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Terrestrial Animal Products and By-products: Import Policy Framework
8 General import requirements

Note: Please refer to the commodity-specific sections below for additional information.

All documentation required to allow import must be issued prior to the arrival at the border inspection port to be eligible to enter Canada, and must be presented to CBSA and/or the CFIA for inspection.

Automated Import Reference System (AIRS): Refer to AIRS to obtain the current Animal Health import conditions.

Note: Templates of import conditions, as they become available, may also be posted on the Import Policies – Animal Products and By-Products page of the CFIA website.

One or more of the following requirements may apply to the imported commodity

1) Import permit

An import permit is a legal document issued under section 160 of the Health of Animals Regulations whereby the importer is required to comply with all conditions stipulated within it in order to import the commodity into Canada. An import permit is issued by the CFIA to the importer, specifying the importer's obligations and outlining the import requirements. Import permits cannot be issued after the commodity has arrived in Canada.

2) Zoosanitary certificate

Zoosanitary export certificates are official documents, endorsed by an official veterinarian of an exporting country, attesting to animal health statements related to the shipment for export. The purpose of the zoosanitary certificate is to ensure that the commodity for import into Canada meets Canada's animal health requirements. A zoosanitary certificate may be negotiated between the CFIA and the competent authority of the exporting country, with conditions that can only be changed upon negotiation between the importing and exporting countries. Where certificates are not negotiated, they may include attestations as outlined on an import permit, or as received by an importer from an exporting country. It is important to note that in this case, these are issued by the exporting country at the commercial risk of the importer/exporter.

3) Importer's declaration:

An importer's declaration provides information about the shipment which can be verified by the importer. If it is required, it must accompany the shipment to the border inspection port.

4) Requirements for in-transit and transshipments

Both in-transit shipments and transshipments may present a risk of animal disease introduction into Canada, and therefore appropriate controls must be implemented.

In-transit

In-transit means that a shipment of a commodity moves from the country of origin through an intermediate country for delivery to the country of destination. The shipment remains under official control and is not released for use or consumption in the intermediate country.

In-transit with Canada as final destination

The animal health status of the shipment must not be compromised in any way prior to arrival in Canada. The CFIA may require further details in order to evaluate the disease risk associated with the import. These details may include, but are not limited to the following:

It is the importer's responsibility to clearly outline any countries of transit to the CFIA to help them assess the animal health risk. An import permit may be required. There may be additional import conditions compared to those for importing the shipment directly from the country of origin.

In-transit through Canada en route to another destination

Although the shipment remains under official control and will never be released for use or consumption in Canada, it must still meet all of the CFIA import requirements, which could either consist of specific in-transit conditions or the permanent importation requirements, before proceeding in-transit to prevent the introduction of a pest or disease organism. An import permit may be required.

Transshipment

Trans-shipment means a movement of commodities from the country of origin to a country of destination where the container enclosing the goods passes through an intermediate country; it is customs cleared in the intermediate country, the container is opened, the original seal is broken, the contents are removed and a portion of the original cargo is then shipped from the intermediate country to the country of destination.

Transshipment with Canada as final destination

The animal health status of the shipment must not be compromised in any way prior to arrival in Canada. The CFIA may require further details in order to evaluate the disease risk associated with the import. These details may include, but are not limited to the following:

It is the importer's responsibility to clearly outline any countries of transshipment to the CFIA to help them assess the animal health risk. An import permit may be required. There may be additional import conditions compared to those for importing the shipment directly from the country of origin.

Shipments destined for Canada that have transshipped through a third country after leaving the country of export may require two zoosanitary certificates. Certification may be required from the country of origin attesting that the product meets Canadian requirements, as well as from the intermediate country attesting that the product has not been altered or cross-contaminated.

Transshipment through Canada en route to another destination

Since the shipment may be opened and a portion may remain in Canada, the CFIA's import requirements for permanent entry of the shipment would need to be met even though some of the shipment may subsequently be exported from Canada to another destination.

Note: An SRM permit may be required for the import of bovine-origin commodities containing SRM from controlled or undetermined BSE risk countries. The importer is responsible for compliance with all requirements of the CFIA SRM program.

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