Fish Products Inspection Manual
Chapter 2 - Product Inspection - General

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Information

The policy and procedures with regards to suspended inspections are under review.

Subject 1 - Initial Inspection

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1. Scope

This document outlines the regulations, policy and procedures governing the initial inspection of all types of domestic and imported fish and fish products. There are, however, procedures unique to the inspection of imported fish products which are covered in Chapter 3.

2. Authorities

  • Fish Inspection Act. R.S.C., 1970, c. F-12; Sections 3(c) and 3(i)
  • Fish Inspection Regulations. C.R.C., 1978, c. 802; (FIR) Part I, General

Section 4 (FIR):
All fish are subject to inspection and an inspector may take samples of fish free of charge for the purpose of inspection.

Section 5 (FIR):
The owner of fish or a person acting on his behalf shall make readily accessible to an inspector any fish or containers for which inspection or reinspection is required under these Regulations.

Section 6 (FIR):
(1) No person shall import, export or process for export or attempt to import, export or process for export:
(a) any fish that is tainted, decomposed or unwholesome or otherwise fails to meet the requirements of these Regulations.

3. Policy

3.1 An inspection may be performed on any lot of imported or domestic fish and fish product, including containers and ingredients, from the time of initial harvesting to the final marketing of the product.

3.2 An inspection at the retail level is not within the jurisdiction of the Fish Inspection Regulations and potential problems should be referred to the regional office for direction.

3.3 When an inspection is to be performed, the lot must be identified and the owner/agent of the goods must make the entire lot available for sampling and/or inspection to the satisfaction of the inspector.

3.4 The completion of an initial inspection will result in either the failure or acceptance of a lot of fish. In most cases where a lot fails the initial inspection, a reinspection is granted provided the conditions outlined in Chapter 2, Subject 2 are met.

3.5 Under certain circumstances, (see Procedures, 4.8), an Inspector may delay rendering a decision on the inspection when the results show that the lot inspected does not comply with the Fish Inspection Regulations. If the owner/agent agrees, the decision on the inspection results is suspended, thus providing the owner/agent of the lot the opportunity to correct the defects in the lot.

Note: An offer to suspend the decision on the results of an initial inspection may only be offered once.

4. Procedures

4.1 The type of analysis the inspection will entail must be established prior to commencing the inspection, i.e. - bacteriological, organoleptic, composition, species identification, chemical, weight evaluation, label evaluation, seam evaluation, or a combination of the above.

4.2 The identity of the lot of fish to be inspected must be confirmed. This requires determining as much of the following information on the lot as possible: the location, the common name of the species in the lot, the size of the lot, the identification marks (lot number, codes), the grade, and the moisture content and the size of product if applicable.

4.3 Once the lot has been identified, the inspector has the option to detain the lot until the inspection is completed and the disposition of the lot decided. All import products on the Mandatory Inspection List (or products suspected of being in non-compliance with the regulatory requirements) must be detained.

4.4 The inspector must select the appropriate sampling plan and inspection level depending on the type of product to be examined and the analysis required.

4.5 The inspector must determine the sample unit, calculate the lot size and sample size, and withdraw the sample from the lot.

4.6 The inspector must prepare the sample for inspection and ensure that it is assessed against all applicable requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations.

4.7 The lot of fish passes or fails based on the results of the initial inspection. If the lot passes and is under detention, the lot is released. If the lot fails and is not already under detention, the lot is detained immediately (Chapter 2, Subject 3 - Detention/Release).

4.8 When inspection of the sample shows that the lot does not comply with the requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations, i.e. - the acceptance number is exceeded, an inspector shall suspend the decision on the initial inspection provided the following conditions exist:

a) The fish or containers thereof do not have in or upon them any poisonous or harmful substances. In special cases reconditioning may be permitted if the CFIA determines that bacteria of public health significance would be removed. Any decision regarding reconditioning must be made with full consultation with the Regional Headquarters; and
b) The inspector determines that the owner/agent is able to correct the defect(s) of the lot through culling or reworking.

A suspended inspection would not be offered under the following circumstances:

Where a lot of canned product consisting of only one code does not comply with the Fish Inspection Regulations due to decomposition, a suspended inspection cannot be offered, as it is impossible to determine which cans contain decomposed product.

4.9 The "Offer to Suspend Initial Inspection" (Appendix B) is to be given or sent immediately to the owner/agent indicating why the lot failed to comply with the regulations and detailing the conditions under which the decision on the results of the initial inspection will be suspended.

4.10 A suspension of the initial inspection will only be granted provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The identity of the fish, or containers thereof, has been maintained;
  2. The CFIA receives within 30 days of the owner/agent receiving the notification of the opportunity to suspend the initial inspection, a written request to do so;
  3. the request to suspend the initial inspection outlines the intended process for culling, reconditioning or reworking the lot and the process is acceptable to the CFIA; and
  4. the owner/agent agrees to dispose of all defective product resulting from the action in c) above, in a manner acceptable to the CFIA.

If any of the above conditions are not met, the initial inspection procedure re-commences and the owner/agent is notified of the failure of the lot by the Fish Inspection Report, or equivalent (Appendix A), and his/her right to a reinspection by the "Notification of Right to Reinspection" (Appendix C).

4.11 Upon receipt of the owner/agent's written request to suspend the initial inspection, the inspector must evaluate the proposed process for culling or reworking the product to determine if the process is valid. It is recommended that the inspector confer with his/her supervisor during the evaluation. Proposals for reconditioning must be referred to Regional Headquarters.

When evaluating the intended process for culling, the inspector should note that the process must:

  1. remove defective units from the lot; or
  2. segregate suspect codes from the lot.

In the first instance, all culled product is considered defective with the exception of mislabelled product, (under weights, mis-labelling), and is not eligible for further inspection or reinspection. The rejected product must be disposed of in a manner acceptable to the CFIA. In the second instance, the culled lot is divided into two lots, one lot which contains all suspect codes. Both lots are subject to inspection/reinspection procedures.

Note: The inspector must be satisfied that the proposed culling process describes a realistic means of segregating suspect codes from the original lot as well as a realistic means of culling defective product from those suspect codes. If the inspector is satisfied that the above can be met, the removal of suspect code(s) from the original lot will be permitted provided the suspect codes are combined into one new lot.

4.12 Upon accepting the process for culling, reconditioning or reworking submitted by the owner/agent, the inspector must confirm the conditions, time and place via the letter entitled "Approval of Culling, Reconditioning or Reworking Process" (Appendix D).

4.13 All culling, reconditioning and/or reworking must be done under the supervision of an inspector.

4.14 The inspector must ensure that all defective units removed during a culling or reworking process are disposed of in a manner acceptable to the CFIA.

4.15 Upon completion of the approved culling, reconditioning and/or reworking process, the inspector must sample the lot(s) in accordance with the original sampling plan on a code by code or a lot basis. Only the results from this sample will be used to determine the compliance of the lot(s).

4.16 The owner/agent is notified of the results of the initial inspection by the Fish Inspection Report or equivalent (Appendix A).

If the lot passes inspection, it is released. If the lot fails, the owner/agent is also notified of the right to a reinspection by the "Notification of Right to Reinspection".

5. Forms/Documents

  • Fish Inspection Report - Appendix A
  • Sample Letter: "Offer to Suspend Initial Inspection" - Appendix B
  • Sample Letter: "Notification of Right to Reinspection" - Appendix C
  • Sample Letter: "Approval of Culling, Reconditioning or Reworking Process" - Appendix D
  • Flow Chart: "The Initial Inspection and Reinspection Process" - Appendix E

Appendix A

Appendix B
Offer to Suspend Initial Inspection

Dear Sir/Madam:

On (give dates), an inspection was conducted on a lot of fish (or containers of fish) consisting of (identity of the lot) and the results indicate that the said lot of fish does not comply with Section 6 (1) (a) of the Fish Inspection Regulations in that the samples examined were (reasons). This being the case, the CFIA's policy allows the decision on the results of the inspection to be suspended to permit your firm the opportunity to cull, rework, or recondition the lot under the supervision of an Inspector, provided all four of the following conditions are met:

  1. CFIA receives a written request from you, within 30 days of the date of receipt of this letter, to permit the culling, reworking or reconditioning of the lot;
  2. The process for culling, reconditioning or reworking is acceptable to the CFIA and is capable of being monitored by an inspector;|
  3. The identity of the fish or containers of fish has been maintained; and
  4. Your firm agrees to dispose of all defective product culled from the lot, in a manner acceptable to the CFIA.

The terms "culling, reworking, and reconditioning" are defined as:

  1. "culling" - the removal of defective units from the lot;
  2. "reworking" - the removal of defects from the units in the lot (e.g. trim or candle);
  3. "reconditioning" - the elimination of bacteria of public health significance by heat treatment.

When you have fully complied with all the conditions identified above and when the approved culling, reworking or reconditioning process has been completed, samples will be withdrawn by an Inspector to assess the acceptability of the lot and to complete the initial inspection. Failure to meet all the requirements identified above will mean that the results of the inspection prior to suspension will determine the acceptability of the lot.

Inspector

Appendix C
Notification of Right to Reinspection

Dear Sir/Madam:

On (give dates), an inspection was completed on a lot of fish (or containers of fish) consisting of (describe the lot). The results indicate that this lot of fish does not comply with section 6 (1) (a) of the Fish Inspection Regulations.

You are hereby notified that you have the right to appeal this decision, as provided in section 10 (1) of the Fish Inspection Regulations. Should you decide to appeal the decision on this lot of fish, a written request should be made to this office within 30 days of receiving this letter. As well, you are hereby advised that you may:

  1. Cull or rework the fish or containers of fish;
  2. Request that a duplicate set of samples be withdrawn for private analysis;
  3. Request that the lot be reinspected on a code by code basis or on a lot basis;
  4. Have yourself and/or your agent (maximum of two persons) attend the sampling and/or reinspection;
  5. Request that the reinspection take place in a fisheries administrative center different from that in which the initial inspection occurred, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
    1. the request is made in writing;
    2. you indicate in the written request that you are willing to bear all costs associated with the transportation of the samples; and
    3. product integrity can be maintained during the transport of the samples.

Your intention to do any of the above must be indicated in the letter in which you request the reinspection.

A summary of the results will be provided to you upon completion of the reinspection.

Cull is defined as:

  • to remove defective units from the lot.

Rework is defined as:

  • to remove defects from the units in the lot, (e.g., candle or trim) or to reprocess the product such that the nature of the product is significantly changed.

Inspector

Appendix D
Approval of Culling, Reconditioning or Reworking Process

Dear Sir/Madam:

The purpose of this letter is to confirm the date, location and conditions of the (culling, reconditioning or reworking) process to be conducted on (description of lot of fish):

  1. the operation will take place on (give date) at (give address);
  2. the operation will be performed under the supervision of (name of inspector) Inspector;
  3. (description of lot) will be (culled, reconditioned, or reworked) under the following conditions: (give conditions).

Inspector

Appendix E
The Initial Inspection and Reinspection Process

Click on image for larger view
inspection process description flowchart - description follows

Description for The Initial Inspection and Reinspection Process

Flow chart documenting the process for inspection of fish products. Identify the lot, detain the lot, sample the lot, examine the lot and make decision. If accepted, lot released. If rejected, the lot is either disposed or detained for reinspection. Option to suspend the decision. Lot is detained. Offer accepted and conditions are met. Lot culled, reworked or reconditioned. Lot sampled, then examined and decision made, either accepted then released, or rejected, Reinspection then offered. If reinspection refused, lot rejected and disposed of. If reinspection accepted, lot may be culled or reworked. Lot sampled, examined, and a decision made, either accept and released, or reject and disposed of.

Subject 2 - Reinspection

PDF (43 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the regulations, policy and procedures governing the reinspection of fish and fish products.

2. Authorities

  • Fish Inspection Act. R.S.C., 1970, c. F-12; Part I Sections 3 and 5.
  • Fish Inspection Regulations. C.R.C., 1978, c. 802; Part I, General

Section 10 (FIR)
(1) Where a person interested in a decision of an inspector in respect of any inspection, grading, marking or other matter under Part I of the Act or these Regulations is not satisfied with a decision of an inspector, he may, by notice in writing, appeal the decision to the Minister who shall, subject to section 11, order a reinspection.

(2) Where a reinspection is made pursuant to subsection (1) and the Minister makes a decision as a result thereof, that decision shall be final.

Section 11 (FIR)
A reinspection shall not be ordered pursuant to section 10 where:

  1. the identity of the fish or containers of fish in dispute has not been preserved;
  2. the request for reinspection was not made within 30 days after the disputed inspection;
  3. the fish or containers of fish have in or upon them any poisonous or harmful substance; or
  4. the fish or containers of fish have been previously reinspected.

3. Policy

3.1 A reinspection of a lot will only be granted after:

  1. an initial inspection has been completed and official written notification of the results has been given to the owner of the goods or his/her agent; and
  2. a written request for a reinspection has been received from the owner or agent. Telexes are acceptable.

3.2 In most instances written appeals should be directed to the Inspection Manager or equivalent for decision. However, there may be circumstances (e.g., export at Canada-U.S. border), where a reinspection must be performed immediately; in such cases all Inspectors may act on behalf of the Minister and grant a reinspection.

3.3 The reinspection may be conducted in a fisheries administrative center other than that in which the initial inspection occurred, provided the owner meets the conditions detailed in the procedures.

3.4 The reinspection will normally be conducted by three Inspectors trained in the examination of the goods in question. The Inspectors must not have been involved in the initial inspection. The owner may waive, in writing, these requirements if he/she wishes to expedite the reinspection; however, the final decision regarding the number of Inspectors will be made by the Regional Director and will depend upon the resources available. The owner or agent shall be advised in writing of the decision.

4. Procedures

4.1 Where an initial inspection results in the failure of a lot of fish, the lot must be detained, if not already (Detention and Release, Chapter 2, Subject 3).

4.2 The owner/agent is notified of the results by the Fish Inspection Report (Appendix A or equivalent), indicating the reasons for rejection. At the same time the owner/agent is notified of his/her right to a reinspection by the Notification of Right to Reinspection (Appendix B).

4.3 The request for reinspection must be received from the owner/agent within 30 days. The 30 day period will commence the day the Inspector hand delivers the Fish Inspection Report or the date of receipt of the report when sent by registered mail.

4.4 Prior to reinspection, the owner/agent may do any or all of the following, provided the details of the intended work are outlined in the request for reinspection, approved by an inspector, and the work is monitored by an inspector:

  1. cull or rework the goods;
  2. remove suspect codes from the lot(s);
  3. request that a duplicate set of samples be withdrawn for private analysis;
  4. request that the lot be reinspected on a code by code or a lot basis.

Note: If the owner/agent wishes to have a duplicate set of samples withdrawn for private analysis this request must be made in writing. It must be explained to the owner that the samples are for analysis purposes only and are not to be sold or distributed. Results of any private analysis is for the owner's use only and will not have a bearing on the final decision of reinspection.

4.5 If the product has been rejected during export at the border, the operator of the transport carrier is to sign the Notice of Detention and be given a copy of the Fish Inspection Report or equivalent. If the owner/agent can be reached and is able to provide a written request to the inspector for reinspection at the border, one will be performed. In such cases many of the options available to the owner must be waived. If the owner of the fish cannot be reached or cannot provide a written request for reinspection, the product will be returned to the shipping source.

4.6 If the owner/agent requests the reinspection be conducted in a different inspection district, area, or region, he/she must meet the following conditions:

  1. provide a written request to change the location;
  2. agree in writing to bear all costs associated with the transportation of the samples; and
  3. ensure that product integrity can be maintained during transportation.

4.7 The owner and/or his/her agent (to a maximum of two persons) may attend the sampling and/or reinspection. During the reinspection they shall act strictly as observers and shall not hinder the Inspectors in any way. (They must refrain from discussing the samples or examination results until the reinspection has been completed).

4.8 The reinspection will be conducted by three Inspectors trained in the examination of the goods in question, as follows:

  1. One of the three Inspectors is appointed as team leader and spokesperson and is solely responsible for presenting the results of the reinspection to the owner/agent.
  2. Before the reinspection begins, the team leader shall brief the owner/agent, if present, on how the reinspection will be conducted.
  3. The team leader shall prepare the samples for reinspection, ensuring that each sample is clearly identified so that no confusion occurs when summarizing the individual reinspection reports.
  4. Prior to the commencement of the reinspection, the team leader shall review the procedures and methods to be followed by the reinspection team:
    • Each Inspector shall independently examine each sample and record the results on an individual reinspection report.
    • The Inspectors shall not discuss the reinspection during the actual examination; they may request clarification on specific points of procedure from the team leader.
    • The individual inspection reports of each team member shall not be given to the owner.
    • While preparing the summary report, the team leader may consult each Inspector on his/her individual reports.
    • The team leader shall communicate the results of the reinspection to the owner/agent and provide the completed Fish Inspection Report or equivalent.
    • All of the Inspectors will be present when the team leader presents the results.
    • If the owner/agent is not present at the reinspection, he/she may be informed by telephone of the results. The telephone call will be followed by the Fish Inspection Report, which is sent by registered mail or hand delivered to the owner or agent.
  5. The team leader will prepare a final report of the reinspection results, including all documents, for his/her supervisor.

Note: The inspection for defects such as parasite infestation, number of bones, and/or foreign material, may be performed by one member of the team.

5. Forms/Documents

  • Fish Inspection Report - Appendix A
  • Notification of Right to Reinspection - Appendix B
  • Flow Chart: "The Initial Inspection and Reinspection Process" - Appendix C.

Appendix A

Appendix B
Notification of Right to Reinspection

Dear Sir/Madam:

On (give dates), an inspection was completed on a lot of fish (or containers of fish) consisting of (describe the lot). The results indicate that this lot of fish does not comply with section 6(1)(a) of the Fish Inspection Regulations.

You are hereby notified that you have the right to appeal this decision, as provided in section 10(1) of the Fish Inspection Regulations. Should you decide to appeal the decision on this lot of fish, a written request should be made to this office within 30 days of the date of receipt of this letter. As well, you are hereby advised that you may:

  1. Cull or rework the fish or containers of fish;
  2. Request that a duplicate set of samples be withdrawn for private analysis;
  3. Request that the lot be reinspected on a code by code basis or on a lot basis;
  4. Have yourself and/or your agent (maximum of two persons) attend the sampling and/or reinspection;
  5. Request that the reinspection take place in a fisheries administrative center other than that in which the initial inspection occurred, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
    1. the request is made in writing;
    2. you indicate in the written request that you are willing to bear all costs associated with the transportation of the samples; and
    3. product integrity can be maintained during the transport of the samples.

Your intention to do any of the above must be indicated in the letter in which you request the reinspection.

A summary of the results will be provided to you upon completion of the reinspection.

Cull is defined as:

  • to remove defective units from the lot.

Rework is defined as:

  • to remove defects from the units in the lot, (e.g. candle or trim) or to reprocess the product such that the nature of the product is significantly changed.

Inspector

Appendix C
The Initial Inspection and Reinspection Process

Click on image for larger view
Flowchart - inspection process description. Description follows.

Description for The Initial Inspection and Reinspection Process

Flow chart documenting the process for inspection of fish products. Identify the lot, detain the lot, sample the lot, examine the lot and make decision. If accepted, lot released. If rejected, the lot is either disposed or detained for reinspection. Option to suspend the decision. Lot is detained. Offer accepted and conditions are met. Lot culled, reworked or reconditioned. Lot sampled, then examined and decision made, either accepted then released, or rejected, Reinspection then offered. If reinspection refused, lot rejected and disposed of. If reinspection accepted, lot may be culled or reworked. Lot sampled, examined, and a decision made, either accept and released, or reject and disposed of.

Subject 3 - Detention/Release

PDF (19 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the policy, procedures and regulations governing the detention and release of fish and fish products.

Note: This does not address seizure of product under Section 7 of the Fish Inspection Act (see Chapter 2, Subject 4).

2. Authorities

  • Fish Inspection Act. R.S.C., 1970, c. F-12; Part I, Fish and Fish Containers.
  • Fish Inspection Regulations. C.R.C., 1978, c. 802; Part I, General.

Section 8(FIR)

(1) For the purpose of preserving the identity of any fish, an inspector may detain the fish by attaching to any of the fish or any container thereof a numbered tag upon which shall be clearly written

  1. the word "held";
  2. an identification number;
  3. a brief description of the lot detained;
  4. the date; and
  5. the signature of the inspector.

(2) Where any fish is detained pursuant to subsection (1), the inspector shall deliver or mail to the owner or his agent a duly completed notice of detention.

(3) Where any fish is detained pursuant to subsection (1) on premises owned by a person who is not the owner of the fish, a copy of the notice of detention shall be delivered or mailed to that person.

(4) No person shall alter, deface or remove a tag attached to any fish or container thereof pursuant to subsection (1) or move, sell or dispose of any such fish or container thereof unless he has obtained a release from an inspector.

(4.1) Notwithstanding subsection (4), where it is necessary for any fish or container thereof referred to in that subsection to be moved from one warehouse to another, or the owner of the fish or container or his agent has made a reasonable request for the fish or container to be moved under detention, an inspector may permit such fish or container thereof to be moved accordingly.

(5) Where an inspector is satisfied that any fish detained pursuant to subsection (1) meets the requirements of these Regulations, he shall prepare a notice of release and deliver or mail one copy thereof to the owner of the fish or his agent and one copy to the person, if any, on whose premises the fish was found.

3. Policy

3.1 The Fish Inspection Regulations gives an inspector the authority to detain fish in order to preserve the identity of that fish.

3.2 Fish or fish products must be detained when a suspended inspection is offered, when the fish or fish product fails an initial inspection or when the fish product is on the Mandatory Inspection List (MIL). The inspector also has the option of detaining any lot of fish until an inspection is completed and the disposition of the lot decided.

3.3 Fish under detention remains under the control of the owner, although he/she cannot move the fish unless approval is given by the inspector.

3.4 A request for authorization to move fish under detention must be made in writing by completing the "Request for Movement of Fish Under Detention" (Appendix D).

3.5 Fish will remain under detention until all deficiencies have been corrected and the fish complies with the regulatory requirements, or the fish has been disposed of in a manner acceptable to the CFIA or, in the case of imports, the fish product is removed from Canada.

3.6 When fish under detention has been dealt with so that it meets the regulatory requirements, it will be released.

3.7 There are no specified time limits for detention in the Fish Inspection Regulations, meaning that fish can be detained indefinitely. However, the initial inspection and reinspection processes must be implemented as soon as possible once the fish has been detained. Fish and fish products which do not comply with the regulations and have failed both initial inspection and reinspection, will be disposed of in a manner acceptable to the CFIA or, in the case of imports, removed from Canada (lots not in compliance with the labelling regulations will be detained until the labels have been corrected). The owner/agent shall have a maximum of 45 days following notification that the product has been rejected to take action. If the owner/agent fails to take action within the 45 days, the detained fish shall be seized (Seizure and Forfeiture, Chapter 2, Subject 4) and legal proceedings initiated.

3.8 In certain instances, long term detention of fish can occur (e.g., detention for minor can defects which will be re-canned at a later date). In such cases the location and disposition of the detained lot must be verified every 4 weeks.

Note: Inspectors are reminded that all Fish Inspection Act violations are summary conviction offences for which the limitation period is 6 months. Therefore, legal action must be initiated within 6 months of the date of the alleged offence.

4. Procedures

4.1 The fish to be detained must be identified as to species, size of lot, type of pack, markings and codings, if applicable, and location.

4.2 Fish should be detained on a lot basis. More than one lot of fish can be detained on the same Notice of Detention (Appendix B, with instructions) provided the lots contain the same species, the same type of pack and the same brand. A single detention notice should not be used to detain a mixture of product consisting of various brands, pack sizes and species.

4.3 A Held Tag (Appendix A, with instructions) must be secured to any fish or containers thereof in a conspicuous place that will be clearly visible to any person examining the lot. It is preferable that one held tag be used. In cases where the lot is very large and is spread over a large area, more than one held tag may be used to ensure that the identity of the lot is maintained. In such cases, the held tags should bear the same number. The location of the held tag should be recorded in the inspector's note book and pointed out to the company official signing the Notice of Detention.

If a lot is broken into two or more portions and stored in several areas of a warehouse or cold storage, the inspector should try to have the entire lot stored in one area prior to detaining.

4.4 The Notice of Detention must be signed by a person with the proper authority (see Definitions). If the owner of the fish or the owner of the premises where the fish is stored is not available, the notice is to be signed by the person responsible for the storage of the product. If the company official refuses to sign, it must be noted on the Notice of Detention. If the company official refuses to accept the Notice of Detention, it is to be mailed to the owner/agent via registered mail.

4.5 The distribution of the Notice of Detention is as follows:

  1. Original - to the owner of the fish
  2. Copy 1 - to the owner of the premises where the fish is stored
  3. Copy 2 - to the district file
  4. Copy 3 - to the inspector's file.

4.6 Where the owner finds it necessary to move fish under detention, he/she shall request authorization by completing the "Request for Permission to Move Fish Under Detention" (Appendix D).

Authorization is granted by the inspector by completing the bottom portion of the form and forwarding a copy to the requesting company.

4.7 When detained product is moved between districts or regions, copies of the Notice of Detention, inspection reports supporting the detention, the Request for Permission to Move Fish Under Detention, the anticipated time of arrival and any other relevant information must be forwarded to the receiving district or regional office.

4.8 When fish under detention has had all deficiencies corrected, has been disposed of, or has been returned to the country of origin, the inspector will prepare a Notice of Release (Appendix C, with instructions).

4.9 When a portion of a lot of fish under detention complies with the regulations, that portion of the lot shall be released as above. The remainder of the lot not complying with the regulations will remain detained under the same Detention Notice.

4.10 The distribution of the copies of the Notice of Release is the same as for the Notice of Detention.

5. Forms/Documents

  • Held Tag - Appendix A
  • Notice of Detention - Appendix B
  • Notice of Release - Appendix C
  • Request for Permission to Move Fish Under Detention - Appendix D

Appendix A
Held Tag

Instructions for Completing the Held Tag

  1. Product Description: species and product form (additional information to be written on the back of tag).
  2. Lot Size: weight, number of cartons, number of cans, etc.
  3. Marks: markings on cartons/shipping cartons which will identify the lot, such as codes, port marks, brand name, distribution/packer name, registration number.
  4. Date-Place: date of detention, place of detention.

Appendix B
Notice of Detention

Instructions for Completing the Notice of Detention

  1. The office of the inspector issuing the notice.
  2. Date of detention.
  3. The owner of the product.
  4. Address of the owner of the product.
  5. Location of the detained lot.
  6. In the case of imported product specify the country of origin and if possible, the foreign producer.
    In the case of fresh water fish products specify the lake or plant.
    In the case of shellfish specify the area of harvest. For all other domestic fish products specify the processor.
  7. "for the purpose of preserving the identity"
  8. Held tag number.
  9. Detailed description of the lot. If samples are taken, the number and weight should be indicated here.
  10. Signature of owner or agent.
  11. Signature of inspector.

Appendix C
Notice of Release

Instructions for Completing the Notice of Release

  1. The office of the inspector issuing the notice.
  2. Date of release.
  3. The owner of the product.
  4. Address of the owner of the product.
  5. Entire detained shipment (indicated by weight or number).
  6. Species and form of detained product.
  7. Date of Detention.
  8. A detailed description of the fish being released. Should include species, form, weight, number of cartons, codes, port marks, etc. If only a portion of the lot is released, this must be stated indicating how much remains under detention. If any product is destroyed it must be indicated in this section.
  9. Held tag number.
  10. Signature of inspector.

Appendix D
Request for Permission to Move Fish Under Detention

Date: space

Request made by: space

Description of lot of Fish: space

Date Detained: space

Held Tag Number: space

Detaining Inspector: space

Location of the Fish: space

I request permission to move the fish noted above:

Reason: space

Location Change: space

Date of Move: space

Method of Movement: space

Signature: space

To: space

Request Granted: space

Request Denied: space

Fish under Held Tag Number space will be moved on space

from space to space subject to the following conditions:

space

space
Inspector

Subject 4 - Seizure and Forfeiture of Fish Products

PDF (14 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the policy and procedures governing the seizure and forfeiture of fish, fish products and containers.

Note: This document does not cover the detention of product which is covered under Section 8 of the Fish Inspection Regulations, and outlined in Chapter 2, Subject 3 of this manual.

2. Authorities

  • Fish Inspection Act, R.S.C., 1970, c. F-12: Section 7

Section 7

(1) An inspector may seize all fish, containers and other things by means of or in relation to which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that an offence against this Part or any regulation made under it has been committed.

(2) A thing seized under this Act, or the proceeds realized from its disposition, shall not be detained after

  1. an inspector determines that this Act and the regulations have been complied with in relation to the thing, or
  2. the expiration of one hundred and eighty days after the day of its seizure, or such longer period as may be prescribed, unless before that time proceedings are instituted in relation to the thing seized, in which case it may be detained until the proceedings are finally concluded.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence against this Part or any regulation made thereunder, in addition to any punishment imposed, the fish and containers by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed are, on the conviction, forfeited to Her Majesty and may be disposed of as the Minister may direct.

3. Policy

3.1 a) Seizure is employed where an Inspector, on reasonable grounds, believes that an offence has been committed against Part I of the Act or any regulation thereunder. The fish and containers involved in the offence are seized to prevent their shipment, movement, or disposal.

b) Seizure is only employed as a last resort in those circumstances where an inspector believes that a detention could be, or has been, violated.

3.2 Following seizure action, every effort must be made to remove all seized fish, fish products, and containers to a secure storage location as soon as possible. All costs for removal and storage are to be borne by the CFIA. The Crown can request that removal and storage costs be considered by the Court when any fine is levied.

3.3 Although the Fish Inspection Act does not provide the authority to sell seized goods and to retain the proceeds of the sale, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings, nothing precludes an understanding between Crown Counsel and Defence Counsel as to the disposal of the seized goods at an agreed upon price. The monies generated from such sales could be placed in escrow.

Inspectors are reminded that a person charged with any offence is considered innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, any product seized must be maintained in the best possible conditions in order to mitigate any losses in product quality. All costs incurred from the point of seizure are borne by the CFIA.

Seized product determined to be tainted, decomposed or unwholesome by the initial inspection and reinspection procedures will not be further processed and is to be disposed of by the CFIA. Seized product that can be stored, will be, until the completion of the trial.

3.4 Section 7(3) of the Fish Inspection Act demands the automatic forfeiture of all seized goods where the accused is found guilty. Inspectors must ensure that the Crown Counsel is aware of the forfeiture requirements.

3.5 Only the Minister can decide the eventual disposition of all seized and forfeited fish and containers, as per Section 7(3) of the Act. In cases where decisions on the disposition of forfeited fish, fish products and containers are required, Regional Directors are to prepare a Memorandum to the Minister via the Executive Director.

4. Procedures

4.1 Pursuant to Section 7 of the Fish Inspection Act, an inspector shall seize fish, fish products and containers by completing the "CFIA Fish Inspection Seized Good Receipt" (Appendix A) and advising the owner of the goods or the agent controlling the goods that the inspector has grounds to believe that an offence (specify the offence) has been committed.

A receipt must be issued at the time of seizure for all goods seized.

4.2 If an owner wishes to regain control of the goods following seizure, this may be done through a court hearing. In permitting such an action, the court will require a bond be posted for the value of the goods pending a court decision. Where such an action would not be in the public's interest (i.e., health and safety concerns), Crown Counsel can put forth arguments to this effect and request the action be refused.

4.3 Section 7(2) of the Act allows for a 180 day period of seizure commencing the day following the seizure action during which time legal proceedings must be initiated. If legal proceedings are not initiated within this two month time frame, the seizure becomes null and void and the fish and containers must then be returned to the owner or agent originally having control over the fish and containers.

Once legal proceedings have commenced, the seizure remains in effect until a court decision is reached. If it is determined that legal proceedings will not be undertaken, the seized goods must be released immediately; an inspector must not wait for the two months to lapse.

Legal proceedings begin when the inspector lays an information before the Justice of the Peace outlining the offence that has been committed and for which the fish is seized. This action is completed in conjunction with Crown Counsel and the Department of Justice.

4.4 If the owner or agent having control over the fish being seized obstructs, impedes, or refuses to admit an inspector seizing fish, fish products and containers pursuant to Part I of the Fish Inspection Act and any regulation made thereunder, this person is liable to prosecution for obstruction pursuant to section 4(2) of the Fish Inspection Act.

Procedures for the secure storage and transportation for seized fish products is the responsibility of the Regional Director.

4.5 To ensure compliance with section 7(3) of the Fish Inspection Act, the inspector must remind Crown Counsel of the forfeiture requirements of the section. During the court proceedings evidence must be produced as to the description, quantity and record of seizure of the seized goods in order for the Court to order forfeiture.

4.6 Upon conviction of the accused and Court ordered forfeiture of the fish and containers, inspectors shall instruct their prosecuting attorneys to complete an Order of Forfeiture Form (Appendix B) for the Provincial Court Judge's signature. In this way, the CFIA has legal proof that it is now the true owner of all seized and forfeited fish and containers.

4.7 Once the seized goods are forfeited to the Crown, only the Minister or a person designated by the Minister may decide the disposition of the goods.

Upon receipt of the completed "Prosecutor's Information and Return Form" at the Regional Office, the Regional Director is to prepare, for review by the Executive Director, a Memorandum to the Minister or person designated to handle such matters outlining the following:

  • the charge(s) laid
  • history of offence
  • penalties levied
  • quantities of fish forfeited and their value; and
  • recommendations to the Minister regarding disposition of the forfeited lots of fish.

5. Forms/Documents

  • Seized Goods Receipt - Appendix A
  • Order of Forfeiture - Appendix B

Appendix A
Seized Goods Receipt

The following Seized Goods Receipt can be reproduced locally on Agency letterhead, and is to be given to owners and agents of seized fish at the time of seizure.

CFIA Fish Inspection Seized Goods Receipt

Date of Seizure: space

Place of Seizure: space

Seized from: space

Lot Description: Complete description of lot seized space

The goods described above have been seized in relation to the following offence:

space

space
Signature of Inspector Making Seizure

Appendix B
Order of Forfeiture

Subject 6 - Cost Recovery for Domestic Product Inspection/Certification

PDF (16 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the regulations, policy and procedures governing cost recovery for the certification of domestic fish and fish products and other related Inspection services.

2. Authorities

  • Fish Inspection Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-12
  • Fish Inspection Regulations (FIR), C.R.C., 1978, c. 802; Section 6.5, Section 9, Section 10
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice

3. Policy

3.1 The provisions of the domestic cost-recovery system apply to fish and fish products destined for human consumption that are processed in a federally registered establishment.

3.1.1 There shall be no fees levied for all or part of any facility or product inspection performed under the audit function of the Quality Management Program.

3.2 Product Certification

3.2.1 A fee is to be levied for all certificates issued by the CFIA for products processed by a federally registered establishment. The amount of the fee depends upon:

  1. whether a "physical" inspection of the product is conducted; and/or
  2. whether a certificate is provided on the basis of an evaluation of the establishment's QMP and a record check of the product.

3.2.2 If a person requests an inspection certificate and an inspection is conducted, the fee will be levied even if the applicant later requests that a certificate not be issued.

3.2.3 All decisions regarding whether an inspection is to be performed shall be in accordance with Chapter 3 of the Facilities Inspection Manual.

3.2.4 The inspection service fees for certificates are found in the CFIA Fees Notice.

3.2.5 The maximum amount of inspection service fees for certificates paid by any one person in a calendar year shall not exceed $10,000.

3.2.6 If an inspector needs to issue a new certificate in order to amend or correct a previously issued certificate, as a result of omissions or oversights by the CFIA, there shall not be any additional charges to the applicant.

3.2.7 A Broker/Wholesaler who requests certification of product prior to the product being exported shall be assessed fees in the following manner:

  1. when requesting a certificate for one or more lots of fish which have been previously certified (sometimes referred to as a "Master Certificate"), a fee of $25 will be levied provided the original certificate(s) is valid. This is irrespective of which region issued the original certificate(s).

    In accordance with paragraphs 3.1 and 3.6 of Chapter 10 of this manual, an inspector shall inspect the products to be certified if there is reason to believe that the fish/fish products have deteriorated or do not meet the conditions of the original certificate. In this case the products shall be inspected before the master certificate is issued and a fee of $100.00 will be charged;

  2. when requesting a certificate for one or more lots of fish which have not previously been certified from one federally registered establishment located in the same region as the broker, the fee will be in accordance with section 3.2.1 (i.e., on the basis of the QMP rating);
  3. when requesting a certificate for one or more lots of fish which have not been previously certified from more than one federally registered establishment, a fee of $100 will be levied as an inspection of the product will be mandatory.

3.2.8 Fees shall be assessed in the following manner for non-registered exporters of live fish operating under approved protocols who request certification of product prior to the product being exported:

  1. when a "record" check only is necessary, a fee of $25 will be levied;
  2. when an inspection of the product is conducted, a fee of $100 will be levied, provided the exporter is in compliance with a signed certification protocol; or
  3. when a live fish exporter is not operating under a protocol for certification purposes, the fee levied will be $100 for each certificate.

3.2.9 When one lot of fish requires more than one type of certificate, the fees associated with that lot of fish shall be levied in the following manner:

  1. if the particular lot of fish requires an inspection, the fee for the first certificate will be $100 and the subsequent additional certificates will be at a rate of $25 per certificate; or
  2. if a particular lot of fish does not require an inspection, the fee for each certificate will be $25.

3.2.10 For all product originating from a non-registered establishment not operating under a live fish protocol, an inspection shall be performed prior to issuing a certificate with the appropriate fee levied ($100).

3.2.11 When chemical and/or microbiological evaluations must be performed on fish to meet the importing country's requirements (as listed in Chapter 10 of this manual), no additional fees will be charged for these inspections.

In cases where the foreign country requirements have changed and the information in Chapter 10 is out-of-date or when the requirements are not found in this manual, the fees for chemical and/or microbiological evaluations will be waived. Exporters should obtain documents from authorities in the importing country that outline these requirements. NHQ should be advised immediately of these changes.

3.2.12 When chemical and/or microbiological evaluations are performed at the request of the exporter for any reasons other than those listed in 3.2.11 above, they will be considered to be a requested product inspection and will be fully cost recoverable as described in 4.2.

4. Procedures

4.1 Product Certification

4.1.1 Upon written request, industry members may be supplied with adequate product certificates for their use. If corresponding certificate numbers are assigned to the certificates, a system for inventory and verification must be in place to ensure proper use and control of certificates. Whenever a subsequent request for additional certificates is received, a record check is performed to review outstanding certificates under the control of the applicant.

4.1.2 When a written request for product certification is received, all procedures as outlined in Chapter 10 of this manual are to be followed.

4.1.3 When the QMP and record check indicate that no inspection is required, or when the required inspection is completed, the certificate is signed, sealed and issued to the consignor.

4.1.4 All pertinent information including "the results of an inspection", when an inspection has been performed, shall be entered into the appropriate national database.

4.1.5 Certificates issued for live fish under an approved protocol will be signed and sealed prior to issuance as per the protocol.

4.1.6 When the inspection of the product is complete (if needed) and the certificate issued, a "Record of Transaction" (Appendix A) must be produced.

4.1.7 All processors/exporters who have invoices outstanding for 60 days will be identified by the Accounts Receivable Centre. All processors/exporters so identified shall be given a written "warning" indicating that fees are outstanding and that if payment in full is not submitted within 30 days, Section 17(1)(e) of the FIR will be invoked (i.e., registration suspended). The Accounts Receivable Centre should be consulted for details.

4.2 Requested Product Inspections

4.2.1 Where a request for a product inspection is received from a QMP Importer for a test listed in the CFIA Fees Notice, the testing should be conducted. Where a request for product inspection of fish and/or fish products is received from a non-QMPI owner/interested party, or for tests which are not listed in the CFIA Fees Notice, the testing will be conducted at the discretion of the laboratory.

4.2.2 The "Request for an Inspection of Fish or for a Fish Processing Facility" (Appendix B) shall be used by anyone requesting a product inspection. The form is to be forwarded to a CFIA office with the samples. The CFIA is not responsible for conducting the sampling for requested product inspection testing.

4.2.3 The minimum fee payable for any requested inspection shall be of the amount stated in the CFIA Fees Notice. This includes any fish and/or fish products offered for requested inspection containing a sample size less than the amount stated in the CFIA Fees Notice.

4.2.4 For requested inspections, laboratories assume the role of a third-party service provider and service standards do not apply. Regular inspection work should take priority over requested tests. For QMP or QMPI it is assumed that the company requesting the test is responsible for application of the associated standard, so the test results should be reported in a manner that does not render a Pass/Fail inspection decision. Laboratory inspections should be reported to QMP importers on a Laboratory Inspection Report and not on a Fish Inspection Report.

4.2.5 In circumstances where there is a health and safety concern identified based on the test results, the CFIA should discontinue the third-party role and ensure that the products are not distributed or that any necessary recall actions are initiated.

4.2.6 Any requested product inspections shall be performed based upon the presentation of the product for inspection by the applicant. It shall be the applicant's decision on how the lot will be presented.

4.2.7 Once the product has been inspected, fees will be billed on a monthly basis.

4.2.8 Requested inspections will be billed using a "Record of Transaction" form (Appendix A) produced by Accounts Receivable of CFIA.

5. Forms/Documents

  • Appendix A - Record of Transaction
  • Appendix B - Request for an Inspection of Fish or for a Fish Processing Facility

Appendix A
Record of Transaction

Appendix B
Request for an Inspection of Fish or for a Fish Processing Facility

Subject 7 - Permit Policy

PDF (63 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the policy governing the issuance of permits for fish processing establishments and fish and fish products.

2. Authorities

  • Fish Inspection Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. F-12
  • Fish Inspection Regulations (FIR) C.R.C., Chapter 802, Part I

Section 18.(1) (FIR)

Despite anything in these Regulations and subject to subsection (2), the President of the Agency may, on receiving an application, issue a permit to allow, during the period stated in the permit,

  1. the production or marketing of experimental or test products;
  2. the reworking, reconditioning, processing, culling or salvaging of fish at a registered establishment to enable the fish to meet the applicable requirements of the Act or these Regulations;
  3. the construction or utilization of processing and support areas that do not comply with the Act or these Regulations;
  4. equipment that is used in a vessel or an establishment constructed before the coming into force of this section that does not comply with the Act or these Regulations to continue to be used or to operate;
  5. the marketing, possession, use or disposal of tainted, decomposed or unwholesome fish not intended for human consumption;
  6. the re-use of containers or the use of labels that do not meet the applicable requirements of these Regulations;
  7. the labelling of products to accommodate particular cultural communities in Canada;
  8. the importing, exporting or marketing of fish for charitable purposes, international events or national festivities, if the lot size is less than 1 000 kg;
  9. the production and supply of food in a national emergency or for international aid; or
  10. the exporting to another country of fish or containers that do not meet the applicable requirements of the Act or these Regulations.

Section 18.(2) (FIR)

The President of the Agency may on reasonable grounds refuse to issue a permit if, in the President's opinion, the issuance of the permit

  1. would result in a risk to public health or safety or otherwise diminish consumer protection;
  2. may result in the marketing to consumers of fish that does not comply with subsection 6.(1) or section 27 or the requirements of other countries; or
  3. may damage the reputation of Canada's fish processing industry.

Section 18.(3) (FIR)

The President of the Agency may revoke or refuse to issue a permit if

  1. the President has reasonable grounds to believe that the holder of the permit or the applicant has provided false information to the President for the purpose of obtaining the permit; or
  2. the holder of the permit or the applicant has contravened a condition of the permit or a provision of the Act or these Regulations.

Section 18.1 (FIR)

The President of the Agency may, from time to time, attach any conditions to a registration certificate, licence or permit issued under these Regulations if the President is satisfied that those conditions are necessary to ensure that the import or export of fish complies with these Regulations.

3. Definitions

Experimental product
a fish product that is subject to scientific or technological experiments, is imported or exported for experimental purposes only, and is not distributed in any form to the public. (Note: if a processor or importer decides to distribute the final product to the public, the product loses its "experimental product" status and becomes a "test market" product, provided the test market criteria are met.)
Fish for scientific purposes
fish that is used by research centres, universities, etc., in their experiments and studies, and which is not intended for human consumption.
Permit
a permit issued under Section 18.(1) of the Fish Inspection Regulations. (See Section 4.1 for those instances when permits are not required.)
Product for personal use
a product that is not sold or traded for items or services of value, and that is not distributed in any form (e.g., samples) to the public (which includes exemptions for demonstration purposes).
Speciality food
a food for special religious ceremonies, or an imported food that is not widely used by the population as a whole in Canada, and for which there is no substitute food processed in Canada (e.g., ethnic food).
Test product
a fish product that is new to the Canadian market with respect to its composition, function, state or packaging form and is processed, imported, or exported for evaluation of market access.

4. Guidelines for Issuance

4.1 Instances for which permits are not required:

  • For fish products for "personal use", "experimental products" and "fish for scientific purposes" as defined in Section 3 of this document, as these products are not subject to the Fish Inspection Regulations.
  • For production of test products at non-federally registered facilities and sold within the province where they were processed as these products are not subject to the Fish Inspection Regulations (permits may still be required by Section B.01.012 of the Food and Drug Regulations or by provincial regulations).
  • For the use of labels that do not fully comply with Canadian requirements due to minor non-compliance(s) (e.g., spelling errors, letters smaller than required, minor errors in translation, etc.). The conditions and corrective actions required to bring the label into compliance as outlined in a Label Evaluation Report will serve in lieu of a permit.
  • To conduct reworking, reconditioning, processing, culling or salvage of fish in a federally registered establishment in conjunction with QMP activities so long as the fish have not been rejected by an Inspector. A corrective action process must be applied as outlined in the plant's Quality Management Program (QMP).
  • For the disposal of rejected fish, provided the disposal is carried out in accordance with procedures outlined in a QMP or QMP for Importers (QMPI) plan. In the case of fish import "basic" licence holders, the procedures outlined in Chapter 3, Subject 1 of the Fish Products Inspection Manual must be followed.
  • For the sale of rejected fish for use other than for human consumption. The Detention and Release procedures for rejected fish are outlined in Chapter 2, Subject 3 of the Fish Products Inspection Manual.
  • For labelling of fish products for cultural/ethnic communities in Canada. These products are defined as "speciality foods" (see Definitions), and the requirements for their labelling are specified in Section B.01.012 of the Food and Drug Regulations.

4.2 Instances for which permits may be issued:

  • For the production of experimental and test products in a non-registered facility, where the products are exported.
  • To conduct reworking, reconditioning, processing, culling or salvage of fish that has been inspected and rejected by an inspector.
  • For the construction or utilisation in facilities of processing and support areas that do not comply with the Fish Inspection Act or Regulations.
  • For equipment that is used on a vessel or in an establishment that does not comply with the Fish Inspection Act or Regulations, but that was constructed before the coming into force of section 18.(1) of the FIR in 1999.
  • For the marketing of test products with unilingual labels (English or French).
  • For the re-use of containers that are normally intended for one-time use.
  • For the use of labels that do not comply with the labelling requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations, and that are intended for use on fish products exported outside Canada.
  • For the import, export or marketing of fish for charitable purposes, international events or national festivities.
  • For the production and supply of food in a national emergency or for international aid.

5. Policy/Procedures

5.1 General Principals

5.1.1 Any person may apply for a permit provided that they are:

  1. a holder of a fish export or import licence;
  2. an operator of a registered establishment as defined under the Fish Inspection Regulations; or
  3. an operator of a non-registered establishment, provided that information is available to prove that foods are processed under sanitary conditions and that final products are safe and wholesome.

5.1.2 Permits may be issued by the President of the CFIA, or the authority may be delegated to the Regional Directors. For all permits related to processing and marketing of test products, and the production and supply of food in a national emergency or for international aid, the National Manager, Product Inspection must approve the issuing of the permit, as per Section 5.3.2 of this policy. The Director, Fish, Seafood and Production Division is to be advised of all permits issued in these instances.

5.1.3 Activities and items that require permits are specified in Section 4.2 of this document. If required, conditions will be attached to the permit and will be the minimum requirements to be met in order to maintain the permit in good standing.

5.1.4 A permit will specify the period of time for which it is valid. This period may vary, and will be decided by the inspection office issuing the permit.

5.1.5 No permit will be issued when it is determined that issuing the permit would:

  1. result in a risk to public health or safety or otherwise diminish consumer protection; or
  2. result in the marketing of fish that does not comply with the Fish Inspection Regulations, Sections 6.(1), or 27;

5.1.6 Where conditions required by a permit are addressed by a QMP or QMPI Plan, a blanket permit may be issued, so that it would not be necessary to obtain an individual permit for each instance a permit is required (e.g., labels). The permit will become invalid if the processor's registration is revoked or suspended, or if the importer loses their QMPI importer status.

5.1.7 The permit must consist of a document with a unique permit number, reference to the appropriate Sub-section under Section 18 of the Fish Inspection Regulations and the signature of the issuer. It should also list any of the conditions identified in Sections 5.3.1 to 5.3.6 that are appropriate. A permit format that must be used is in Section 6.

5.2 Revocation of Permits

5.2.1 A permit may be revoked if:

  1. there are reasonable grounds to believe that the holder of the permit has given false or misleading information to the CFIA; or
  2. the permit holder is not in compliance with the conditions of the permit.

5.2.2 Inspectors shall detain products not in compliance with the conditions of the permit and shall initiate processes that will result in corrective actions or initiate a process to revoke the permit.

5.3 Issuance of permits

5.3.1 Production of test products in non-registered facilities

A permit for production of a test product in a non-registered facility may be issued by a Regional Director subject to the following conditions.

5.3.1.1 If the facility is primarily dedicated to research or product development (e.g., Universities, Technology Development Centres, Research Facilities, etc.).

5.3.1.2 The processing takes place under sanitary conditions and the final product is safe and wholesome.

5.3.1.3 Normally permits issued for test products are a one-time occurrence. However, where more than one experimental facility are developing products using similar processing method(s) and/or resulting in a product showing similar characteristics, a permit may be issued to more than one non-registered facility for the production of these similar products provided that the interval of time between the request from the first establishment and any subsequent requests from other establishments does not exceed 6 months.

5.3.2 Marketing of Test Products

The applicant must submit to the National Manager, Product Inspection, the following information:

  • a description of the product form;
  • the quantities of product to be marketed;
  • a product formulation;
  • the area(s) and a list of the stores or other locations where marketing will take place;
  • the approximate date when the marketing will commence;
  • any other relevant information, as requested by the CFIA.

A permit for marketing a test product provides an exemption only from bilingual labelling and standard container size requirements. It may be issued subject to the following conditions:

5.3.2.1 The requirements of Section B.01.012 of the Food and Drug Regulations are met.

5.3.2.2 The information submitted shows that the product is new to the Canadian market in regards to its composition, function, state or packaging form. (This information will be reviewed by NHQ; the Regional Director will be advised of the decision.)

5.3.3 Permits for non-compliant construction, non-compliant equipment and re-use of containers

To receive a permit for non-compliant construction, non-compliant equipment and re-use of containers, the processor must submit an application to the Regional Director and satisfy the conditions outlined below:

5.3.3.1 To obtain a permit for the use of non-compliant construction, the processor has in place a satisfactory mechanism or system that deals with the intent of the regulations and is documented in an accepted QMP plan. If the requirements of the regulations are not met, and no other satisfactory system is in place, the facility cannot obtain a permit or process for export.

5.3.3.2 To obtain a permit for the use of non-compliant equipment in an establishment, the processor must demonstrate that appropriate measures are in place which will ensure acceptable sanitation and the production of wholesome and safe products. The measures must be documented in an accepted QMP plan.

5.3.3.3 To obtain a permit for the re-use of containers, there is a system to ensure adequate cleaning, disinfection and sanitation and the system is documented in an accepted QMP plan.

5.3.4 Issuance of Permits for the Import, Export or Marketing of Fish for Charitable Purposes, International Events or National Festivities

The organisation applying for the permit must provide the Regional Director with a letter signed by a representative of the organisation containing all required information related to the event (where, when, approximate number of participants, and any other information requested by CFIA). The permit will be for the exemption of import licensing, import record keeping, product labelling and/or payment of fees pursuant to the CFIA Act and Fish Inspection Regulations. Normally permits for products for charitable purposes will only be issued for lots of less than 1 000 kg, but permits may be issued for larger lots provided the following conditions are met.

5.3.4.1 Where products are not appropriately labelled, all the mandatory information is available upon request. If intended for cooking and subsequent distribution to consumers, products are accompanied by a manifest which lists all ingredients in an intelligible manner, and adequate information on the proper method of handling, storage and preparation of the product.

5.3.4.2 The importer must provide a written statement verifying that the fish will not be used for personal and/or individual profit, and that any fish remaining from the event will be disposed of in an acceptable manner.

5.3.5 Issuance of Permits for the Production and Supply of Food in a National Emergency or for International Aid

An international emergency relief organisation may apply to the Regional Director for a permit to process, distribute, or export a product in emergency situations.

5.3.5.1 A permit for processing or importing food in a national emergency may be issued with the approval of the President.

5.3.6 Issuance of Permits for Export of Fish and Containers that do not comply with the Requirements of the Fish Inspection Act or Regulations

A permit for the purpose of exporting to another country, fish and containers that do not comply with Canadian requirements but that comply with the requirements of the importing country, may be issued by the Regional Director. These permits apply mostly to labelling; however, they may include other issues, such as the presence of additives in an amount exceeding the maximum levels permitted in Canada, or the use of a type of container unapproved in Canada. If the procedures that are applied to control these instances are included in the establishment's QMP plan, a one-time permit may be issued and will remain valid for an unlimited time, unless a compliance verification finds a lack of control by the processor. In the case of labels, a single permit may be issued for all labels subject to the documented controls if the conditions in this section as described below, and further described in the Label Inspection Policy and Procedures for Fish and Fish Products, are met:

5.3.6.1 The label is not false, misleading or deceptive.

5.3.6.2 The manufacturer is able to substantiate any claims or statements included on the label.

5.3.6.3 Labels contain the normal mandatory information such as name, ingredients, net content, manufacturer, and any descriptive terms such as storage instructions and expiry date (when required).

5.3.6.4 The exporter:

  1. in cases related to health and safety (e.g., non-permitted additives), submits to the inspection office the appropriate documentation from the competent authorities of the importing country confirmation that the label/product that is the subject of the permit, meets the importing country regulations; and
  2. in all other cases (e.g., quality designations, grades), has in their possession and available for audit, the related specification from the importing country authorities or from the buyer.

Note: In cases where the inspection office is aware of the requirements of the importing country, the exporter need not acquire the noted documentation.

5.3.6.5 The permit number is identified on the carton with the term "For Export to (name of the importing country)".

6. Format for Exemption Permit

Permit #

In accordance with Section 18, sub-section space of the Fish Inspection Regulations, this Permit is granted to: (Name, Address and, if applicable, Registration or Import License Number of company which applied for the permit).

This permit is granted subject to the following conditions:

space Processing in a non-registered facility takes place under sanitary conditions and the product is not tainted, decomposed or unwholesome, in accordance with the Fish Inspection Regulations.

space A maximum (quantity) of (product) is marketed in (test market area).

space A control system approved by an Inspector is identified in the processor's QMP and is effectively implemented for processing with non-compliant construction, equipment or containers.

space Product remaining after a charitable event or festival is disposed of in an acceptable manner.

space Master cartons are labelled with the statement "For export to (name of importing country)".

space A control system approved by an Inspector is identified in the processor's QMP and is effectively implemented for the development and control of labels which meet the requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations or are in compliance with conditions outlined on the permit.

space The local Inspection Office is notified in advance of any shipments under the permit.

space The permit number is shown on the label and on the documentation for the product shipped under the permit.

space The permit is valid until space.

Other than the conditions identified on this permit, all other requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations must be met.

Regional Director - Name:

Regional Director - Signature:

Inspector (who approved the request or prepared the permit) Name:

Inspector (who approved the request or prepared the permit) Signature:

Date of Issue

Subject 8 - Classification of Products Containing Meat and Fish

PDF (162 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the regulations, policies and procedures governing the inspection of foods containing both meat and fish ingredients.

2. Regulations

  • Fish Inspection Regulations, (C.R.C., c. 802)
  • Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (SOR/90-288)

3. Policy

3.1 A person may send an application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requesting exemption from either the Meat Inspection Regulations or Fish Inspection Regulations for a food containing meat and fish ingredients.

3.2 The application will be evaluated by the Fish, Seafood and Production Division and the Meat Programs Division to classify the food as either a fish product or a meat product.

3.3 Foods containing both meat and fish ingredients that are classified as a fish product will be exempt from the requirements of the Meat Inspection Regulations. Factors to classify the food as a fish product include, but are not limited to:

  • the proportion of the fish and meat ingredients;
  • description of the food;
  • common name;
  • level of processing applied to the components to manufacture the food; and
  • historical (commercial and/or public) recognition of the food as a fish product.

3.4 Foods containing both meat and fish ingredients that are classified as a meat product will be exempt from the requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations. Factors to classify the food as a meat product include, but are not limited to:

  • the proportion of the fish and meat ingredients;
  • description of the food;
  • common name;
  • level of processing applied to the components to manufacture the food; and
  • historical (commercial and/or public) recognition of the food as a meat product.

3.5 When a fish processing establishment processes a food containing both meat and fish ingredients that is classified as a fish product, the processor will be required to use meat ingredients that are ready to be incorporated into the final product. Processing of the meat ingredients will be limited to trimming or cutting boneless meat products (e.g., sliced bacon, bacon slabs, cooked ham, roast beef, chicken meat, etc.) to allow the processor to incorporate the meat into the product and any actions needed to assemble the final product. Other processes, including actions such as deboning, cooking or curing meat products will not be permitted.

Processes including, but not limited to cooking or breading, may be performed on the food in its final assembled form. Details on accepted processes can be found in the list of exempted products, which is available in the Fish and Seafood section of the CFIA Internet site.

3.6 When a meat processing establishment processes a food containing both meat and fish ingredients that is classified as a meat product, the processor will be required to use fish ingredients that are ready to be incorporated into the final product. Processing of the fish ingredients will be limited to trimming or cutting the fish meat (e.g., fillets, smoked fish fillets, fish pastes, shellfish meats, lobster/crab meat, peeled shrimp, etc.) to allow the processor to incorporate the fish into the product and any actions needed to assemble the final product. Other processes, including actions such as heading and eviscerating, filleting, shucking shellfish or shucking crustaceans will not be permitted.

Processes including but not limited to cooking or breading may be performed on the food in its final assembled form. Details on accepted processes can be found in the list of exempted products.

3.7 A fish establishment can process food containing meat and fish ingredients only if:

  • the food is commonly recognised as a fish product and is exempt from the Meat Inspection Regulations; and
  • the meat ingredients originate from an establishment registered under the Meat Inspection Regulations, or a foreign establishment eligible to export meat products to Canada.

3.8 A meat establishment can process food containing meat and fish ingredients only if:

  • the food is commonly recognised as a meat product and is exempt from the Fish Inspection Regulations; and
  • the fish ingredients originate from an establishment registered under the Fish Inspection Regulations, or were imported into Canada in compliance with the Fish Inspection Regulations.

3.9 Foods containing meat and fish ingredients that cannot be classified as either a fish product or a meat product following the conditions described in sections 3.3 and 3.4 above, must be processed and/or imported in accordance with both the Meat Inspection Regulations and Fish Inspection Regulations.

4. Procedures

4.1 Applications for exemption shall include a label of the product and, on the manufacturer's letterhead, the recipe indicating the percentage of every ingredient used as well as the method of preparation of the product. Detailed composition of any prepared meat or fish product ingredients must also be provided to assess the compatibility of the meat or fish product with the Canadian legislation related to the composition of the food. The request for exemption along with the relevant documents, shall be addressed to both the Director, Meat Programs Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Director, Fish Seafood and Production Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

4.2 Each application will be reviewed by a designated officer of the Meat Programs Division and the Fish, Seafood and Production Division to classify the food as either a meat product or a fish product.

4.3 A list of exempted products is available in the Fish and Seafood section of the CFIA Internet site.

4.4 The Regional Director will identify appropriate personnel to verify that a company that processes or imports an exempted product listed on the CFIA Internet Site is composed of acceptable ingredients as described in sections 4.5 and 4.6 below.

When a company wishes to process or import a food containing meat and fish ingredients that is not listed on the CFIA Internet Site, the representative of the company will be advised of the procedures identified in section 4.1 above.

4.5 A food containing meat and fish that is classified as a fish product will be inspected in accordance with the requirements identified under the Fish Inspection Regulations, and must comply with all applicable Canadian regulations, including, but not limited to the Food and Drug Regulations.

The importer of a food containing meat and fish recognised as a fish product must hold either a valid Fish Importers Licence or a valid Quality Management Program for Importers Licence. The importer must provide written notification of each shipment to the appropriate CFIA inspection office and each shipment will be subject to inspection in accordance with the policies and procedures described in Chapter 3 of the Fish Products Inspection Manual.

The importer must be able to demonstrate that the meat component of a food containing meat and fish that is recognized as a fish product can be legally imported into Canada. This means that the meat component must comply with the Meat Inspection Regulations and other applicable Canadian regulations, including but not limited to, the Health of Animals Regulations and the Food and Drug and Regulations. For example, the use of a meat ingredient that contains non-approved additives or that originates from a region restricted for animal health diseases will not be permitted.

In order to demonstrate that the meat ingredients comply with Canadian requirements, the importer must include the country and the establishment number where the animal was slaughtered, and the country and establishment number where the meat was processed with their written import notification form.

4.6 A food containing meat and fish that is classified as a meat product will be inspected in accordance with the requirements identified under the Meat Inspection Regulations, and must comply with all applicable Canadian regulations, including, but not limited to the Food and Drug Regulations.

The label and recipe of a meat product must be registered with the Meat Programs Division. For more information please consult Chapter 7 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures. The food will be subject to inspection in accordance with the policies and procedures described in Chapter 4 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures.

The importer of a food containing meat and fish recognized as a meat product must be able to demonstrate that the fish component can be legally imported into Canada. This means that the fish component must comply with the requirements described in applicable Canadian regulations, including but not limited to the Fish Inspection Regulations and the Food and Drug Regulations. For example, the use of a fish component such as raw shellfish (e.g., mussels, clams or oysters) that contains non-approved additives or that originates from non-approved sources will not be permitted. Imports will be subject to inspection in accordance with the policies and procedures described in Chapter 10 of the Manual of Procedures.

Subject 9 - Novel Food Compliance Policy

PDF (49 kb)

1. Scope

This document outlines the approach governing Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulatory compliance activities applicable to persons that sell, or advertise for sale, novel fish products intended for human consumption in Canada.

This policy complements established policies applicable to fish.

2. Regulations

  • Fish Inspection Act, R.S., c. F-12
  • Fish Inspection Regulations, C.R.C., c. 802
  • Food and Drugs Act, R.S., c. F-27
  • Food and Drug Regulations, C.R.C., c. 870

3. Definitions

The following definitions are taken from the Food and Drug Regulations, Division 28 and apply to this document.

Genetically modify
means to change the heritable traits of a plant, animal or microorganism by means of intentional manipulation.
Major change
means, in respect of a food, a change in the food that, based on the manufacturer's experience or generally accepted nutritional or food science theory, places the modified food outside the accepted limits of natural variations for that food with regard to
  1. the composition, structure or nutritional quality of the food or its generally recognized physiological effects;
  2. the manner in which the food is metabolized in the body; or
  3. the microbiological safety, the chemical safety or the safe use of the food
Novel food
means:
  1. a substance, including a microorganism, that does not have a history of safe use as a food;
  2. a food that has been manufactured, prepared, preserved or packaged by a process that
    1. has not been previously applied to that food, and
    2. causes the food to undergo a major change;
  3. a food that is derived from a plant, animal or microorganism that has been genetically modified such that:
    1. the plant, animal or microorganism exhibits characteristics that were not previously observed in that plant, animal or microorganism,
    2. the plant, animal or microorganism no longer exhibits characteristics that were previously observed in that plant, animal or microorganism,
    3. one or more characteristics of the plant, animal or microorganism no longer fall within the anticipated range for that plant, animal or microorganism.

4. Novel Food Compliance Policy

The CFIA will verify product compliance of novel fish and fish products through ongoing activities such as compliance verification, product inspection, surveys, etc.

5. Responsibilities

5.1 Regulatory Responsibilities

The regulatory responsibility for novel fish product safety is shared between Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Health Canada

Health Canada is responsible for:

  • establishing novel food regulatory requirements,
  • reviewing novel food pre-market notifications,
  • notifying the manufacturer or importer in writing of the notification review,
  • conducting novel food safety assessments, and
  • issuing a letter of no objection to the sale of the novel food, as required.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The CFIA is responsible for the monitoring of compliance with, and the enforcement of, legislative and regulatory requirements applicable to novel fish products at both the domestic and import levels.

5.2 Industry

Regulated parties are responsible for the safety of any product they manufacture, import or distribute.

6. Novel Food Regulatory Requirement

Manufacturers and importers are responsible to seek regulatory approval from Health Canada prior to offering or advertising a novel fish product for domestic sale. A novel fish product has received regulatory approval for domestic sale when the manufacturer or importer has received a letter of no objection to the sale of the novel food from Health Canada, the product meets the requirements outlined in the letter of no objection, and the product meets the provisions of all other applicable regulation (i.e., Fish Inspection Regulations, etc.).

Novel fish products for which the importer or manufacturer has not received a letter of no objection or has not met the conditions identified in the letter of no objection set out by Health Canada will not be considered in compliance, and will not be permitted for sale in Canada.

Novel foods that are not approved for sale in Canada can be exported from Canada in accordance with paragraph 18(1)(j) of the Fish Inspection Regulations concerning exemption permits.

7. Appendices

Appendix A
Contact Information for Health Canada

Manufacturers or importers can contact or submit notifications to Health Canada at the following address:

Novel Food Notification
Food Program
Food Directorate
Health Canada
4th Floor West
Sir Frederick G. Banting Research Centre
Tunney's Pasture, PL 2204A1
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L2

Further information on safety assessment guidelines and novel food decisions is available on the Health Canada web site.

Date modified: