Meat products imported under waiver
Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.
On this page
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Authorization
- 3. Procedures
- 4. Waiver letters to the national manager, import program, FIED
A waiver is an authorization to import a prepared meat product into Canada without conforming to the CFIA compositional standards and label requirements. Waivers are only permitted for prepared meat products from the United States. The prepared meat product must be further processed at a registered establishment and exported in its entirety.
- The importer will request permission from the national manager of the Import Program, Food Import Export Division (FIED) in Ottawa. The importer will submit a detailed segregation protocol, the name of the United States supplier, the supplier's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) establishment number, and the description of the product (see section 4.1);
- Under the waiver policy a product may be delivered to one processing establishment. The importer cannot request, on one application, delivery to two processing establishments;
- The Inspector in charge of the receiving CFIA registered processing establishment will verify in writing to the national manager of the Import Program, FIED, that the segregation protocol is acceptable (see section 4.2);
- The Inspection Manager (IM) of the Inspector in Charge of the receiving establishment will confirm in writing to the national manager of the Import Program, FIED, that adequate resources are available to monitor the segregation protocol (See section 4.3); and,
- A waiver is specific to one United States establishment, one Canadian processing establishment, and specified products.
- Once authorized, the national manager of the Import Program, FIED, notifies the FSIS in writing that they can certify the meat product for export even though it is not certifiable under normal circumstances;
- A waiver statement must appear in the remarks column of the Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC). The statement must state:
"The Canadian requirements for meat product composition have been waived for the product listed above, because it will be prepared in Canada and exported to the United States or other countries."
"Les produits de viandes énumérés ci-dessus sont exemptés des exigences canadiennes applicables à la composition parce qu'ils seront préparés au Canada avant d'être exportés aux États-Unis ou d'autres pays"
- Animal Health attestations applicable to the imported commodity must appear in the remarks column of the OMIC. Refer to Countries from which commercial importation of meat products is permitted
- The product must be used in its entirety at the Canadian receiving establishment and exported to the United States or other countries. Processing capacity must be such that the amount imported can be prepared immediately. The waivered meat product cannot be placed in long term storage at the processing establishment;
- The Import Inspection Report (IIR) will indicate if the product is a waiver and will generate a sampling plan for a full inspection. However, prepared meat products under waiver are exempted from full inspection. They are to proceed directly from the port of entry to the designated processing establishment and may not be stored in a storage;
- The original OMIC must accompany the waiver shipment to the designated processing establishment. The Inspector in Charge will verify the OMIC to the waiver shipment and disregard the sampling plan indicated on the IIR.
- Management of the designated processing establishment, under supervision of the responsible inspector, shall maintain a log book for meat products imported under waiver.
3.1 Log book requirements
The log book for meat products imported under waiver shall contain:
- Letter of Approval from the national manager, Import Program, FIED
- Date of receipt of product
- Description of product
- MCAP/IIR number and OMIC number
- Quantity of product received
- Quantity of product used in the finished goods
- Description and quantity of the finished product
- Storage of finished product
- Quantity of finished, further prepared product exported to the United States; and
- Export Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 4546) number
The Log book should be verified regularly by the inspector in charge to ensure that all prepared meat products imported under waiver are processed and exported.
4. Waiver letters to the national manager, import program, FIED
Requests for waivers must be forwarded to the national manager of the Import Program, FIED, in Ottawa, and must include a request letter from the management of the Canadian receiving establishment, a letter of recommendation from the CFIA Inspector in charge and a letter of recommendation from the Inspection Manager of the Inspector in charge. Without the recommendation letters, the request for waiver cannot proceed.
The national manager of the Import Program, FIED, will correspond in writing the decision regarding approval of the waiver.
4.1 Waiver request letter from management
The following items should be included in a request letter from the management of the processing Canadian establishment requesting to receive the United States waivered meat product:
- The request must be on company letterhead
- Addressed to the national manager, Import Program, FIED, in Ottawa
- Specify the reason of a waiver from Canadian requirements is requested (compositional standards/label registration)
- Specify in detail the suppliers of the imported meat products including legal name; address and United States FSIS establishment number
- Specify in detail the registered destination (processor) and state the product is imported for immediate processing and that no long term storage will be permitted
- Describe the exact name of the meat product to be imported and exact name of the finished meat product to be exported; and
- Describe in detail the control measures to be exercised to assure segregation
4.2 Recommendation letter from the CFIA inspector in charge
The following information should be included in a letter from the CFIA Inspector in charge regarding the waiver application:
- The letter must be on CFIA letterhead addressed to national manager of the Import Program, FIED, in Ottawa; and,
- The Inspector in charge recommends acceptance of the control measures as being adequate to maintain the required segregation.
4.3 Recommendation letter from the inspection manager of the inspector in charge
The following information should be included in a letter from the Inspection Manager regarding the waiver application:
- The letter must be on CFIA letterhead addressed to the national manager of the Import Program, FIED, in Ottawa; and,
- The letter includes a statement saying that adequate CFIA inspection staff resources are available to monitor the conditions of the waiver.
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