Questions and Answers: Amendments to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations

The frequently asked questions below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with general information about the amendments made to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (AAAMP Regulations).

What is the purpose of these regulations?

The AAAMP Regulations are ministerial regulations made pursuant to subsection 4(1) of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act. Persons designated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may issue a Notice of Violation as an enforcement response to encourage compliance with some of the legislation enforced by those agencies. A Notice of Violation may be issued as either a Notice of Violation with a warning, or a Notice of Violation with a penalty, which sets out an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP).

  • The amount of the penalty issued to a person for a violation committed other than in the course of business, and that is not committed to obtain a financial benefit can range between $500 and $1300.
  • The amount of the penalty for a violation committed in the course of business, or in order to obtain a financial benefit can range between $1 300 and $10 000.
  • Penalties in respect of a serious or very serious violation that is committed by a person in the course of a business or in order to obtain a financial benefit are reduced or increased by up to 50 per cent depending on the compliance history and negligence or intent of the violator as well as the harm or potential harm caused by the non-compliance.

If an individual or a corporation receives a notice of violation, they may request a review of the facts. The review is made by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Minister of Health or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and/or the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal (CART). If an individual or a corporation initially chooses to have their request for review heard by the Minister, and is subsequently not satisfied with the Minister's decision, they may request a review before the CART. A record of decisions reviewed by the CART is available on their website.

What are the key elements of the amendments to the AAAMP Regulations?

Amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations in July 2014 expanded the animal identification and movement reporting requirements to include pigs and farmed wild boars the following year. The amendments to the AAAMP Regulations will provide the persons designated by CFIA with the option of issuing notices of violation to individuals or corporations who fail to respect these particular requirements.

These amendments to the AAAMP Regulations also note that operators will not face enforcement action if they receive animals without an approved tag, as operators cannot verify that animals were in fact tagged before leaving the previous site. The associated provision of the Health of Animals Regulations that stipulates all operators must receive animals bearing an approved tag is proposed to be repealed at a later date.

Additionally, the amendments to the AAAMP Regulations clarify some of the language used and remove certain typographical errors between English and French versions of the regulations as identified by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

What is the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR)?

The Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations is a joint committee of the Canadian House of Commons and the Senate. The Committee's mandate is to examine regulations and other statutory instruments made by the Government of Canada for flaws in legality and execution.

Where a statutory instrument is found to contravene the scrutiny criteria or simply requires further explanation, the SJCSR advises the appropriate department or agency of its findings and concerns. Regulation-making bodies must respond to the SJCSR and determine how to proceed to address the concerns identified. In some cases issues may be resolved through correspondence, while in others a regulatory amendment may be required.

The CFIA is committed to addressing all issues identified by the SJCSR.

How do the amendments to these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

Industry and provincial and territorial governments were consulted upon requirements to identify and report the movement of pigs and wild boars prior to amendments being made to the Health of Animals Regulations in 2014 and 2015. This current amendment to the AAAMP Regulations does not add further burden to Canadian business. The balance of the amendments are minor in nature, do not affect the overall intent of the AAAMP Regulations, and will not affect persons that continue to comply with legislation enforced by the CFIA.

What is the timeline for implementation of the amendments?

The regulations will come into force immediately upon registration of the amended AAAMP Regulations.

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