Notice to Industry – Canada signs new MOU with USDA-APHIS for Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program

Ottawa, December 15, 2016: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is announcing the finalization of a revised greenhouse-grown plant certification program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The United States – Canada Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program (GCP) is a bilateral export certification program for greenhouse-grown plants shipped between Canada and the continental United States.

The revised program continues to facilitate the movement of greenhouse-grown plants between Canada and the United States. It allows authorized facilities to ship plants using a GCP sticker in place of a phytosanitary certificate, which relates to the control of plant pests. The revised GCP strengthens oversight of plant movement, requires consistent implementation of the program, and reflects current business practices.

There will be a two year period for facilities registered in the current Canadian Greenhouse Certification Program to transition to the GCP. Facilities that have not completed the transition may continue to ship under the current program until the end of the transition period.

Some key changes to the program include the following:

  • The current lists of excluded plants are replaced by a requirement for plants to meet both countries' phytosanitary requirements;
  • Authorized facilities will prepare and use a written Pest Management Plan;
  • There is a mechanism for items like bamboo stakes – which currently require a separate phytosanitary certificate – to be included under the GCP sticker.

The CFIA and APHIS believe that improvements made through the GCP revisions strengthen their abilities to meet their mission of protecting North American agriculture and natural resources. The revised GCP also streamlines the shipping process, thereby improving efficiency and providing cost savings to all parties.

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