Notice to Industry: Changes to import and export certification requirements for shelf-stable thermally processed pet food, treats and chews for Canada and the United States

As of March 1, 2018, the following changes will come into force for importing and exporting shelf-stable thermally processed pet food, treats and chews for Canada and the United States.

These changes do not apply to imported heat-treated, shelf-stable dried and canned finished products from third countries other than the US for further exports to the US.

Imports from the United States to Canada for commercial sale

Effective March 1, 2018, the United States is replacing its export certificate covering multiple shipments for a 7-day period with the Multiple Shipments Export Certificate. This new export certificate will cover shipments (single or multiple) exiting the United States (US) over a 30 calendar day period from the date the certificate is issued by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarian.

Each shipment entering Canada with this certificate must be accompanied by an Importer's Statement of Compliance. This statement is necessary to prove that the individual shipment is connected to the multiple shipment certificates.

Importers are encouraged to have their US exporters and US pet food manufacturers contact their local USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office as soon as possible to obtain these certificates.

Exports from Canada to the United States

US import permit

Effective March 1, 2018, a USDA import permit will no longer be required for Canadian thermally processed pet food, treats, and chews exported to the US.

Facility inspection

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will inspect and approve Canadian plants wishing to export their products to the US.
  • Canadian facilities will be inspected by the CFIA every 2 years.
  • During the first year of implementation of these changes (2018), priority will be given to facilities with an expired USDA import permit.

Canadian export certification

  • A Canadian export certificate (HA2828) is required for single and multiple shipments. This certificate is valid for all shipments exported within 30 days from the date the certificate is issued by the veterinarian.  
  • An export certificate is valid for one importer and one exporter, but the shipment may include products originating from several CFIA-approved processing facilities.
  • The pet food company is responsible to request an inspection ahead of time to obtain approval to export from a plant. No export certificate will be issued one month before the expiry date of the plant approval.

Transition period

There will be a one-year transition period (until February 28, 2019) during which an in-house certificate will be issued by the CFIA for companies that have a valid USDA import permit.

Additional information

For detailed information, please visit Guidelines for the preparation of export certificates for the Canadian pet food industry.

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