Chapter 11 – Export
11.5 Meat Products Exported and Returned

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Legislative authority

Meat Inspection Act (MIA)

Subsection 9

  • (1) states that no person shall import a meat product into Canada unless
    1. at the time it was prepared for export, the country from which it originated and any country in which it was processed had meat inspection systems, those systems and the relevant establishments in those countries were approved in writing by the Minister before that time and the approvals were valid at that time;
    2. that person provides an inspector with evidence satisfactory to the Minister that it meets the prescribed standards for imported meat products;
    3. it meets the prescribed standards for imported meat products; and
    4. it is packaged and labelled in the manner prescribed.
  • (2) states that every person who imports a meat product into Canada shall, as soon as possible, deliver it, in its imported condition, to a registered establishment for inspection by an inspector.
  • (3) No person shall have in his possession an imported meat product that the person knows
    1. has been imported into Canada in contravention of subsection (1); or
    2. has not been delivered to a registered establishment for inspection as required by subsection (2).

Section 7

States that no person shall export a meat product out of Canada unless:

  1. it was prepared or stored in a registered establishment that was operated in accordance with this Act and the regulations;
  2. that person provides an inspector with evidence satisfactory to the Minister that the meat product meets the requirements of the country to which it is being exported; and
  3. that person obtains a certificate from an inspector authorizing the export of that meat product.

Subsection 18

  • (1) states that where an inspector believes on reasonable grounds that any meat product is being or has been imported into Canada in contravention of this Act or the regulations, the inspector may, whether or not the inspector seizes the meat product pursuant to section 15, require the importer to remove it from Canada by giving the importer a notice for its removal delivered to the importer personally or sent by registered mail to the importer's business address in Canada.
  • (2) Where any meat product is not removed from Canada within a period of ninety days after a notice for its removal was delivered or sent to the importer under subsection (1), or within such longer period after the delivery or sending of the notice as may be authorized by the Minister, it shall, notwithstanding section 16, be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be disposed of, as the Minister may direct, at the expense of the importer.

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

"3. (4) Subsection 9

(1) of the Act does not apply in respect of a meat product that has been exported from Canada and is thereafter imported into Canada in the state in which it was exported."

"122.2 No person shall return or have returned to Canada a meat product that was exported from Canada unless the meat product is

  1. authorized for return by an inspector;
  2. delivered to a registered establishment that has the required facilities for a reinspection; and
  3. reinspected by an inspector."

Health of Animals Act

Subsection 18

  • (1) states that where an inspector or officer believes on reasonable grounds that an animal or thing has been imported into Canada and that it
    1. was imported in contravention of this Act or the regulations,
    2. is or could be affected or contaminated by a disease or toxic substance, or
    3. is a vector, the inspector or officer may, whether or not the animal or thing is seized, require the owner or the person having the possession, care or control of the animal or thing to remove it from Canada.
  • (2) A requirement under subsection (1) shall be communicated by personal delivery of a notice to the person being required to remove the animal or thing or by sending the notice to the person, and the notice may specify the period within which and the manner in which the animal or thing is to be removed.
  • (3) An animal or thing that is required to be removed from Canada shall be deemed not to have been forfeited under section 17.
  • (4) Where the animal or thing is not removed from Canada as required under this section, it shall, notwithstanding section 45, be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be disposed of as the Minister may direct.

(1) Returned meat products exported from Canada

On occasion, meat products exported from Canada are returned by the importer or by the veterinary authorities of the importing country, or are even recalled by the exporter.

The following are the most frequent reasons for returned meat products:

  • the market conditions have changed;
  • the client's specifications were not met;
  • the importing country's requirements were not met.

The reasons for a return will be analyzed by the CFIA inspectors and the operator of the producing establishment, so that action can be taken to prevent the situation from happening again. The Director of the Food Import/Export Division and the Program Network Director for the relevant Area will need to receive the results of the analysis and be informed of the action taken in each case. The purpose of this approach is to make the inspection and certification procedures more effective.

The Area Program Network Director is responsible for coordinating the activities required for the return of meat products. Therefore, the Area Program Network Director's duties include distributing the documents to the inspector responsible for the producing establishment when the product is not returned to that establishment; tracking/checking returns to ensure that the applicable procedure is followed; ensuring that appropriate corrective action is taken when procedures are not followed; studying applications received in accordance with the applicable procedure; and verifying that appropriate follow-up on the returned shipments is carried out (product is inspected, analysis is performed, and appropriate corrective action is taken at the producing establishment; applicable documents are completed, gathered together and sent to the Director of FIED).

(2) Products shipped without an export certificate

It is important to note that section 11.5 of the MHMOP applies to shipments that were exported, i.e. that left the country after a duly issued export certificate had been obtained in accordance with paragraph 7(c) of the Meat Inspection Act.

  • An export certificate, form CFIA/ACIA 1454, must be signed by the competent authority and issued before the shipment leaves Canada. If the shipment leaves Canada without a duly signed export certificate upon departure, the export is considered illegal.
  • Under no circumstances will the CFIA sign an export certificate after a shipment has left Canada.

Under paragraph 122.2(a) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, no person shall return or have returned to Canada a meat product that was exported from Canada unless the meat product is authorized for return by an inspector.Footnote 3 Applications to return meat that was not exported as prescribed by the Act, including shipments done without a certificate, will not be authorized by an inspector.

All meat products returned to Canada that had been exported without an export certificate may therefore be seized and/or be the subject of a notice for removal from Canada (section 18 of the Meat Inspection Act or section 18 of the Health of Animals Act). In the event that the products are considered illegal imports under the Health of Animals Act, the products may be forfeited. For the return of illegal shipments, the CFIA will not issue export certificates.

(3) Procedure for Canadian meat products returning to Canada

  • (a) Products returned from the United States
    • See section 11.7.3 (7), United States.
  • (b) Products returned from countries other than the United States

No meat product may be returned to Canada from a country other than the United States unless prior authorization is received from the Director of FIED and the Director of the Animal Health Import/Export Division.

Returns will be authorized only for meat products in their original sealed, clean and undamaged containers bearing the prescribed meat inspection legend.

Before returning the meat products to Canada, the applicant must complete Annexes B, B-1 (section A) and B-2 and submit them along with the original export certificate to the Director of FIED through the Program Network Director for the Area where the product must be presented for inspection by the CFIA. The decision reached by FIED on the application will be sent to the applicant through the Area Program Network Director's office. The Area Program Network Director will forward a copy of the authorization form to the Import Service Centre at the port of landing. The applicant is responsible for forwarding a copy of the authorization form to the customs broker. Annex B-3 sets out the details concerning the application procedure and the distribution of the documentation.

  1. Procedure at the Import Service Centre where the product is to arrive in Canada

    Upon the arrival of a returned product of Canadian origin, the first step is to determine whether its return to Canada has been authorized. (The application must be processed in accordance with Annex J-2 – United States.)

  2. Procedure at port of landing

    The shipment must be detained, in accordance with the Area Program Network Director's instructions, and/or sent to the registered establishment indicated on the authorization form (Annex B-1).

  3. Procedure at the inspection establishment

    The inspector must ensure that the shipment matches the description on the accompanying certificate and the relevant authorization documents. The original form CFIA/ACIA 1454 must be provided. If that has not been done, the Area Program Network Director must be contacted.

Only meat products in their original sealed, clean and undamaged containers bearing the meat inspection legend are considered acceptable.

An inspection of the shipment shall be carried out and when concluded form CFIA/ACIA 2367 as shown in Annex K of introduction, is to be completed and sent to the APND. The shipment shall be kept under detention until inspection is completed regardless of the reason for the return. The degree of inspection is left to the judgement of the Inspector and will depend on the reasons for the return (see 4.9.4.).

The APND will review the documentation, ensure that it contains all the pertinent documents (CFIA/ACIA 1454, CFIA/ACIA 2367, Annex B, Annex B-1 and Annex B-2, the letter from the Operator of the producing establishment indicating corrective action taken and a detailed inspection report as applicable) and will ensure that all necessary measures have been taken and will forward it to the Director of the FIED, as soon as possible.

(4) Form CFIA/ACIA 2367 (Annex K)

This form, "Exported Shipments of Canadian Meat Products Returned by the Importing Country," must be fully completed when an export shipment is returned to Canada, regardless of the reason for the return.

If the inspection is conducted in a registered establishment other than the establishment of origin, a copy of the report of inspection should be forwarded to the Inspector in charge of the establishment of origin through the area office where the inspection took place if applicable. The latter will allow the Inspector in Charge and the Operator of the producing establishment to take appropriate action.

The collection of information from the completed forms will permit CFIA to compare our findings with that of the foreign country.

For the above consideration, it is important that this report be fully completed.

(5) Other considerations

a. The inspection shall be carried out as soon as possible.

b. Meat products returned because of failure to meet the requirements of the importing country or found with defects when inspected in Canada shall not be re-exported unless the product has been reconditioned and subsequently packaged and labelled to the satisfaction of an Inspector. Products returned as a result of failure to a laboratory analysis for biological or chemical residue violation should not be re-exported unless specifically authorized by the importing country.

c. It is important that the above described procedures be followed as closely as possible and that all documents are completed and forwarded with as little delay as possible.

d. Returned products exported out of Canada

Reinspection of this type of product should be performed, whatever the reason for refusal by the importing country, by an inspector before a disposition is made. If the shipment has been refused due to problems with labelling or documentation, reinspection should be performed on a square root sample to ensure that the product has not deteriorated during transportation. In those instances where the product has been refused entry to another country by reason of an unsatisfactory condition, (e.g. spoilage, contamination, pathological conditions, improper processing, damaged or rusted cans, etc.), the returned shipment should be reinspected in its entirety or until sufficient product has been examined, to determine that there is no alternative but total condemnation of the shipment. If condemned, the product must not leave the establishment at which the reinspection is performed until sterilized or denatured prior to treatment, as per section 14 of the Regulations. Shipments refused entry and returned because of the detection of residues should be dealt with as indicated in Chapter 5. See inspection procedures in section 10.4.

e. Composition and labelling must be taken into account by the Inspector when deciding on whether corrective action is required prior to final disposition.

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