United States of America – Export requirements for fish and seafood
- All fish and seafood products except those listed as ineligible.
- Fish in the order Siluriformes ("catfish")
Pre-export approvals by the competent authority of the importing country
- Most fish and seafood product falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Please see the Notice to Industry – United States of America – Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for more information regarding Canadian establishments exporting FDA regulated foods to the United States.
- Importation of certain fish by-products are also subject to requirements under the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services.
- Fish and seafood exporting establishments must be federally registered or licensed to export. A full listing of approved establishments can be found on the Canadian Establishments Approved List for Export.
- Exporting establishments that handle live and/or raw shellfish (fresh and frozen oysters, clams, mussels, whole or roe-on scallops), must be listed on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL) and meet all applicable requirements.
Certification for the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL)
Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) licence holders wishing to be added to the ICSSL, to make amendments to a current listing, or to be removed from the list must submit the following information to their local CFIA office:
- full legal name as it appears on the Safe Food for Canadians licence
- facility address (street number, city, province, postal code)
- mailing address (if different than above)
- unique establishment identifier (licence holders ineligible to obtain a unique establishment identifier should submit their Safe Food for Canadians licence number)
- telephone number
- ICSSL designation(s)
- Depuration Processor (DP)
- Repacker (RP)
- Reshipper (RS)
- Shucker-Packer (SP)
- Shellstock Shipper (SS)
- Wet Storage (WS)
- cancellation date (if applicable)
- reason for cancellation (if applicable)
- out of business
- other (please specify)
Effective December 1, 2019, licence holders conducting wet storage activities are required to indicate “WS” on the ICSSL in addition to any other applicable certification designation. Wet storage is defined as the temporary storage (less than 60 days) of live shellfish from approved sources, intended for marketing, in containers or floats in natural bodies of seawater or in tanks containing natural or synthetic seawater. Any applicable labels and tags must be updated with the new suffix.
An ICSSL listing for a SFCR licence holder must be renewed annually. The expiration date of Canadian licence holders on the ICSSL is November 30th of each year.
Further information on the types of ICSSL designations can be found in the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) - Guide for the Control of Molluscan Shellfish.
- For exports of live salmonids, or non-live, uneviscerated salmonids and parts thereof (including offal), please consult the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Aquatic Animal Health group.
- For information on instances where by-products require US import permits please visit the APHIS Entry Requirements – Amphibians, Fish, Reptiles, Shellfish, and Aquatic Species webpage.
- The US requires prior notice to import, which includes providing information on all food for use, storage or distribution in the US.
- Prior notification also applies to gifts, trade samples, quality assurance / quality control samples, transhipped products and food for future export.
- Food includes those articles intended for direct human or animal consumption and all ingredients or components of food intended for processing into food for consumption.
- For fish and seafood falling under FDA regulation, prior notice must be received and confirmed electronically by the FDA no more than five days before arrival and no fewer than:
- two (2) hours before arrival by land by road;
- four (4) hours before arrival by air, or by land by rail; or,
- eight (8) hours before arrival by water.
- To electronically submit prior notice information, please use the FDA Industry Systems interface accessible through the Prior Notice of Imported Foods webpage.
Production controls and inspection requirements
- If animal health or aquatic animal health statements, for example BSE related attestations, are written on any import permission documentation, the exporter should provide these documents to CFIA inspection staff for review. CFIA inspectors will in turn consult with Terrestrial Animal Health group or Aquatic Animal Health group as necessary.
For requirements related to Product of Canada designation, please refer to Country of Origin Declaration – Imported Product Exported From Canada.
United States acts and regulations
- U.S. Code, Title 21 – Food and Drugs
- Chapter 9 – Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
- Chapter 12 – Meat Inspection (fish in the order Siluriformes)
- U.S. Code, Title 21 – Food and Drugs
- U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21 – Food and Drugs
- U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 9 – Animal and Animal By-Products (fish in the order Siluriformes)
United States official webpages
United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Registration of Food Facilities
- National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP)
- FSMA Final Rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals
- Imported Seafood Safety Program
- FDA Industry Systems
- Prior Notice for Importing Food
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
- Entry Requirements – Amphibians, Fish, Reptiles, Shellfish, and Aquatic Species
- Animal Health Permits
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
Fish in the order of Siluriformes ("catfish") and products derived from such fish are subject to different export requirements because they fall under the jurisdiction of the FSIS under the USDA.
- Country of Origin Labelling (COOL)
- Eligible Foreign Establishments
- FSIS Guidance for Importing Meat, Poultry and Egg Products into the United States
- Date modified: