2016-2017 Regulatory Cooperation Council Work Plan – Plant Health

Department/Agency

United States united states flag

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)

Canada canadian flag

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Medium Term Objective for Regulatory Cooperation

Plant Health

The CFIA and USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will continue to advance a perimeter approach to plant protection to protect Canada and the United States (U.S.) from the unintentional introduction of pests and invasive alien species via the movement of plants and plant products. This will be accomplished by working towards equivalent approaches to regulatory compliance and enforcement and through information sharing. The RCC goals include the alignment of phytosanitary import requirements and related systems wherever possible and streamlining of the certification processes for plants and products flowing between Canada and the U.S.

Stakeholders will be provided progress updates on existing initiatives through the USDA-CFIA Regulatory Partnership Committee.

Work Stream A

Post-Entry Quarantine

Objective: The CFIA and APHIS will work together to develop and implement a process for certain plant taxa grown in Canada that require post-entry quarantine to be recognized by the U.S. as meeting U.S. phytosanitary import requirements.

Rationale: Certain plant taxa from designated countries must be grown for up to two years under specific post-entry quarantine (PEQ) conditions to be eligible for importation into the U.S., as per CFR 319.37-7. This also applies to these plants if they first enter Canada prior to re-export to the U.S. APHIS recognition of PEQ conducted under CFIA oversight as meeting U.S. phytosanitary import requirements. This would facilitate trade in these plant taxa and provide additional assurance to the U.S.. of the safety of these products.

Short Term: CFIA and APHIS to develop and implement a process for plant taxa grown in Canada that require post-entry quarantine to be recognized by the United States as meeting U.S. phytosanitary import requirements. The process will include mechanisms for clear communication between APHIS, CFIA and stakeholders to ensure successful implementation and operation over the long term.

Long Term: Once post-entry quarantine recognition and implementation are complete, APHIS and CFIA will work together to keep the program up to date and to facilitate consistent delivery and response to non-compliant activities. This will ensure that plants that have completed equivalent post-entry quarantine in Canada will meet U.S. phytosanitary objectives.

Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables (Initiative A)
Initiative A: Enhancing Regulatory Alignment Date
1. In line with U.S. PEQ requirements, develop Canadian program documents describing operational requirements for stakeholders and regulatory officials. May 2016
2. Finalize Canadian program documents OctNov 2016
3. Implement the program to produce plants under post-entry conditions equivalent to CFR319.37-7 January 2017
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables (Initiative B)
Initiative B: Stakeholder Engagement Date
1. Consult with stakeholders on draft regulations and program policies and revise documents as needed to reflect stakeholder input. AugSep 2016
2. Develop stakeholder outreach and education material on Canadian program to meeting U.S. phytosanitary import requirements OctNov 2016
3. Conduct outreach to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and stakeholders regarding new protocol NovDec 2016

Work Stream B

Electronic Certification

Objective: The focus of this work plan will be to further streamline the efficient export and import of plants and plant products through electronic certification processes by identifying priorities, assessing business impacts and technical options for the exchange of electronic certificates. This initiative will adopt the Hub or Cloud technology (i.e. International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) ePhyto Hub) for the transfer of data, and will explore other technical options for the exchange of electronic certificates.

Rationale: Electronic exchange of certificates (e-Cert) will increase the efficiency of the exchange of phytosanitary certificates between importing and exporting countries, improve reporting and security of the transmission of the certificates, and reduce the opportunity for fraudulent activity. This work plan builds upon existing initiatives within our respective countries to provide electronic service delivery to stakeholders.

Short Term:
  1. Initiate cooperative discussions to exchange information about the status of the development of our respective systems.
  2. Exchange technical information that will facilitate the enablement of electronic certification.
Long Term:
  1. Develop and implement our respective electronic platforms as required.
  2. Establish guidance on the use of our respective systems for stakeholders to facilitate electronic certification.
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables (Initiative A)
Initiative A: Enhancing Regulatory Alignment Date
1. Initiate cooperative discussions to exchange information about the status of the development of our respective systems, including the adoption of the Hub or Cloud technology. April 2015 – Nov 2016
2. With input from stakeholders, develop and implement a Canada / U.S. communication/outreach plan to provide updates on the development of our respective electronic certification systems and solicit feedback. February 2016
3. Develop and implement our respective electronic platforms as required. Apri 2015 – 2016
4. Establish / update standard operating procedures / guidance manuals for staff to manage receipt and administration of e-certificates in line with the overall project plans for electronic. 2017
5. Determine the feasibility of initiating a pilot to test the ability of our systems to transmit electronic certificates between the two countries and address any deficiencies identified. 2017 or sooner if feasible
6. Implement improvements based on the pilot and undertake full implementation of the program. 2017
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables (Initiative B)
Initiative B: Stakeholder Engagement Date
1. With input from stakeholders, develop and implement a Canada / U.S. communication/outreach plan to provide updates on the development of our respective electronic certification systems and solicit feedback February 2016
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