Language selection

Search

Policy on import (return) to Canada of meat products that were exported from Canada

On this page

Legislative authority

Shipments of edible meat product returned to Canada that were originally exported from Canada are subject to the same controls as any other imported meat. As such, import requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations, the Health of Animals Act and Regulations, The Food and Drug Act and Regulations apply.

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Exception – return to Canada of exported food

22 (1) (b) in the case of an edible meat product, the import is authorized by an inspector and the meat product is immediately delivered to an establishment where it is stored and handled in its imported condition by a license holder and kept in that establishment until an inspector has completed an inspection of the product.

Under the Health of Animals Act, meat is included in the definition of an animal by-product. Animal by-product includes blood or any of its components, bones, bristles, feathers, flesh, hair, hides, hoofs, horns, offal, skins and wool, and anything containing any of those things.

Health of Animals Regulations

This legislation provides authority for the regulation of importation of meat in order to control risks to animal health.

Subsection 41 (1)

41 (1) A person may import into Canada an animal by-product, manure or a thing containing an animal by-product or manure, other than one described in section 45, 46, 47, 47.1, 49, 50, 51, 51.2 or 53, if

  1. the country of origin is the United States and the by-product, manure or thing is not derived from an animal of the subfamily Bovinae or Caprinae
  2. the country of origin, or the part of that country, is designated under section 7 as being free of, or as posing a negligible risk for, any reportable disease, any disease referred to in Schedule VII and any serious epizootic disease to which the species from which the by-product, manure or thing was derived is susceptible and that can be transmitted by the by-product, manure or thing, and the person produces a certificate of origin signed by an official of the government of that country attesting to that origin; or
  3. the by-product, manure or thing has been collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled in a manner that would prevent the introduction into Canada of any reportable disease, any disease referred to in Schedule VII and any serious epizootic disease to which the species from which the by-product, manure or thing was derived is susceptible and that can be transmitted by the by-product, manure or thing, and the person produces a certificate signed by an official of the government of the country of origin that
    • (i) attests that the by-product, manure or thing has been collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled in that manner, and
    • (ii) shows the details of how it was collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled.

52 (1) Despite anything in this Part, a person may import into Canada an animal by-product if the person produces a document that shows the details of the treatment of the by-product and an inspector has reasonable grounds to believe – based on the source of the document, the information contained in the document and any other relevant information available to the inspector and, if necessary, on an inspection of the by-product – that the importation of the by-product would not, or would not be likely to, result in the introduction into Canada, or the spread within Canada, of a vector, disease or toxic substance.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in this Part, a person may import an animal by-product under and in accordance with a permit issued by the Minister under section 160.

Health of Animals Act

In addition to the definition of an animal by-product, authority to control imported product that is not in compliance with animal health requirements resides in this legislation. (Subsection 18)

Removal or destruction of unlawful imports

18 (1) An inspector or officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that an imported animal or thing has been imported in contravention of this Act or the regulations, is or could be affected or contaminated by a disease or toxic substance or is a vector or that a requirement imposed by or under the regulations in respect of an imported animal or thing has not been met may, by notice, whether the animal or thing is seized or not, order its owner or importer or the person having possession, care or control of it to remove it from Canada or, if removal is not possible, to dispose of it.

Notice

(2) The notice must either be delivered personally to the owner or importer of the animal or thing or to the person having possession, care or control of it or be sent by registered mail to the owner's, importer's or person's address in Canada.

Forfeiture

(3) If the animal or thing is not removed from Canada, or disposed of, within the period specified in the notice – or, if no period was specified, within 90 days after the day on which the notice was delivered or sent – it is, despite subsection 45(1), forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be disposed of as the Minister may direct.

Returned meat products exported from Canada

Note

A shipment is considered exported when it has physically left the country, even if it did not reach the country of destination.

This policy applies to the import of all meat shipments legally exported from Canada to all countries that have remained under official government control (supervision) at all times while outside of Canada, regardless of the reason why the shipment is being returned.

Reasons for the return may include, but are not limited to:

Note

This policy does not apply to Canadian goods that have left official government control (for example, in foreign commerce), which are not in the original state as exported, or are not in the original intact, sealed, clean and undamaged shipping cartons.

Returned shipments of Canadian meat products are considered to be imported and all applicable import legislation applies.
This policy has been divided into the two following sections:

Policy on meat returns from off shore destinations (all countries other than the USA)

All returned shipments require:

  1. authorization from CFIA before arrival back in Canada
  2. prior issuance of an animal health import permit before arrival in Canada and
  3. delivery to a CFIA registered establishment for inspection by a CFIA inspector

Important!

Canadian meat products cannot return to Canada until all applicable documents are reviewed and/ approved by the CFIA inspectorate responsible to issue the OMIC at the time of export and an animal health import permit is issued by the CFIA Centre of Administration (COA).

The appropriate area office where the product will be returned to for re-inspection and the area office where the product was originally produced will be kept informed of the return and all documents shared by the inspectorate responsible to review / approve the application.

Return application process for meat return from countries other than the USA

Requirements for a shipment to be eligible to be considered for return to Canada

Canadian importers must ensure that they have the following information or meet the following requirements before initiating the process to return a legally exported meat shipment back to Canada:

Documents required for return of shipments

Send completed Application / authorization form to return legally exported Canadian meat product along with supporting documents as mentioned in the application and Foreign government official's declaration for exported Canadian meat products being returned to Canada, via e mail to the appropriate area office:

Note

The subject line should include:
URGENT: Return of Canadian meat exported from establishment (number) to (country), presently located in (city), (country)

Possible reasons for return and scenarios surrounding such shipments

Scenario Background CFIA requires Decision

A

Shipment was in transit, did not reach country of destination or other foreign soil with original seals intact.

OR

Shipment has arrived at a port of transit but has not entered the official control of the competent authority. The original seals are intact.

  • The CFIA seal listed on the CFIA official export meat inspection certificate when the shipment left Canada must still be intact and on the shipping container.
  • Seal and container numbers will be verified at the first port of entry into Canada by CFIA or Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). This must be done before CBSA can move the transport container inbound.
  • A letter from the exporter must accompany the application providing the reason(s) for return, name of the city/country where the container is currently located (if applicable) and confirming that the shipment has the original Canadian seal intact. These requirements apply whether the shipment was off loaded or not.
  • CFIA must approve the return and issue a permit before the shipment can be returned to Canada. The seal number that will be on the shipment when it returns to Canada must appear on the return permit.
  • If CFIA seal is missing or broken, shipment will be refused entry into Canada and a notice to remove will be issued.

B

Shipment entered the control of a competent authority on arrival on foreign soil, was refused and remained at point of entry under official control (customs, agriculture) The original seals are intact.

  • Submit: Foreign Government Official Declaration for Exported Canadian Meat Products Returned to Canada, with Section 1 completed.
  • A letter from the exporter must accompany the application providing the reason(s) for return of the shipment, the name of the city/country where the shipment is currently located and confirming that the shipment has the original Canadian seal.
  • CFIA must approve the return and issue a permit before the shipment can be returned to Canada. The seal number that will be on the shipment when it returns to Canada must appear on the import permit.
  • Permission to return will be based on information provided on the Foreign government official's declaration for exported Canadian meat products being returned to Canada
  • In the absence of the Foreign government official's declaration for exported Canadian meat products being returned to Canada the shipment will be refused entry
  • Return will be only allowed if documentation supplied is complete, correct and to the satisfaction of CFIA Inspectorate

C

Seal was broken by a competent authority or a third party officially recognized by the competent authority at port of transit and/or at destination and a new seal has been placed.

  • Submit: Foreign Government Official Declaration for Exported Canadian Meat Products Returned to Canada, with Section 1 completed.
  • If CBSA breaks and reapplies the seal, the seal number must be identified on CBSA official document or in the case where the seal is applied by CBP in the US, identified on the Transport and Entry form No. 7512. If multiple seal changes have occurred, official documentation must be provided for all.
  • A letter from the exporter must accompany the application providing the reason(s) for return of the shipment and the name of the city/country where the shipment is currently located.
  • CFIA must approve the return and issue a permit before the shipment can be returned to Canada. The seal number that will be on the shipment when it returns to Canada must appear on the import permit.
  • Permission to return will be based on information provided on the Foreign government official's declaration for exported Canadian meat products being returned to Canada
  • In the absence of the Foreign government official's declaration for exported Canadian meat products being returned to Canada, the shipment will be refused
  • Return will only be allowed if documentation supplied is complete, correct and to the satisfaction of CFIA Inspectorate.

D

Shipment left point of entry in foreign country and was refused at receiving establishment. Shipment remained under official control of importing country at all times. If seal changes occurred, they are documented as per scenario C above.

  • Shipment remained under official control of importing country at all times.
  • Consideration to authorize a return under this provision will only be given to Canadian meat and /or meat products that are in their original sealed and undamaged packaging. Any packaging that has been opened (for example, for sampling) must have occurred under the control of, or by, the Central Competent Authority of the re-exporting country and documented accordingly.
  • Official declaration for exported Canadian Meat Products Returned to Canada, with Section 1 completed.
  • A letter from the exporter must accompany the application providing reason(s) for return of the shipment and the name of the city/country where the shipment is currently located.
  • CFIA must approve the return and issue a permit before the shipment can be returned to Canada. The seal number that will be on the shipment when it returns to Canada must appear on the return permit.
  • CFIA decides based on the container and seal condition and the Foreign government official's declaration for exported Canadian meat products being returned to Canada.
  • Return will be only allowed if documentation supplied is complete, correct and to the satisfaction of CFIA Inspectorate.

Points to be considered by the importer of returned products

CFIA actions

The applicant will be informed (e mail/ phone) by the concerned area office if the submitted documentation is considered complete or incomplete/not accurate. The reason for a negative decision will be given.

Importer actions

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: