Appendix A: Protocol for Partially Completed Certificates Guidelines

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1. Purpose

This document provides guidance on the criteria to be eligible to participate in a protocol for partially completed export certificates and the requirements of the protocol.

2. Scope

These guidelines apply to processing establishments that are federally registered or hold a fish export licence and require partially completed export certificates for Canadian live and/or fresh fish. Brokers and Cold Storage Warehouses are not eligible for this protocol.

This document is used by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to assess the eligibility and compliance of establishments with the requirements of the protocol.

This document supersedes all existing protocols relating to partially completed certificates, including the Live Lobster Certification Protocol.

3. Authority

Fish Inspection Act, R.S.C., 1970, c. F-12; Sections 6, 9(1)

Fish Inspection Regulations, C.R.C., 1978, c. 802; Part I, General: Sections 9, 12, 13 (1), 13 (2)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice

4. Eligibility Requirements

Establishments are eligible to participate in a protocol for partially completed export certificates when the criteria outlined in this section are met.

4.1 Establishment Eligibility

4.1.1 Certificate of Registration or Licence

The establishment holds a valid CFIA certificate of registration or fish export licence.

Only establishments with a valid CFIA certificate of registration or a fish export licence are eligible to receive partially completed certificates.

4.1.2 Export Certification Controls

The establishment has an acceptable Export Certification Control Program (ECCP) Plan.

The establishment has an ECCP plan which has been accepted by the CFIA as meeting the requirements set out in the ECCP Reference Standard.

Note: Registered establishments may incorporate export certification controls within their Quality Management Program (QMP) under the Regulatory Action Point (RAP) - Product Inspection.

4.1.3 Business Case

The establishment has a valid need for export certificates outside of regular CFIA office hours.

The establishment has provided a valid reason for requiring export certificates outside of regular CFIA office hours based on shipping considerations and the standard timeframe for obtaining a signed certificate.

4.1.4 Compliance History

The establishment has an acceptable product and export certification compliance history.

The establishment has an acceptable compliance history with regards to the fish and seafood they have been exporting and the accuracy of the information provided for the certification of consignments.

Instances of previous non-compliances may render an establishment ineligible to participate in this protocol in which case the establishment would be subject to the standard export certification procedures. Examples where this may occur:

  • There is a history of non-cooperation.
  • The applicant has falsified or forged documents or records while operating as an exporter.
  • There are outstanding certification fees.
  • CFIA has documented evidence that the establishment is unable or unwilling to meet the requirements.
  • There is a history of failing to meet foreign export country requirements.
  • The lack of adequate control and tracking of the partially completed certificates.

4.2 Product Eligibility

The product is perishable (live and/or fresh) Canadian fish or seafood.

The products to be certified using partially completed export certificates are live and/or fresh Canadian fish or seafood.

Note: Standard certification procedures apply to products that are frozen or canned as well as Ready-to-Eat, salted, pickled, or smoked fish.

5. Protocol Requirements

The establishment must develop a written protocol on the controls and procedures to be implemented in order to ensure that the integrity of export certificates and certified consignments is maintained.

5.1 Establishments

The establishments must submit to the local CFIA office a written protocol which outlines the following elements:

a) Management Commitment

A declaration from management agreeing to the requirements of the protocol and attesting to their commitment in maintaining the necessary control measures and records to ensure compliance.

b) Products Certified

A description of the fish and/or seafood which require partially completed certificates.

c) Certificate Requests

The procedures, forms used, and the person(s) responsible for:

  • Requesting partially completed certificates from the CFIA.
  • Verifying and confirming to the CFIA that the correct quantity and type of certificates were received.
  • Maintaining the integrity of the partially completed certificates as appropriate for legal documents.
  • Identifying the number in inventory of each type of certificate being requested.

d) Completing Certificates

The procedures for completing certificates and verifying that the certificates are correct and accurate.

The information on the certificate or the certification request must identify:

  • certificate type(s) and the number of each being requested
  • export country
  • product description
  • consignor name and address

Note: Only the protocol holder may be listed as the consignor.

The remaining information is to be filled in by the establishment prior to shipment:

  • consignee name and address
  • mode of transportation (if known)
  • date of departure
  • lot size (i.e. units, weight)
  • identification marks (i.e. production code)

e) Notification of Shipments

The procedures to notify the CFIA, on at least a monthly basis, of all shipments using partially completed certificates. This must include a summary of the certificates used and a copy of each completed certificate.

f) Replacement/Void Certificates

The procedures to notify the CFIA of certificates completed and voided by the company (not used). The original voided certificate is to be sent to the CFIA on a monthly basisFootnote 1.

Only the CFIA can issue replacement certificates. Replacement certificates are certificates issued after the product has left Canada with an original certificate.

g) Tracking of Certificates

The procedures for tracking the partially completed certificates received, completed and voided which should include:

  • the certificate serial number (upper right hand corner) of each partially completed certificate received;
  • the title of the certificate;
  • the date the partially completed certificate was received from the CFIA;
  • the date the certificate was completed and used for a consignment;
  • the date and reason a certificate was voided (if applicable).

5.2 Protocol

The protocol must describe the following for the elements identified above in section 5.1 (Certificate Requests; Completing Certificates; Notification of Shipments; Replacement/Void Certificates; and Tracking of Certificates):

  1. The controls, the procedures, the forms used and responsible person(s).
  2. The monitoring procedures for verifying that the controls are implemented as written.
  3. The corrective actions followed to address situations where there is a failure to comply with the requirements. This includes corrective actions taken to get back into compliance with the requirements and prevent the situation from re-occuring.

The following information must be recorded:

  • a description of the situation;
  • the certificate number implicated, if applicable;
  • the date the situation was identified;
  • a description of the corrective actions taken;
  • the outcome of the corrective actions taken;
  • the name and signature of the person responsible for implementing and verifying the effectiveness of the corrective actions taken.

6. Administration of Protocols

Protocols are valid for a period of one year from the date of their approval and are not transferable. Protocols may be accepted by the CFIA with the export licence renewal to minimise administrative burden.

Eligibility for inclusion in this program may be cancelled at any time if the protocol requirements are not met or the certification fees are not paid.

6.1 Renewal of the Protocol

A request to renew a protocol, as part of the export license or establishment registration process, must be submitted to the CFIA in advance of the annual expiry date.

The CFIA will conduct regulatory verifications to assess compliance with the protocol requirements. Deficiencies identified by the CFIA must be addressed prior to granting renewal of the protocol.

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