U.S. requirements for tomatoes shipped from Canada

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Effective June 14, 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will require all shipments of tomatoes from Canada to be accompanied by an industry-issued "certificate of origin." This requirement is primarily based on the USDA's efforts to prevent the entry of tomato leafminer to the U.S.

This requirement is meant to prevent the entry of tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) into the U.S.

  • Tomatoes produced in Canada may continue to be exported to the U.S. as long as they are accompanied by a certificate verifying the country of production.
  • Tomatoes produced in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, or the United States may continue to be re-exported to the U.S. as long as they are accompanied by this same certificate.
  • Tomatoes from any other country are not permitted to enter the U.S. through Canada.

This new certificate of origin for tomatoes is very similar to the certificate of origin that has been required for peppers exported to the U.S. since October 2009.

The certificate must be completed and signed by the exporter. The CFIA is not involved in issuing the certificate of origin. However, blank certificates of origin for both tomatoes and peppers are available from local CFIA offices and grower associations.

If a shipment contains both tomatoes and peppers, a separate certificate of origin must be provided for each commodity. Exporters should keep copies of all their certificates of origin and associated documentation (for example, invoices, packing slips, etc.) for verification purposes.

Tomato leafminer is a damaging insect pest that is rapidly spreading in several countries. As a result, tomato leafminer is now a regulated pest in Canada. Fresh tomatoes entering Canada must meet Canada's import requirements, as described in policy directive D-10-01. However, any tomatoes entering Canada from a country regulated for tomato leafminer do not meet U.S. import requirements and are, therefore, not allowed to be re-exported to U.S. The USDA's import requirements for fresh tomatoes are available on the USDA website.

The CFIA will continue working towards a harmonized regulatory approach with the U.S. to minimize trade barriers between our two countries.

Originally issued June 7, 2010 (Notice to Industry)

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