D- 99-06: Policy on the issuance of phytosanitary certificates for export and for re-export

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4th revision
June 1, 2017

Subject

This directive contains the policy of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the preparation and issuance of phytosanitary certificates for export and for re-export to facilitate international movement of plants, plant products and other regulated articles to foreign countries.

This directive was revised in order to reflect procedural changes for the process of updating foreign phytosanitary quarantine import requirements. Procedural guidance for CFIA staff has been removed from this document to be included in administrative procedural documents, where appropriate.

Table of Contents

Review

This directive will be updated as required. For further information or clarification, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Amendment record

Amendments to this directive will be dated and distributed as outlined in the distribution below.

Distribution

  1. Directive mail list (Regions, Network, Plant Health Risk Assessment Unit, USDA)
  2. Canadian Exporters
  3. Internet

Introduction

Phytosanitary certificates, for export or for re-export, are official documents issued by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the exporting country, or the re-exporting country, to the NPPO of the importing country in accordance with the requirements and guidelines of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 12, Phytosanitary Certificates.

Phytosanitary certificates are issued to indicate that consignments of plants, plant products and other regulated articles meet the specified phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. Most countries stipulate their phytosanitary import requirements in legislation, regulations, other official rules or permits to import issued by the NPPO of the importing country. Bilateral agreements or memoranda of understanding in the field of plant protection may also indicate the phytosanitary import requirements for specified commodities.

The CFIA issues phytosanitary certificates as required by importing countries to indicate that the products covered by the certificate conform to the country's phytosanitary import requirements. Phytosanitary certificates are official government documents and must be carefully controlled. Although phytosanitary certificates facilitate trade, they are not "trade documents" and cannot be issued for non-phytosanitary purposes.

Scope

This directive is for the use of CFIA staff and for the information of Canadian exporters and other interested parties.

References

  • International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 5, Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms, FAO (updated annually)
  • ISPM 7, Phytosanitary certification system, FAO, Rome, 2011
  • ISPM 12, Phytosanitary certificates, FAO, Rome, 2014
  • RSPM 5, NAPPO Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms, NAPPO, (updated annually)
  • RSPM 8, Authorization of Individuals to Issue Phytosanitary Certificates, NAPPO, 2008
  • Training Module: Export Certification – The Issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates, TM157A01.2, CFIA
  • Quality Systems Manual: Authorized Certification Official (ACO) Program for the Signing of Phytosanitary Certificates, QSM 1, 2008, CFIA
  • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, (revised in 1999)

This directive supersedes Directive D-99-06 (3rd Revision).

Definitions, abbreviations and acronyms

Definitions for terms used in this document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms.

1.0 General Requirements

1.1 Legislative Authority

The Plant Protection Act, S.C. 1990, c. 22
The Plant Protection Regulations, SOR/95-212
Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice, Canada Gazette, Part 1 (as amended from time to time)

1.2 Fees

The CFIA is charging fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. Anyone requiring information regarding fees may contact any local CFIA office or visit our Fees Notice Web Site.

2.0 Authority and guidance for phytosanitary certification

2.1 Plant Protection Act and Regulations

The Plant Protection Act was passed by the Government of Canada to help prevent the importation, exportation and spread of pests injurious to plants, and to provide for their control and eradication and for the certification of plants and other things.

The Plant Protection Regulations are created under the Plant Protection Act. They stipulate the mechanisms and methodologies to be used to carry our purposes and provisions of the Act.

Section 55 (2) of the Plant Protection Regulations states that no person shall export from Canada any thing for which a Canadian phytosanitary certificate for export or for re-export or any other document is required unless the appropriate document is issued by an inspector.

Section 57 of the Plant Protection Regulations states that no person shall export or re-export any thing from Canada unless it meets the laws of the importing country respecting phytosanitary import requirements.

2.2 International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

The IPPC is an international treaty relating to plant health. The IPPC was adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to secure common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of regulated plant pests and to promote appropriate measures for their control.

The IPPC came into force in 1952 and was amended in 1979 to include a model for a phytosanitary certificate. The IPPC was further revised in 1997 to align it with the agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization. The IPPC is recognized under the SPS Agreement as the international treaty responsible for phytosanitary standard setting and for harmonization of phytosanitary measures that affect trade.

There are two ISPMs that are particularly relevant to this directive:

  • ISPM 7, Phytosanitary certification system, that describes components of a phytosanitary certification system to be established by NPPOs; and
  • ISPM 12, Phytosanitary certificates, that provides the requirements and guidelines for the preparation and issuance of phytosanitary certificates.

3.0 Phytosanitary Certification

Phytosanitary certificates are official document issued by the NPPO of the exporting or the re-exporting country to the NPPO of the importing country. Phytosanitary certificates must be consistent with the models (phytosanitary certificate for export and phytosanitary certificate for re-export) set out in Annex 1 and Annex 2 of ISPM 12. As a contracting party to the IPPC, Canada is obliged to make arrangements for the issuance of phytosanitary certificates.

The CFIA recognizes only official phytosanitary regulations of the importing country, or other official documentation.

Most countries have legislation such as Acts, Laws, Decrees, Regulations, etc., outlining the phytosanitary import requirements for Plants, plant products and other regulated articles imported into their territories. The CFIA maintains a database containing the foreign plant quarantine import requirements, which is consulted by the CFIA Authorized Certification Official (ACOs) prior to the issuance of phytosanitary certificates. Phytosanitary certificates must only be issued by ACOs, who are technically qualified and authorized by the CFIA.

Before signing contracts or Letters of Credit, exporters should work with their importers to obtain the phytosanitary import requirements of the country to which they intend to export. This will allow exporters to ensure that contracts and Letters of Credit do not contradict the official phytosanitary import requirements and do not require non-phytosanitary information on phytosanitary certificates. The Letter of Credit should not specify the presentation of the phytosanitary certificate as a payment condition.

Phytosanitary import requirements may be obtained from local CFIA offices, from the permit to import issued by the importing country or from the importer. Information on phytosanitary import requirements that is obtained by the exporter will be verified by their local CFIA office.

When the CFIA requires a copy of a foreign-issued permit to import in order to verify the phytosanitary import requirements of another country, the Canadian exporter must obtain a copy of the permit from the importer and present it to the local CFIA office. If the permit is in a language other than English or French, the exporter must provide the CFIA with a copy of the original permit and its translation into English or French.

Exporters must complete and sign the Application for Export Inspection and Phytosanitary Certification, Form CFIA/ACIA 3369, for each phytosanitary certificate requested, and submit it to the local CFIA office. Exporters may be asked to present evidence to CFIA inspectors to support information, including origin, provided on the CFIA/ACIA 3369 form.

In order for the exporter to ensure receipt of the phytosanitary certificate prior to shipping, the CFIA should receive the application at least ten (10) working days before the date of shipping. Additional time may be required to issue phytosanitary certificates when there is a need to perform a treatment, a test or growing season inspection. Applications for phytosanitary certificates will not be accepted after the shipment has left Canada.

Phytosanitary certificates will only be issued when the importing country requires it as a condition for import and when the plants, plant products and other regulated articles in the shipment meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the country of import. Under specific conditions, at the request of the Canadian exporter, the CFIA may issue phytosanitary certificates to facilitate subsequent re-export certification.

Upon request by the exporter, a "true copy" of a phytosanitary certificate for export or for re-export may be provided. Each additional copy will be marked "true copy" and additional fees will be charged.

The phytosanitary certificates attest to the phytosanitary status of the material prior to export from Canada. It is the responsibility of the exporter to safeguard the phytosanitary status of the commodity after certification.

Note:
A Letter of Credit is a guarantee for payment issued by a bank to a seller of goods. It is issued at the request of a purchaser. A Letter of Credit is not a phytosanitary document, and should not contain any phytosanitary import requirements including a request for a phytosanitary certificate when none is required by the NPPO of the importing country. The CFIA is not responsible for fulfilling the terms and conditions of Letters of Credit or other trade documents.

3.1 Inspection and/ or testing

The phytosanitary certificate attests that the material covered by the certificate:

  • has been inspected and/or tested according to appropriate official procedures;
  • is considered to be free from the quarantine pests specified by the importing country; and
  • is in conformance with the phytosanitary import requirements, including those for regulated non-quarantine pests (RNQPs).

Appropriate procedures may include: field inspection during the growing season, regular inspections of facilities and premises, laboratory testing, verification of treatment, visual inspection of the product, verification of survey results or distribution of pests, etc., or any combination thereof. In re-export situations, laboratory testing carried out in originating country is accepted as a basis for certification only if the laboratory is approved by the NPPO of the originating country.

3.2 Origin of plants, plant products and other regulated articles for phytosanitary certification

The place of origin refers to places where the commodity was grown or produced and where it was possibly exposed to infestation or contamination by regulated pests. In all cases, the name of the country or countries of origin should be stated. Normally a consignment gains its phytosanitary status from the place of origin.

Countries may require that the name or code of the pest free area, pest free place of production or pest free production site be identified. Further details on the pest free area, pest free place of production or pest free production site may be provided in the additional declaration section.

3.2.1 Plants, plant products and other regulated articles of Canadian origin

Plants, plant products and other regulated articles are considered to be of Canadian origin if:

  • they were grown or produced in Canada;
  • they were imported into Canada but were processed to such extent that the original identity is no longer relevant from the phytosanitary point of view; and
  • they were imported into Canada, where they were grown for at least one full growing season.

3.2.2 Plants, plant products and other regulated articles of foreign origin

Plants, plant products and other regulated articles of foreign origin may be covered by a Canadian phytosanitary certificate for export, indicating the foreign country of origin as the actual country of production when:

  • they have not met the conditions of section 3.2.1;
  • they were imported into Canada without a phytosanitary certificate (because Canada did not require a phytosanitary certificate for export ), and the CFIA is confident that the phytosanitary identity to the original country has been maintained;
  • the phytosanitary status of the material has been safeguarded but the composition of the material has been altered in such a way that it no longer matches the description on the original phytosanitary certificate (e.g., shipment was subdivided, going to inspection and/or testing)

3.3 Quarantine pests

Phytosanitary import requirements may include freedom from specific quarantine pests but there are no specific requirements regarding how freedom from that pest will be assured.

If specific phytosanitary measures are not identified by the importing country, then in order to certify freedom from quarantine pests, the CFIA must be satisfied that:

  • the pests on the quarantine pest list do not occur in Canada or in the area or place of production; or
  • inspection and/or testing has taken place to verify the absence of the quarantine pests; or
  • the required treatment has been carried out to kill, inactivate or remove quarantine pests or to render those pests infertile or to devitalize them. Certain importing countries specify which treatments are acceptable.

3.4 Regulated non-quarantine pests

Only plants for planting, including seeds, bulbs and tubers and various kinds of vegetative propagative material, can be subject to phytosanitary import requirements related to regulated non-quarantine pests (RNQPs). These non-quarantine pests may be present in the importing country, in Canada or in the production area, but a certification program or treatment procedures will be in place to ensure that the propagative material meets a specific tolerance for RNQPs. The importing country may establish tolerances for RNQPs.

3.5 Freedom from soil

If plants, plant products or other regulated articles must be free from soil but when no specific tolerances or instructions are given by the NPPO of the importing country, the following applies: a product is free of soil if there is no discernible soil or related matter in association with it.

3.6 Treatments

Any treatment officially required by the NPPO of the importing country as a condition for entry must be supervised or verified by CFIA's inspection staff. Details (date, concentration, duration, etc.) of the treatment will be entered on the phytosanitary certificate in the space provided for treatment, unless the NPPO of the importing country specifically indicates that the treatment details should be entered in the additional declaration field. Treatments that were applied, but were not specifically performed to meet the official import requirements, will not be entered on the phytosanitary certificate.

Canada is signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1999) and has obligations to reduce to use of ozone-depleting substances such as methyl bromide. In cases where there are multiple treatment options, one of which is methyl bromide, the non-methyl bromide option should be selected, where feasible.

Treatment with products that are requested by the NPPO of the importing country, but are not registered for use in Canada, will not be applied in Canada. Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is responsible for registering and maintaining a list of approved products to be used for pest control in Canada.

In cases where a required treatment is not feasible e.g. unregistered product in Canada, the CFIA will determine if other certification options are available.

3.7 Additional declaration (AD)

An AD is an official statement on the phytosanitary certificate which provides specific additional information pertinent to the phytosanitary condition of a consignment above and beyond what is normally required to certify a shipment. An AD is requested by the NPPO of the importing country and may be required in cases where specific conditions need to be met. An AD should only be included on the phytosanitary certificate if it is clearly and specifically required by the NPPO of the importing country. In specific cases the CFIA may include additional phytosanitary information to facilitate re-export certification.

The need for additional declarations may be stated on a permit to import or through other official sources of information.

3.8 Dating of phytosanitary certificates

The date entered on the phytosanitary certificate is the date on which the certificate was issued. This date must not be more than 14 days prior to the date on which the shipment leaves Canada, unless the CFIA has an alternative agreement with the importing country.

Backdating phytosanitary certificates is not permitted except for special circumstances, i.e. the importing country requires that the certificate bears the same date as other shipping documents, or final details about the volume/quantity of the product is not known until after loading and the phytosanitary certificate cannot be issued until the next day. In this situation, the phytosanitary certificate will include an additional declaration that states the date that the pre-shipment inspection occurred.

3.9 Permissible information on the phytosanitary certificate

Only phytosanitary information should appear on the phytosanitary certificate (see Appendix 1). The permit to import number, when required, may appear on the certificate. However, if specifically requested by the exporter and a justification is provided, the inclusion of a maximum of two pieces of non-phytosanitary (trade) information that link the phytosanitary certificate to other documentation that accompanies the shipment is permissible. This information must be factual and includes such examples as: a letter of credit number, or bill of lading number or date, or some other number that appears as an identifying feature on other shipment related documents. They must NOT include any reference to grade, quality, sizes, etc. The permit to import number and a maximum of two pieces of other non-phytosanitary information can be input into the Reference field. Container numbers are considered to be part of the package description and will be entered in "Number and description of packages".

3.10 Re-issuance of phytosanitary certificates

Phytosanitary certificates may be re-issued in exceptional cases provided the issuing officer is satisfied that the original certificate and its true copy have been returned or destroyed. The CFIA must also be confident that the phytosanitary status of the shipment is unchanged.

3.11 Refusing to issue phytosanitary certificates

The CFIA will not issue phytosanitary certificates if one or more of the following circumstances occur:

  • no phytosanitary certificate is required by the importing country for the exported plant, plant product or regulated article;
  • the shipment does not meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the importing country;
  • the shipment already left Canada and phytosanitary activities to enable certification cannot take place;
  • the exporter refuses to give the required information or refuses to cooperate in order for certification to take place; or
  • technical obstacles prevent certification (e.g., appropriate treatment or laboratory test is not available).

3.12 Phytosanitary certificate for re-export

A phytosanitary certificate for re-export can only be issued if the imported commodity was accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate or a true copy of a phytosanitary certificate that was issued in the country of origin. The consignment must also meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the importing country.

U.S. consignments in-transit through Canada do not qualify for a Canadian phytosanitary certificate for re-export. Refer to section 4.4 and 4.5 for phytosanitary certificate requirements related to in-transit shipments.

4.0 Additional guidance

The following examples may be used for guidance in applying this directive:

4.1 Facilitation of re-exportation of Canadian origin material

The CFIA recognizes that regulated articles may be imported to an intermediate country and then subsequently re-exported. To facilitate this re-exportation process, the CFIA may provide phytosanitary information (e.g. the results of a growing season inspection) on the phytosanitary certificate that goes beyond the information that is required by the NPPO of the re-exporting country if it can be demonstrated that this information will be required for subsequent re-export certification. If a phytosanitary certificate for export is not required by the exporting country but is required by the country of destination, the CFIA may issue a phytosanitary certificate for export to the re-exporting country to provide additional phytosanitary information. In both cases, this information will be placed in the additional declaration section, under the subheading "Additional official phytosanitary information".

If a treatment is not required by the re-exporting country but is required by the country of destination, treatment details can be included in the treatment field of the phytosanitary certificate and referenced in the additional declaration field as per the guidance provided in the previous paragraph in order to facilitate re-export. For example, "Additional phytosanitary information: The wood in this shipment was treated in accordance with [the importing country]'s phytosanitary import requirements."

The CFIA will only issue a phytosanitary certificate for export to facilitate re-export when no phytosanitary certificate for export is required by the re-exporting country under the following conditions:

  • country of destination's phytosanitary import requirements clearly state that these phytosanitary measures are required; and
  • only the country of origin can provide the required phytosanitary information in support of re-export certification: e.g. area freedom, growing season inspection.

4.2 Shipment left Canada without a phytosanitary certificate

A shipment should not leave Canada without a phytosanitary certificate when one is required by the importing country. However, under specific circumstances, the CFIA may issue a phytosanitary certificate after a consignment has left Canada. Resolution of issues surrounding detained shipments due to lack of phytosanitary certification may involve a number of actions by the CFIA and the NPPO of the importing country. This occurs on a case-by- case basis after consultation within the CFIA.

If the exporter decides to export prior to receiving a phytosanitary certificate when one is required by the NPPO of the importing country, the exporter bears the associated risks, associated costs, and impacts of possible enforcement measures.

4.3 Trans-loaded through other countries

In cases when a shipment is destined to a country with phytosanitary import requirements but is trans-loaded (moving commodities from one conveyance to another, excluding the transfer of ocean shipping containers between conveyances) through an intermediate country, the names of both the importing country and the intermediate country of trans-loading may be written on the certificate. The Port of Entry field is used to indicate the trans-loaded country, e.g. "Country X, trans-loaded via Country Y". In such cases, the phytosanitary import requirements of both countries must be met. Trans-loading countries should only be indicated on the phytosanitary certificate when the shipment is not considered to enter the market place of the country and there is no change in ownership. If a change in ownership occurs, then the intermediate country should issue either a phytosanitary certificate or a phytosanitary certificate for re-export.

4.4 Requests for phytosanitary certificates for Canadian products in-transit or trans-shipped through other countries

When Canadian products are to be moved in-transit or trans-shipped through one or more countries to a different country of destination, the CFIA inspects and certifies these products to meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the country of destination.

In cases when a shipment transits through a country which has specific transit requirements, including the need for phytosanitary certificates, the names of both the importing country and the country of transit may be written on the certificate. The Port of Entry field is used to indicate the transit country, e.g. Country X, via Country Y. In such cases the phytosanitary import requirements of both countries must be met.

4.5 Consignments in-transit through the U.S. destined to Canada

There may be cases where a consignment needs to be shipped from Canada in-transit through the U.S., with a final destination of Canada. In cases where consignments entering the U.S. have phytosanitary restrictions, a phytosanitary certificate should be issued indicating the U.S. as the final destination. The Port of Entry field is used to indicate that the U.S. is the in-transit country, e.g. "Canada in-transit via U.S.". The consignment must meet the requirements of the U.S. and adhere to any Canadian domestic movement restrictions. The original phytosanitary certificate must be used to enter the U.S. and a copy used to re-enter Canada.

5.0 Appendices

Appendix 1: Section-by-section description of the computer generated phytosanitary certificate

This appendix provides additional guidance for completing a phytosanitary certificate. Information provided below also applies to pre-printed phytosanitary certificates.

To: Plant Protection Organization of: (Country of Destination)

This shall be the name of the country of destination.

Certificate number

Each phytosanitary certificate is uniquely numbered in a sequential manner.

Name and address of exporter

The exporter's address must be in Canada. The name of one other person or firm in another country may be included in this field in addition to the name and address of the Canadian exporter. Only one address will be in this field. Telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail address are not to be included in this section.

Foreign agent c/o Canadian exporter, i.e.:
Sun Products Inc., USA C/O Jim's Export Service,
39 Anyplace Road, Hometown, Ontario, Canada H0H 0H0

Name and address of consignee

Note: This is one of only two fields where the language entered may be other than English or French. The language characters must be Latin letters. Only one address must appear in this section. Telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail address are not to be included in this section.

Number and description of packages

Sufficient details should be included to enable the NPPO of the importing country to identify the consignment and its component parts, and verify their size if necessary. Container numbers, or railcar numbers, if known, can be included. In cases of bulk shipments, the term "in bulk" may be used.

Distinguishing marks

When the commodity is not in bulk, any identifying words or numbers, or a description of a specific mark on a package can be used as a distinguishing mark, i.e., A Brand #4240.

Container numbers are not considered to be "distinguishing marks".

Place of origin

Unless otherwise prescribed by the NPPO of the importing country, the place of origin shall be shown as Province (or region), Canada.

The place of origin may be in a country other than Canada when the product did not originate in Canada.

Declared means of conveyance

One of the words, "sea, air, road, rail, mail, passenger" will be inserted. The name and voyage number of the carrier should be included if known.

Declared point of entry

This should be the first point of arrival in the country of final destination, or if not known, the country name.

Name of product and quantity declared

The scientific and common name, the quantity of commodity and unit of measurement are entered here.

The intended use (e.g. consumption versus propagation) and the degree of processing (e.g. fresh versus dried) must be specified because phytosanitary import requirements may differ according to these factors.

The common name of the commodity may be included, but must not replace the scientific name. It must be kept as short as possible. Quality, grade, size or trade name must not be entered. Colour information must not be added to describe the level of maturity or growth of the products being certified, such as "green tomatoes", but may be used if it is part of the common name such as "white navy beans".

Treatment

Treatments are only entered on the phytosanitary certificate when required by the importing country and the following information must be included as applicable:

  • Date - Date application commenced
  • Treatment – Type of treatment applied to the consignment
  • Chemical - Active ingredient
  • Concentration - The concentration and dosage of the treatment
  • Duration and Temperature - The length of time and temperature during treatment

Seal

The official CFIA stamp is placed here.

Additional declaration

Additional declarations should be kept to a minimum, be concise and be limited to those specified by the importing country's official phytosanitary import requirements. The Additional Declarations field is used to record declarations that are required by the NPPO of the importing country in addition to the certifying statement.

If required by the importing country, the import permit number may be referred to here.

For phytosanitary certificates issued after the consignmentleaves Canada, if required by the importing country, the date of inspection may be added to this section. For phytosanitary certificates issued based on an audit based systems approach, the date of inspection shall be the date of issuance.

Where additional official phytosanitary information is included for re-export phytosanitary certification purposes, such information should be presented here. This information should be clearly separated from the additional declaration required by the importing country and must follow the added subheading "Additional official phytosanitary information".

Place of issue

This is the name of the place (City, Province, Canada) where the office of the issuing CFIA ACO is located.

Name of authorized officer

This will be the name of the CFIA ACO who signed the certificate. On hand-written phytosanitary certificates the name must be written in ink in legible capital letters.

Date

See section 3.9 "Dating of Phytosanitary Certificates", above.

Signature

This shall be the hand-written signature of the issuing CFIA ACO on the original and true copy.

Attached lists

Attached lists must only be employed where information which would normally appear in the body of the phytosanitary certificate exceeds the allotted space. The three sections where this is most likely to occur are Number and Description of Packages, Name of Product and Quantity Declared, and Additional Declaration. In cases where an attached list is necessary, only the statement "See attached list" appears in the required field and all of the information appears on the attachment.

To complete these sections, a list or annex may be attached to the phytosanitary certificate. Any attachments containing phytosanitary information must bear the phytosanitary certificate number, be dated and signed by the issuing officer, and be stamped with the official CFIA stamp.

An industry-generated annex indicating Name of Produce and Quantity Declared is only acceptable if it follows the specifications provided above for this field.

The annex or attached list becomes a part of the phytosanitary certificate when it is signed, dated and stamped.

Date modified: