Annex U-1: Summary of Procedures for Meat Products Imported From Countries Other Than the United States

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This document is intended as an overview of procedures for importing to Canada meat products from countries other than the United States. Importers are advised to consult the references provided for further information because the disease status of countries could change immediately if a disease outbreak is reported.

Foreign Countries Eligibility

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) evaluates foreign countries for equivalency of inspection and certification systems. Animal health assessments are conducted to evaluate the risk of introducing foreign animal diseases for each species (beef, pork, poultry etc.). Results could restrict the type of meat products allowed entry into Canada. For a list of approved countries and the types of meat products eligible refer to Annex A, Chapter 10 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures (MOP).

Foreign Establishment Approval

Foreign establishments are evaluated on an individual assessment based on their ability to comply with Canadian requirements. A list of eligible establishments is available on request.

Animal Health Import Permits

Some meat products require prior issuance of an Import Permit for Canada issued by the Terrestrial Animal Health Division, in addition to requirements under the Meat Hygiene Program. These include raw beef from Uruguay and Brazil, processed products from Germany, raw poultry from Brazil, prosciutto from Italy, raw poultry from Hungary, processed products from Spain and beef from Japan. This list is not inclusive and could change without notice. It is recommended to check the status in Annex A, Chapter 10 of the MOP, or to contact a CFIA Animal Health Office.

Labels and recipes

Pre-market registration of labels and recipes for certain meat and processed products no longer required

Regulations Amending the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC)

Products for export to Canada are certified as meeting Canadian requirements by the foreign competent authority. Specific country requirements are described in Annex A, Chapter 10 of the MOP. The only acceptable form of the OMIC for exporting meat to Canada is the certificate reproduced by the foreign competent authority, shown in Annex C-1, Chapter 10 of the MOP.

Pre-verification Not Required

Except for the United States, other countries do not require pre-verification of the meat products for import into Canada. Documents are sent to the National Import Service Centre (NISC) of the CFIA for processing prior to the product arriving in Canada.

National Import Service Centre (NISC)

Prior to the shipment arriving at the port of entry, the following documents are faxed to a CFIA National Import Service Centre by the importer/broker at:

National Import Service Centre (NISC)
Telephone: 905-795-7834; Facsimile: 905-795-9658 (shipments to Ontario)

  1. a copy of the original OMIC (word "original" must be shown);
  2. the "Document verified / Document vérifié" stamped copy of the OMIC (if pre-verification is required);
  3. the CFIA-NISC fax cover sheet "Request for Release Approval" (available from the NISC); and
  4. the commercial invoice.

Note: Importers or their brokers must be a registered user of the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system to obtain clearance from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

NISC Import Decision

The NISC will process the documentation. If unsatisfactory the NISC will advise the importer or broker of the reason for refusal. If satisfactory, the NISC will return a stamped "Request for Release" cover sheet and an Import Inspection Report (IIR) to the importer/broker. The IIR will assign an inspection requirement to each product type. The inspection assignment for imported products from countries other than the United States are:

  1. Visual Inspection a visual inspection of the product is required at the re-inspection facility indicated on the IIR. Refer to Annex O, Chapter 10 of the MOP; or
  2. Full Inspection a full inspection of the product is required at the re-inspection establishment noted on the IIR. Refer to Annex P, Chapter 10 of the MOP.

See the CFIA Meat Products Inspection fees Web site for information on fees for services.

At the Canadian Border

Following a satisfactory NISC decision, the importer/broker can transmit their transaction to the EDI system of the CBSA for custom clearance. All shipments are required to proceed directly to the import inspection establishment identified on the IIR.

At the Re-inspection Facility

The driver must deliver the shipment as soon as possible in its imported state to the re-inspection establishment noted on the IIR. Importers must make arrangements for the re-inspection service and associated fees with management of the re-inspection establishment.

The CFIA provides inspection service Monday to Friday during regular business hours. The original OMIC must be provided to the CFIA inspector. No inspection will be completed without receipt of the original certificate. Following a satisfactory re-inspection, the product is released. If unsatisfactory, the product is detained and the importer will be notified with the reasons for refusal.

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