an inspector, the fees set out in items 2 to 4 of the table to this Part shall be paid before the service is provided, if the person who requests the service

(a) has previously failed to pay a fee set out in this Notice or in the Dairy Products Fees Order; or

(b) does not have a fixed place of residence in Canada.

Registration of establishments
Item Service, Right, Product, Privilege or Use Fee
1. (1) For the registration of an establishment, or the renewal of an existing registration, under section 10 of the Regulations
1. (a) in the case of an establishment that receives not more than 100 000 hL of milk per year for processing or produces not more than 1 000 000 units [kilograms (net weight) or litres, or both] of dairy products per year $895 per year
1. (b) in the case of an establishment that receives more than 100 000 hL but not more than 500 000 hL of milk per year for processing or produces more than 1 000 000 but not more than 5 000 000 units [kilograms (net weight) or litres, or both] of dairy products per year $1,680 per year
1. (c) in the case of an establishment that receives more than 500 000 hL but not more than 1 000 000 hL of milk per year for processing or produces more than 5 000 000 but not more than 10 000 000 units [kilograms (net weight) or litres, or both] of dairy products per year $2,415 per year
1. (d) in the case of an establishment that receives more than 1 000 000 hL of milk per year for processing or produces more than 10 000 000 units [kilograms (net weight) or litres, or both] of dairy products per year $3,150 per year
1. (2) For the registration of an establishment, or the renewal of an existing registration, for a period other than 12 months 1/12 of the applicable fee set out in subitem (1) multiplied by the number of complete months included in the period
1. (3) An establishment that is subject to two fees under sub-item 1(1) of the table of this part shall pay the greater fee.
Export
Item Service, Right, Product, Privilege or Use Fee
2. (1) For services provided in respect of a dairy product for which a grade or standard is established under the Regulations, for the purpose of export under subsection 24(1) of the Regulations
2. (a) for the grading of each vat or churn of the product $37.50
2. (b) for the issuance of each grade certificate, including a certificate issued for a dairy product that has been analysed by an accredited laboratory $37.50
2. (c) for the inspection of a dairy product requested by the exporter $100
2. (d) for the issuance of each export document, other than a grade certificate, requested by the exporter $20
2. (2) For services provided in respect of any other dairy product for the purpose of export under subsection 24(1) of the Regulations
2. (a) for the inspection of a dairy product requested by the exporter $100
2. (b) for the issuance of each export document requested by the exporter $20
Purposes other than export
Item Service, Right, Product, Privilege or Use Fee
3. Subject to item 4, for services provided in respect of a dairy product, other than for the purpose of export
3. (a) for the inspection of the product $25 per quarter hour, with the time being rounded off to the nearest quarter hour, subject to a minimum fee of $100
3. b) for the grading of each vat or churn of the product (b) for the grading of each vat or churn of the product $37.50
3. (c) for the issuance of each grade certificate, including a certificate issued for a dairy product that has been analysed by an accredited laboratory (b) for the grading of each vat or churn of the product $37.50
Export
Item Service, Right, Product, Privilege or Use Fee
4. For the verification of an import declaration under section 26.1 of the Regulations
4. (a) in the case of a shipment of not more than 500 kg net weight $44
4. (b) in the case of a shipment of more than 500 kg but not more than 2,000 kg net weight $44 for the first 500 kg plus $0.012 per additional kg
4. (c) in the case of a shipment of more than 2,000 kg but not more than 6,000 kg net weight $62 for the first 2,000 kg plus $0.0084 per additional kg
4. (d) in the case of a shipment of more than 6,000 kg but not more than 10,000 kg net weight $95.60 for the first 6,000 kg plus $0.0036 per additional kg
4. (e) in the case of a shipment of more than 10,000 kg net weight $110 for the first 10,000 kg plus $0.0012 per additional kg
Compliance assistance
Item Service, Right, Product, Privilege or Use Fee
5. For services provided by an inspector for the purpose of helping a person to meet the requirements of the Act or the Regulations $26.82 per quarter hour, the time being rounded to the nearest quarter hour, subject to minimum fee of $107.30

Appendix 10 Import Documentation Flowchart for Product Release

Although there are many ways to have the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) clear a shipment, the usual procedures include;

1. Forms: Brokers gather and fill out the paperwork that is required to release the shipment.

1.1 The documents related to standardized dairy products must be presented to the Import Service Centre (ISC) for approval prior to obtaining the CBSA clearance. The documentation includes: Request for release approval form (CFIA/ACIA 5272), import declaration and Annex A (CFIA/ACIA 4560, CFIA/ACIA 5304), commercial invoice or manifest and if applicable zoosanitary certificates or animal health import permit.

ISC reviews the documents for completeness. An invoice is generated for the applicable fee as per Appendix 9. If the documentation is complete and satisfactory, the ISC faxes the documentation to the broker and to CFIA inspection office. The broker forwards all documentation plus CFIA decision to CBSA for release.

1.2 Non-standardized dairy products such as yogurt and kefir do not require an import declaration and are presented directly to the CBSA for clearance, as indicated in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). The CBSA forwards the import documentation to the ISC.

1.3 When documents are incomplete the ISC rejects or refuses the shipment.
ISC will reject the entry when a document is missing, incomplete or the information presented on all documents does not match (quantity, description, etc.).

The shipment will be refused when issue cannot be resolved such: no zoosanitary certificate available or no import permit from animal health (when required).

2. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): This allows importers to enter and forward all necessary information pertaining to the shipment electronically to CBSA system. This information is forwarded to the ISC from CBSA. The ISC reviews the entry and if required, contacts the broker for any additional paperwork. The ISC also generates an invoice as per Appendix 9. The request must be inputted by the broker at a minimum of two hours prior to the shipment arriving at the border to make sure it is processed in a timely manner. The pre-approved shipment is not held at the border. At the border, the driver presents to the CBSA officer the tracking code (transaction number approved) which is linked to the EDI submission. It is scanned on CBSA computerized system and the ISC decision is showed on the screen (Reject, Refuse or Approved).

Click on image for larger view
Flowchart - Import Documentation for Product Release. Description follows.

Description for Flowchart - Import Documentation for Product Release

Broker prepares documents and submits electronically or manually to ISC / CBSA

When the documents presented are satisfactory

  • ISC approved; request stamped (dated), signed and faxed to the broker
  • Approved (will be released upon CBSA final decision)
  • Border crossing
  • Importer warehouse

When the documents presented are not satisfactory it will either be:

  • Refused, no clearance and ISC or Operations will request a proof of return or reexport or destruction of the product under CBSA supervision in accordance with "International waste policy".

    or

  • The notice is rejected and no decision until further information is provided
  • Once further documentation is provided, it will either be approved or rejected as described above

Appendix 11 Raw, Soft and Semi Soft Cheese Policy and Sample Certificate (France)

The Food and Drug Regulations (FDR)require that cheese made from an unpasteurized source be stored at 2°C or more for at least 60 days.

In September 2000, representatives from HC and the CFIA visited France to learn of its regulations and control systems concerning soft and semi-soft raw milk cheese manufacturing. It was determined that the French system provided an appropriate level of protection for these products.

As of July 2001, France has provided the CFIA with export certificates for all shipments of these cheeses. These certificates confirm that the product is from a recognized establishment, that the establishment performs microbiological self-testing of their production and has had official sampling and analyses of its product within the last three months. In lieu of requiring the 60 day storage period for raw soft and semi-soft cheeses from France, the CFIA accepts receipt of France's certificate for each exported shipment of raw, soft and semi-soft cheeses, together with ongoing microbiological monitoring (as per 1.7.1).

Image-Page 1 of Sample Health Certificate. Description follows.
Description for Image-Page 1 of sample Health Certificate to export of some raw milk cheeses to Canada

This image is a sample Health Certificate to export of some raw milk cheeses to Canada from France. This certificate confirms that the product is from a recognized establishment, that the establishment performs microbiological self-testing of their production and has had official sampling and analyses of the product(s).

Image-Page 2 of sample Health Certificate. Description follows.
Description for Image-Page 2 of sample Health Certificate to export of some raw milk cheeses to Canada

This image is a sample Health Certificate to export of some raw milk cheeses to Canada from France. This certificate confirms that the product is from a recognized establishment, that the establishment performs microbiological self-testing of their production and has had official sampling and analyses of the product(s).

Appendix 12 Importer Verification Worksheet

Importer
Importer No.
Date
Inspector
Contact

A.0 Importer Controls
Inspection Task S/NS/NA/NR Inspection Task S/NS/NA/NR
Tasks to perform at every visit
A.1 Import Documentation
  • completeness
  • accuracy I
Tasks to perform at every visit
A.2Footnote 3 Product Specification Sheets
  • all ingredients identified
  • complete specifications
  • cheese attestations (if applicable) I
Tasks to perform at every visit
A.3 Foreign Certificates of Analysis
  • microbiological (should include environmental and/or product for Lm)
  • compositional I
Tasks to perform at every visit
A.4Footnote 3 Verification of Analyses
  • microbiological (enhanced if supplier does not monitor environment for Lm - 1.5)
  • compositional I
A.5 Foreign Manufacturers' Information
  • assessment information (should include environmental monitoring for Listeria) I
A.6 Receiving & Shipping Procedures
  • visual specifications I
A.7 Product Control Procedures
  • label
  • net quantity
  • can integrity I
A.8 Pest Control
  • measures in place F
  • program (cheese importers that cut, shred, repackage etc.) I
A.9 Complaint Handling
  • effective system I
A.10Footnote 3 Recall Procedures
  • capability
  • records I
A.11Footnote 3 Water Quality (preparing dairy products)
  • micro analyses F
A.12Footnote 3 Sanitation Program (preparing dairy products)
  • Listeria environmental monitoring and end product testing
  • records F
B.0 On site Practices
Inspection Task S/NS/NA/NR Inspection Task S/NS/NA/NR
B.1 Sanitary Handling and Preparation B.2 Product Coding and Information
  • lot coding
  • best before date
  • storage instructions
B.3Footnote 3 Suitable Storage Conditions
  • temperature
  • relative humidity
B.4 Receiving & Shipping Conditions
  • temperature
  • contamination
B.5 Absence of cross-contamination
  • pests
  • returned products
  • garbage
  • structure
  • non-food chemical
  • glass breakage
B.6 Sanitary Conditions (preparing dairy products)
  • equipment
  • facility

Table Note

Footnote 3

Tasks with higher health and safety risk. They have higher impact on overall assessment.

Return to table note 3 referrer

I
documentation verification tasks
F
tasks to be performed where product is stored or processed
S
Satisfactory
NS
Not Satisfactory
NA
Not Applicable
NR
Not Required

Observations/Comments:

Appendix 13 Optional Covering Letter Example - Importer Verification

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Address of office

Date

Mr. Dairy Importer
Manager
Dairy Imports Ltd.
123 Anywhere Street
Somewhere, Canada

Subject: Results of Importer Verification

Dear Mr./Ms. Importer,

Enclosed please find the Dairy Inspection Report - CFIA/ACIA 950 and Importer Verification Worksheet of (Date). The Dairy Products Inspection Procedures (Dairy Import Activities) guidelines were used during the inspection to assess your facility. The inspection was completed by (Name). During the exit interview all deficient tasks were discussed with you and your staff.

The overall assessment of this inspection is (Non-Satisfactory or Satisfactory). Any deficiency contravenes Section 2.2 and/or Section 26 of the Dairy Products Regulations under the Canada Agricultural Products Act. (The major deficiencies should be identified and reference made to the appropriate section of the regulations).

Please forward your written and signed action plan to this office no later than (Date - three weeks from the inspection date). The attached worksheet may be used to indicate corrective dates for those tasks found non-satisfactory.

We would like to thank you (and your staff) for the cooperation shown to us during this inspection. Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned if you have any questions.

Yours truly,

Dairy Inspector

Appendix 14 Imported Cheese Sampling Compliance Frequencies - Switching Rules

Imported Cheese Sampling Compliance Frequencies. Description follows.
Description for Flowchart - Imported Cheese Sampling Compliance Frequencies. Description follows.

All imported cheeses, including new products, must have a complete microbiological and compositional analysis that is sampled by CFIA and paid by importer.

If the results are satisfactory, the cheese is assigned "Normal Status" for the purposes of sampling frequency. The CFIA sampling plan for these products is one complete microbiological and compositional analysis per year. Note: If these products ever receive an unsatisfactory result during sampling, they will be reassigned to "Directed Status".

If the results are unsatisfactory, the cheese is assigned "Directed Status" for the purposes of sampling frequency. The product must receive 10 consecutive satisfactory lots for microbiological to return to the "Normal Status" sampling frequency. For composition, refer to Dairy Sampling Procedures.

Appendix 15 Dairy Imports - Compliance Status of Cheese and Other Dairy Products

Click on image for larger view
Compliance status of cheese and other dairy products. Description follows.

Description for Table - Compliance status of cheese and other dairy products
  • Column 1 - Country of origin
  • Column 2 - Manufacturer name and foreign country number
  • Column 3 - Brand name and variety
  • Column 4 - Lot number
  • Column 5 - Importer
  • Column 6 - Species - Source of milk
  • Column 7 - Non-pasteurized/Pasteurized Milk
  • Column 8 - Package size
  • Column 9 - Compliance status/concern
  • Column 10 - Date of sampling
  • Column 11 - Sampled by (inspector)
  • Column 12 - Lab (CFIA or Private)

Appendix 16 Importer Cheese Sampling Compliance Frequency Table

Origin Total Number of Samples Total Number of Positive Samples Total Number of Negative Samples % Negative samples Analyte
New Product Complete microbiological and composition analyses all new products 100% No Yes (paid by importer)
New Product Chemical residues - CFIA sampling plans where applicable As per sampling plans objectives Yes No
Normal Microbiological (and composition analyses) - regular CFIA sampling plans all manufacturers, sizes, and brands 1 per year (raw milk, past non-compliance and volume) Yes No
Directed Table Note 4 (product held pending analysis) Directed - micro analysis Historical non-compliant products 10 lots 2 8 (paid by importer)
Return to Normal 10 consecutive shipments - satisfactory 10 consecutive shipments - satisfactory 10 consecutive shipments - satisfactory 10 consecutive shipments - satisfactory 10 consecutive shipments - satisfactory

Table Notes

Table Note 4

for composition see Dairy Sampling Procedures

Return to table note 4  referrer

Appendix 17 Import for Re-Export Program (IREP) Policy

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Policy Concerning United States of America (US) Bulk Milk/Cream Used to Manufacture Canadian Dairy Products that are for Export

The following requirements will apply to Canadian Dairy Processors wishing to import milk/cream into Canada to be processed and subsequently re-exported from Canada. Only CFIA federally registered establishments are eligible to export dairy products.

  1. Raw milk/cream coming from the USA must be from a USFDA recognized Bulk Tank Unit (BTU) and be listed in good standing on the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments(NCIMS) and meet Canadian Animal Health import requirements.
  2. Interstate milk shippers reports along with relevant laboratory test results must be made available upon request for assessment by CFIA staff.
  3. All bulk milk/cream haulers/graders must be licensed and in good standing with the licensing authority. Furthermore, individual farm samples must be made available for testing upon request of a Canadian regulatory authority.
  4. The raw milk/cream must meet the requirements as set down in Section 11.1(18)(b) of the Dairy Product Regulations (DPR) which states "No person in a registered establishment shall use, in the preparation of a dairy product for which grades or standards are established by these Regulations, any milk or cream that does not meet the quality standards established for milk or cream by the appropriate provincial or federal authority". In this regard, the provincial standards are the standards that the federal government accepts in a specific province. The specific standards set out below are from the National Dairy Regulations and Code and include the following:
    1. Aerobic Plate Count < 50,000/ml for cow's milk
    2. Somatic Cell Count < 400,000/ml for cow's milk
    3. Absence of inhibitors (veterinary medications) certified using an official method or a result below the maximum residue limit (MRL) set by Health Canada.
    4. Absence of added water
    5. Temperature of the milk < 6°Celsius.
  5. Every bulk milk/cream tanker entering Canada from the US must be accompanied by a document signed by a designated United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) Official indicating that the milk/cream in the tanker meets the specific specifications as set out in (I) above.
  6. The finished product must be labelled Product of Canada as set out in the DPR.
  7. All requirements set out in the Dairy Export Activities, must be met for exporting the final product.
  8. CFIA reserves the right to carry out audits of those involved in the Import for Re-Export Program (IREP); the frequency will be based upon random selection to determine that the policy is being followed as outlined. Deviations from the policy may affect participation in IREP.

Note: Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) requires that all milk/cream imported into Canada as part of the IREP must be segregated and be kept segregated. All participants who participate in the IREP must have a system in place that can be audited to clearly demonstrate that the IREP milk/cream has been kept segregated.

Appendix 18 Import for Re-Export Program (IREP) Worksheet

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) - IREP Work Sheet

Date:

Reg. Est. Name and Number:

Please check only one box for each item.

(l) The participant has its IREP letters from DFAIT along with records clearly stating that the milk/cream came from a USFDA recognized Bulk Tank Unit (BTU).

  • Box Complete
  • Box Incomplete

(II) The participant demonstrated that the raw milk/cream met the requirements as set down in Section 11.1(18)(b) of the Dairy Product Regulations (DPR). For each load received the establishment has checked and recorded: i) temperature ii) Aerobic Colony Count (ACC) .

  • Box Complete
  • Box Incomplete

(lll) The participant demonstrated that every bulk milk/cream tanker load brought in to Canada from the US was accompanied by a document signed by an official of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (USFDA) certifying that the milk/cream is from a USFDA recognized Bulk Tank Unit (BTU) and be listed in good standing on the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shippers (NCIMS) and meet Canadian Animal Health import requirements

  • Box Complete
  • Box Incomplete

(lV) The participant was able to demonstrate that the finished product was labelled Product of Canada as set out in the DPR.

  • Box Complete
  • Box Incomplete

(V) The establishment has submitted a plan to CFIA outlining how the milk/cream will be kept segregated. The plan has been implemented as written.

  • Box Complete
  • Box Incomplete

(Vl) The establishment has records demonstrating that the product produced with IREP milk/cream was re-exported.

  • Box Complete
  • Box Incomplete
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