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Exporting food and animal products to the European Union

Effective January 15, 2022, exporters of food and animal commodities destined for the European Union (EU) are required to use updated export certificates, and access them through the Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT).

TRACES NT is an online portal to request export certificates. All maintenance of the certificate templates is done by the EU, providing exporters access to updated versions of the certificate they require.

The certificate and associated import documentation are available in TRACES NT and serves as a pre-notification of the arrival of a consignment and therefore, control authorities at EU border or at destination, can plan their controls and secure inspection times at the border points. Once an EU login account and user access profile in TRACES NT have been created, linkages to existing EU eligibility lists can be made, which will streamline the certificate issuance process.

Exceptions include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) form Certificate of Free Sale (CFIA/ACIA 5786) and the Animal Health Certificate for Entry into the Union of Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets: In-Transit and Commercial Movements (Model 'Canis-Felis-Ferrets') HA 3169).

The Certificate of Free Sale (CFIA/ACIA 5786), is available for food products manufactured by licensed parties under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). The Certificate of Free Sale does not replace product or commodity specific certificates that have been negotiated with foreign countries, nor does it replace or supersede additional import requirements that may be established by the importing country.

For information on the requirements and certification of in-transit and commercial movements of dogs, cats and ferrets to the EU please consult the following link: Export of dogs, cats, and ferrets to the European Union and Northern Ireland: In-transit commercial movements.

How to access TRACES.NT

Creating an EU TRACES NT login account and user access profile, will ensure that all clearance documents contain accurate business information. This will decrease border clearance delays.

Then and now

View a summary of the change in process by using TRACES NT

Contacts

If you have questions about:

Common questions

  1. I have a product specific question related to an EU certificate, who should I contact?
    • Your first point of contact for product related questions or certificate specific questions, should be your importer in the EU. Whether it is a question about if there is a certificate for a certain product, a question about information on a certificate or about an error identified after a certificate has been signed by the CFIA, you should talk to your importer first.
  2. Why can't I see replacement certificates created by the CFIA or other certificates created by other people in my company?
    • This happens when your TRACES NT User profile is not linked to the Operator profile used to populate the consignor field in part I of the certificate. To correct this:
    • 1.) click on "Edit Your Profile" under your email address in the top right hand corner of the TRACES NT home page
    • 2.) click the green "Request new role" and choose "Operator"
    • 3.) select the country of Canada and type the name of the Operator profile into the Search bar
    • 4.) select the Operator Profile by clicking the box to the right
    • Click the green "Request authorization" button. There may be multiple profiles with the same name. Therefore, ensure you choose the correct Valid profile, which is being utilized on certificates.
    • 5.) fill in the required details and Click the blue Send authorization request button
    • 6.) email the CFIA TRACES NT Administrator at cfia.tracesntadministrator-tracestnadministrateur.acia@inspection.gc.ca to request validation of this request
    • You will receive an automated notification from TRACES when the change is completed.
  3. Will the application form for food exports be the same form as is currently used by CFIA?
  4. Do exporters need to upload all supporting documents needed for certification purposes into TRACES NT?
    • Should there be a need to upload documents required by the EU into TRACES NT, the system allows exporters to upload documents into Box I.17 of part I. However, to ensure inspection criteria are met, supporting documentation required should still be provided directly to the CFIA by the current means and should not be uploaded into TRACES NT.
  5. Will there be a change to service delivery time for inspection and/or export verification?
    • We do not anticipate significant changes to how long the process currently takes, as there are no wet signatures or need to pick up a physical copy of the certificate to accompany your consignment. The certificate is digital and remains in the TRACES system.
  6. Is CFIA able to issue a draft certificate ahead of time?
    • Yes, CFIA staff and industry are able to review or print a PDF version of any certificate from within TRACES NT. There is a button at the bottom of the screen in all stages, labelled "Preview PDF", which can be selected, and a copy can be accessed and downloaded, if necessary.
  7. How many days can lapse between the time a certificate is issued in TRACES NT and the time the product has to leave Canada?
    • The certificate can be submitted in TRACES NT by the economic operator (exporter) up to 60 days before the planned departure of the shipment.
    • However, the validity period of the certificate starts after it has been validated and electronically sealed. The certificate validity period depends on the type of commodity being exported, as different validity periods may apply to different export commodities. For example, certificate (2021/403) MODEL EQUI-X for live horses must be issued on the day of loading or on the last working day before loading, and certificate 2021/1471 (2020/2235)(FISH-CRUST-HC) has a validity of 10 days when issued for live aquatic animals. Generally, you can find the validity period at the end of the attestations in part II of the certificate. Please contact your local CFIA office if you have further questions.
  8. Will the certificates show the date of the signature or the date the request was authorized?
    • The certificate in TRACES NT populates the "Date of signature" when the green "Sign Validation" button is selected
  9. How are replacement certificates being issued in TRACES NT?
    • An inspector can initiate the creation of a replacement certificate, using the replacement function in TRACES NT, if there is an error in part II of the certificate, or after the evaluation of a replacement request from the exporter.
    • The requestor can make changes to part I in TRACES NT and resubmit to the CFIA, when the certificate status is in "New". The requestor should send an updated application form an/or inform the local inspector that a change has been made.
    • For errors and required changes to part I after the CFIA has selected the "sign in as progress" or "Validate" status, the exporter will first discuss with the importer to see if they can make the changes when completing the import documentation. If the importer agrees that a replacement is needed then the exporter must submit a written request to the CFIA and provide justification for requesting a replacement certificate, including the specific changes to be made. If, after review, the CFIA concludes that a replacement certificate can be issued, the CFIA will create and validate the replacement certificate in TRACES NT.
    • Please note that certificate model changes cannot be completed on a replacement certificate.
  10. What does the green "valid" status beside the consignor name mean?
    • "Valid" beside the consignor name indicates that the profile in TRACES NT has been marked valid by the CFIA TRACES NT administrator and confirms that the company is known to the CFIA. This is not a confirmation that the company is eligible to export to the EU. "New" beside the consignor name indicates that the profile has not yet been "validated" by the CFIA.
  11. How will the new requirements impact the export certification of pets to the EU?
    • Commercial pet exporters will be required to complete the new EU animal health certificates using TRACES NT.
    • For those wishing to bring personal pets with them to the EU, the current process where private veterinarians complete paper copies will continue. If the pet is being shipped more than 5 days before or after the owner leaves, it is considered a commercial movement by the EU, and the completion of a commercial certificate in TRACES NT will be required. The non-commercial movement of more than 5 pet animals by the same exporter is also considered commercial by the EU and requires the completion of a commercial certificate in TRACES NT.
  12. Which document is used for export shipments that are transiting or stored in the EU, prior to reaching the final non-EU destination country?
    • The new model certificates can also be used for the purposes of transit certificates and only the public health attestations are crossed out.
  13. Can TRACES NT be used for export shipments to the United Kingdom (UK)?
    • No, the UK has developed their own certificate models. This could apply to other countries that have adopted the EU regulations. Refer to the Food export requirements library for importing country requirements.
  14. How will exporters without computers and/or internet be supported?
    • It is anticipated that most exporters will have computer access. For those who do not, they can have information entered into TRACES NT on their behalf.
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