Record of Decision - Imported dairy products destined for delivery to cruise ships

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Question or Description of Problem:

What are the documentation requirements for standardized dairy products imported into Canada in-transit (via sea, air or land) destined for delivery to cruise ships.


Importers of Standardized Dairy Products must submit an import declaration to CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) prior to final release by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).There are different forms of clearance or terminology used by other agencies that are not used or defined in legislation governed by the CFIA. It is unclear if bonded shipments of dairy products transported directly to cruise ships for just-in-time delivery or placed in ship stores for delivery to cruise ships, need to be referred to CFIA prior to CBSA clearance. The handling of these shipments has been inconsistent across Canada.

Regulatory Requirements:

The requirement for an import declaration under section 26(1)(f) of the Dairy Products Regulations does not apply to shipments of dairy products that are "not intended for sale in Canada and are carried on any vessel, train, motor vehicle, aircraft or other means of transportation for use as food for the crew or passengers thereof ref: 26.(3)(b). Dairy Products Fee Order section (6) states that a fee is payable for the verification of an import declaration under section 26.1 of the Dairy Products Regulations.

Dairy Products Inspection Manual – Chapter 16 Importing Activities:

Import documentation collected by the Import Service Centre (ISC) is forwarded to the appropriate field office. The dairy inspector reviews the documentation for completeness and accuracy and then determines if an inland inspection is to be conducted. This manual outlines the various inspection tasks that may be performed on the imported product and the importers storage facility.

D19-1-1 Memoranda – Instructions for CBSA:

This directive provides a brief explanation of the applicable legislation and the exemptions that apply to the commercial and non-commercial importation of dairy products, including legislation and policies pertaining to Animal Health. The CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) is also a reference tool used by border services officers. Both these documents indicate that the documentation requirements of the DPR apply to any dairy product in bond, in-transit, and Canadian dairy products exported and returned back to Canada. The D19-1-1 memo specifically indicates that the exemption under 26(3)(b) only applies to non-commercial importations. At present, there are no exemptions listed for commercial shipments. These summaries have attempted to combine the requirements of both the Dairy program (Agri-food) and the Animal Health Division, however, the objective or focus of the two programs is inherently different.

Dairy Program Decision:

Imported dairy products that are in-transit (Bonded) for delivery to cruise ships do not need to be referred to the CFIA by CBSA for clearance. The documentation and fee requirements outlined in section 26.1 of the Dairy Products Regulations do not apply. Note: Animal Health requirements still apply to these types of shipments.


An exemption exists in the regulations for products not intended for sale and carried on and consumed by crew or passengers of a vessel. It can be reasoned that the intent of this exemption would apply to both non-commercial and commercial shipments. CBSA defines an In-transit shipment as "the movement of foreign goods through Canada from a point outside Canada to another foreign port." These shipments move under the control of CBSA i.e. containers are sealed at first point of entry. The dairy products are not distributed within Canada and thereby do not pose any food safety risks to the Canadian consumer. Furthermore, these products are not readily accessible for inspection.

Next Steps:

As noted, the instructions/ procedures outlined in AIRS and the D-19-11 memorandum are contrary to this proposed policy decision. In order to implement this decision, revisions will have to be made to the instructions given to CBSA. Any Animal Health requirements would still apply.

Ann Fillmore
Recommended by: Program Chief

Feb. 26, 2009

Tom Hauschild
Approved by: National Manager

Feb. 26, 2009

Date modified: