Fish Export Licence Directive

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Table of Contents

1.0 Purpose

This directive outlines the requirements of a fish export licence.

2.0 Scope

This directive applies to exporters which include establishmentsFootnote 1 of live or fresh fish, mechanical can screening facilities, cold storage warehouses and brokers that require certificates to export fish and seafood and/or need to be posted on a list of establishments authorized to export.

3.0 Relevant Legislation

3.1 Regulatory Framework

To be eligible to receive export certificates and/or be posted on a list of establishments authorized to export, an establishment must either be registered with the CFIA or hold a fish export licence.

3.2 Authorities

The authority and responsibilities for fish export licences and the export of fish are provided by the:

  1. Fish Inspection Act (R.S.C., 1985. c. F-12)
  2. Fish Inspection Regulations (C.R.C. 1978 c. 802, as amended)

4.0 Exporter Requirements [FIR, 15.1]

4.1 Establishments of Live or Fresh fish

>Establishments of live or fresh fish that require export certificates and/or to be posted on a list of establishments authorized to export must hold a fish export licence.

To be eligible to receive export certificates and be posted on a list of establishments authorized to export, establishments must hold a fish export licence.

To be eligible for a fish export licence, the establishment must develop and implement an Export Certification Control Plan (ECCP) plan in accordance to the ECCP Standard (RDIMS 3188728).

4.2 Cold Storage Warehouses

Cold storage warehouses that store fish and seafood prior to export to the European Union must hold a fish export licence.

To be eligible to store fish and seafood prior to its export to the EU, cold storage warehouses must hold a fish export licence. To be eligible, the cold storage must comply with the requirements in the Licenced Cold Storage Warehouses Standard. The cold storage warehouse must sign and submit the attestation form acknowledging that they know and understand the requirements and will comply with them.

4.3 Mechanical Can Screening Facilities

Mechanical can screening facilities that export canned fish must hold a fish export licence.

To be eligible to operate a mechanical can-screening facility for assessing the compliance of cans with container integrity standards, the operator must hold a fish export licence. To be eligible, the facility must develop and implement a control plan to comply with the requirements described in Chapter 5, Subject 3 of the Facilities Inspection Manual Compliance Guidelines for Can Screening Establishments using Double-dud detector and Checkweigher.

5.0 Brokers

Brokers that require export certificates to export fish and seafood may obtain a fish export licence to facilitate access to certificates.

To be eligible, the exporter must develop and implement an ECCP in accordance to the ECCP Standard (RDIMS 3188728).

Having a fish export licence facilitates the process for obtaining export certificates from the CFIA. For export licence holders, the CFIA evaluates whether a product inspection is required based on a review of the exporter's compliance with the conditions of the licence. In the case of fish exporters without a licence, the fish to be certified is always inspected.

6.0 Fish Export Licence Requirements

6.1 Applying for a Fish Export Licence [FIR, 15.1(1),(2)]

An "Application for a Fish Export Licence" must be submitted to the local CFIA office.

Applicants who require a control plan must submit a copy of the plan to the local CFIA office for review.

The CFIA may conduct an on-site inspection of non-registered establishments and cold storage warehouses.

A licence is issued by the CFIA only when it is determined that the requirements have been met.

6.2 Duration and validity of a Fish Export Licence [FIR, 16; 16.3]

A fish export licence expires one year after the date of issue and is not transferable.

The licence is valid for one year following the date of its issuance as long as the licence holder maintains compliance with the conditions of the licence.

The licence is not assignable and would be void the day:

  • effective control or direction is transferred to any other person, corporate body, partnership, cooperative, association, trustee, executor or legal representative;
  • the fish export licence holder ceases to operate its business, surrenders the licence, is subject to a receivership or makes an assignment in bankruptcy;
  • the equipment or conveyance of a non-registered establishment is destroyed or damaged to the extent that the conduct of operations without a risk of serious contamination is not possible.

Note: The licence would however remain valid If the immediate ownership of the licence remains the same following a change in shareholder status.

6.3 Renewal of a Fish Export Licence

An "Application for a Fish Export Licence" must be submitted to the local CFIA office. To maintain a valid licence, the request is to be made in advance of the licence expiration date.

Prior to renewing a licence the CFIA will conduct a review of the applicant's compliance history to determine if the conditions of the licence have been met. An on-site inspection may also be conducted for establishments and cold storage warehouses.

6.4 Health and Safety Investigation and Notification [FIR, 6.01(1)]

6.4.1 Health and Safety Investigation [FIR, 6.01(1)]

An exporter must investigate the information received which questions the safety of product(s) they exported.

Exporters must immediately investigate any complaints and information received questioning the safety of a product exported. Complaints and information received are deemed valid if it is determined that:

  1. the product in question was exported by the exporter; and
  2. the complaint or information concerns a real or potential illness or injury

6.4.2 Health and Safety Notification [FIR, 6.01(2)]

The exporter must notify the CFIA within 24 hours of a confirmed health and safety issue.

Once it is confirmed that an exported product has caused illness or injury, the CFIA must be notified as soon as possible within 24 hours.

A list of after hours contact numbers and emergency response references is available on our website.

7.0 Licence Suspension, Revocation or Refusal [FIR 17.(1)]

The CFIA may suspend, revoke or refuse to issue a fish export license when the licence requirements are not met.

The CFIA may suspend, revoke or refuse to issue a fish export licence in accordance with the Fish Inspection Program Compliance Management Process (section 5.10).

Note: Revoked fish export licences cannot be re-instated.

8.0 Fish Program Updates

The importer is responsible for keeping up-to-date on the requirements for exporting fish and seafood products.

All updates relating to the fish program are delivered electronically through the CFIA's Email Notification Subscription Self-Service. Export licence holders are encouraged to sign up to this service.

Appendix A - Forms

A.1 Application for a Fish Export Licence (CFIA/ACIA 5704)

A.2 Attestation for Licensed Cold Storage Warehouses

Appendix B - References

B.1 Export Certification Control Plan (ECCP) Standard (RDIMS 3188728)

B.2 Licenced Cold Storage Warehouse Standard

B.3 Compliance Guidelines for Can Screening Establishments using Double-dud detector and Checkweigher

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