Notice to industry – Terrestrial Animal Products and By-products Import Policy Framework

In an effort to streamline and update information, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is launching a new Terrestrial Animal Products and By-products Import Policy Framework, which combines and updates current policy documents regarding the import of animal products and by-products. It includes a general section applicable to all commodities and 14 commodity specific chapters, such as; Rendered Products, Milk Products, Laboratory and Research Samples, and Pet Food, among others. Each chapter follows a general format, with a policy statement, legislative authority, roles and responsibilities, scope and general information regarding import conditions.

The new policy framework will be implemented over the next two years. Industry will be provided advance notice of changes as they come into effect.

Key changes of note are as follows:

  • Instead of providing detailed commodity and country-specific import conditions, each chapter in the policy provides general information on import conditions with links to the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) for specific, up-to-date information.
  • The new policy will be implemented over two years. As a result, current policies will remain on the CFIA website until AIRS is updated with the new information. Further notice will be provided as AIRS changes take place and old policies are removed.
  • Guidelines are provided for determining import conditions for commodities containing multiple ingredients. The 50 percent cut-off point previously used for determining import conditions for some mixed commodities will be phased out and the new requirements will be outlined as they are updated.
  • Acceptable treatments for egg products and milk products have been updated to reflect current scientific information. Other commodities are provided in the annexes at the end of the document.
  • Detailed information about other CFIA program requirements and other regulatory bodies is provided via links near the end of the policy.
  • Laboratory inspections will no longer be conducted by district office employees for the purpose of issuing import permits. Instead, the laboratory may be asked to provide their biocontainment approval letter issued through the Office of Biohazard Containment and Safety.
  • The policy includes a chapter on the import of meat products. Previously an animal health policy on this commodity did not exist and therefore this will be new for meat imports.
  • Purified DNA was formerly considered a highly processed product, but nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) of animal origin are now listed under the scope of the Laboratory and Research Samples section of the new policy. While this information will cover the majority of the import applications, unique requests to import nucleic acids for a non-laboratory or research end-use may be considered for evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

For additional details, please read the Terrestrial Animal Products and By-products Import Policy Framework.

Questions or comments about the policy may be sent to

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