Notice to industry – Updates to the phytosanitary import requirements for importing micro-organisms

Ottawa, June 27, 2018 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has updated its plant health requirements for importing bacteria, fungi and yeast.

The requirements to import potentially injurious organisms (PIOs) are provided in the CFIA's Directive D-12-02: Import Requirements for Potentially Injurious Organisms (Other than Plants) to Prevent the Importation of Plant Pests in Canada.

Over 480 bacteria and 120 fungi and yeast – Identified at the species or genus level – have been added to Appendix 1 of the directive. The update specifies that these organisms do not require an import permit under the Plant Protection Act. Domestic requirements would also not apply to the transfer, movement or handling of these organisms.

Based on the review of past risk assessments, the vast majority of the organisms were determined not to be plant pests, while a few others were deemed to be pests of very low significance to plant health in Canada. The update simplifies the import process as importers of these organisms are no longer required to apply for a plant protection permit.

Before applying for a plant protection permit to import PIOs, importers are encouraged to review Appendix 1 to determine if an application is needed. As specified in the CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS), when PIOs are allowed into Canada, Appendix 1 is valid documentation that a plant protection import permit is not required.

Please direct questions regarding these updates to IAS.EEE@inspection.gc.ca.

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