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Aquatic animal import quarantine

Import permits are required for susceptible species of finfish, molluscs, and crustaceans. These animals and their products must meet the Canadian import requirements as outlined in the Automated Import Reference System to enter Canada. Live and/or dead aquatic animals and their products imported from a foreign country that cannot certify the health status of the animals in order to meet Canada's import requirements or if the health status of the animals is unknown may be eligible to be imported into Canada under quarantine. The quarantine unit must be pre-approved and the conditions for import would be specified on the import permit.

Prior to the import, the quarantine unit must be evaluated to ensure that there are controls to prevent the introduction of the pathogens of concern into Canada, via the animals, water, feed, fomites and vectors. This pre-import assessment is completed prior to the issuance of an import permit and includes an evaluation of the required documentation, including standard operating procedures and a physical inspection of the quarantine unit infrastructure.

The aquatic animal shipment may undergo a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection at the border. All imports must be licensed to the quarantine unit and undergo a post-entry CFIA inspection at the quarantine unit. The quarantine unit must also undergo a post-entry documentation inspection to ensure that the proper shipment-related paperwork and records are present in the quarantine unit.

The aquatic animals are not released from quarantine until all quarantine conditions on the import permit are satisfied and either their health status has been verified by the CFIA with disease freedom testing or the animals are euthanized and disposed of in a biosecure manner along with strict cleaning and disinfection of the quarantine unit.

The CFIA recommends importers refer to the Importer Guidance for Aquatic Animal Health Import Quarantine Unit document, which provides importers with guidance when establishing a quarantine unit for approval by the CFIA for international imports.

Information we provide for the aquatic animal industry includes: