Annex I-3: Failure to Present Shipments of Meat Products for Import Inspection

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1. Scope:

This annex describes the legal responsibility of importers to deliver meat products for inspection and the CFIA enforcement activities regarding shipments that fail to be delivered for assigned inspections.

2. Legal Basis:

The Meat Inspection Act, subsection 9(2) requires all imported lots of meat products to be delivered in their imported condition, as soon as possible, to a registered establishment for inspection by a CFIA inspector. The exemption to this general rule is lots imported from the United States and which were identified by the Import Control and Tracking System (ICTS) as a "skip lot". See Meat Inspection Regulations 1990, subsections 3(5) and 3(6).

Lots of imported meat products which the importer failed to present for import inspection, as prescribed by the legislation must be considered as having been imported to Canada illegally and must be dealt with as such. Illegally imported meat products must be ordered to be removed from Canada, as prescribed by the Meat Inspection Act, section 18.

3. CFIA Procedures for Tracking of Imported Meat Product Lots for Import Inspection:

When documentation for imported meat shipments are presented to the National Import Service Centre (NISC) for review and clearance, the importers/brokers are required to identify their choice of a registered establishments for import inspection. This information is crucial for CFIA's ability to track imported meat product lots and assure that they are presented for the legislated import inspection.

Based on this information, NISC sends a tracer copy of the Import Inspection Report (IIR) bearing the establishment's number and address of the identified import inspection establishment to the inspector responsible for that establishment. The purpose is to alert the inspector that an imported meat product lot or lots are to be expected.

Inspectors with access to the ICTS should verify on a daily basis the shipments assigned for import inspection at their respective establishments.

Once a month, CFIA supervisors will send out a list of outstanding inspections in the ICTS, to the inspector of the establishment identified for inspection.

4. Action to be taken when an imported lot has been identified as having failed to be presented for import inspection:

For the purposes of Failure to Present (FTP) Meat Products for Import Inspection investigations, an imported lot of meat product should be considered as having failed to be presented for import inspection if the expected lot does not arrive at the designated import inspection establishment within 72 hours of NISC clearance for United States shipments or within 14 days for offshore shipments. The inspector must contact the management of the import inspection establishment and enquire as to the location of the shipment. The inspector must also obtain the entire entry package by contacting the NISC and requesting the information be faxed to a secure location. This information will become part of the evidence should legal action be initiated.

Should the management not be aware of the imported meat product, the inspector must contact the importer identified on the IIR to determine the status and location of the expected imported lot and request it be presented for inspection. The inspector must also send a FTP letter to the importer and notify the CFIA supervisor.

Providing the shipment can be located and delivered for inspection assignment, the inspector will send a copy of the FTP letter with the date and time of completion of the inspection to the region's Enforcement and Compliance Division for future reference.

If the inspector determines that the lot is no longer available, within the Canadian registered establishments system and/or is no longer in its imported condition, a notice to remove the product from Canada must be issued to the importer. Any product manufactured from a meat product that failed to be presented for import inspection should be condemned.

The inspector will complete an Inspector Report of Non Compliance to document in detail all conversations and activities related to the incident.

4.1 Enforcement Actions:

The inspector shall forward a copy of all information including all NISC entry documents, a copy of the IIR, OMIC, FTP letter, Notice to Remove, and Inspector's Non Compliance Report (INCR) to the region's EIS, their Inspection Manager and Supervisor for decision on legal action.

5. Change of Import Inspection Location:

The broker or importer will be able to select a different inspection facility before receiving the CFIA Release Recommendation from the NISC. The change would be made in the Import Control and Tracking System (ICTS) by the NISC Specialist upon receipt of the Release Request Approval.

Once the shipment receives the CFIA Release Recommendation, however, no changes will be allowed regarding the inspection facility. The inspection must be performed at the registered establishment listed on the Multi-Commodity Activities Program (MCAP) IIR. If a shipment is presented and the establishment is different than the one identified on the IIR, the shipment should not be accepted and the load rerouted to the import establishment listed on the IIR as the inspection establishment.

The NISC may consider a change request as necessary in exceptional circumstances, such as extreme weather preventing the shipment from being delivered as declared, the closing of the declared establishment due to natural disaster, fire or other unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances of this magnitude.

If there are questions regarding situations which may warrant approval of a change request, the importer can call the Area Import Program Specialist or the NISC.

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