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Notice to industry : Changes to import requirements for pet chews made from animal products and by-products


Import requirements will change for pet chews made from animal products and by-products in the spring of 2022. The requirements will be modernized and simplified to allow importers to more easily categorize imported products.

The categories will be defined by species (bovine, porcine, etc.), and then divided into chews made of bones and chews made of all tissues other than bone (including hooves with no bone remaining inside).

Simple pet chews are found in Chapters 5 and 23 of the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) and must be made entirely from animal by-products such as pizzles, ears, tails, etc. If there is any meat or meat meal in the product, along with by-products or rawhide, this is defined as a compound chew which are found in Chapter 23. Examples of compound chews include a hoof stuffed with meat meal or rawhide wrapped around a chicken breast.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the authority on tariff categorization of imported products, and importers are encouraged to approach them directly if there is a question about tariff coding. Refer to the CBSA Canadian customs tariff web page for further information.

The product label or a list of ingredients will now be required when importing rawhide chews. It must clearly describe the product as containing rawhide (also known as beefhide, cowhide, pork skin, porkhide) as the only animal origin ingredient.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are strengthening controls over microbiological testing of pet chews due to the risk of Salmonella infections in pets and owners. The same testing will be required for all chews (5 random samples per lot), but there will be a new requirement for these microbial testing results to be clearly linked to the lot number on the import documentation. This will ensure a higher degree of safety for Canadian pets and owners.

The CFIA is updating the list of countries from which pet chews will be accepted. Pet chews made of bone may only be imported from countries with a veterinary infrastructure and certification system recognized by Canada. AIRS will be updated when these changes are published to specifically state whether a chew will be accepted or refused from each country, making it easier for importers to find the information they need.

We hope you find this information useful. These changes will be implemented on Monday May 2, 2022, and there will be a transition period of 12 months where product will be accepted for import using either the previous or new conditions.

If you have any questions about these changes, contact the Animal products and by-products at For routine inquiries, your local CFIA office continues to be your first point of contact.

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