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Exporting food and animal products to the European Union

Effective January 15, 2022, exporters for commercial food and animal commodities destined for the European Union (EU) where certification is required under the new EU Animal Health Law will be required to use updated export certificates accessed through the Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT). Existing export certificates to the EU will be accepted until March 15, 2022 as long as they were signed before January 15, 2022.

The only exception to this is for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) form Certificate of Free Sale (CFIA/ACIA 5786) which 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. It also does not replace or supersede additional import requirements that may be established by the importing country.

What you need to know

  1. How to create an EU TRACES login account | EU TRACES login page
    1. Please ensure that the information inputted is accurate as this will be the official account and this information will be listed on further documentation (clearance documents) and to avoid the creation of duplicate accounts.
      Note: Deletion of duplicate accounts can only be completed by contacting the EU TRACES Helpdesk at or +32 2 297 63 50

  2. How to create an EU user access profile | TRACES NT login page
  3. Send a request to validate the account by contacting the CFIA (the Central Competent Authority) –
    1. You will receive an e-mail notification once your account has been validated. Validation is required before you can start to use TRACES NT.

Note: please do not use TRACES NT to request certificates until January 15, 2022.

Then and Now

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


Creating an EU TRACES NT login account and user access profile today, will ensure that all clearance documents contain accurate business information. This is important in order to avoid problems at the borders. For example minor differences in business name on documents could identify you as a different company or create a duplicate account.


For technical questions, regarding the TRACES NT system contact the TRACES NT helpdesk: or +32 2 297 63 50

*For example: if there is inaccurate information in your profile, which you are unable to change, or if there are duplicate profiles in the TRACES NT system, please contact the EU TRACES NT Help Desk as described above.

For questions regarding the EU Animal Health Law and new exporting rules, contact: Visit Food export requirements library for more information.

For questions related to market access concerns, please contact the Market Access Secretariat at

For questions relating to the export process, export inspections, certificate issuance, please contact your local CFIA office.

Why EU export certificates are changing

A European Commission Animal Health Law (AHL) came into force on April 21, 2021. The coming into force of the EU AHL means updated export certificates are required.

The AHL contains detailed requirements on the registration and approval of establishments, traceability of animals and animal health requirements for movements of animals and their products and entry into the Union, and specific measures for animal disease prevention and control. The AHL also proposes new model certificates for exports destined for the EU.

The CFIA has been monitoring this legislation; however, final details including the model certificates were only provided to trading partners in late 2020 and early 2021. CFIA officers immediately conducted an analysis of the EU's new export certificates and their impact on Canadian exports and affected commodities.

To learn about the requirements to export products to the European Union visit – Food and Animal Export Requirements.


TRACES NT is an online portal to request export certificates. As the certificates are all electronic, exporters have access to the most up to date version of the certificate they require.

Using the TRACES NT system for export certificates provides a secure, convenient, streamlined process for doing business with the European Union (EU). The EU requires that all commodities entering the EU be accompanied by clearance documents prepared in TRACES NT. These documents can be easily prepared using a feature called "cloning", a process that is supported when the certificate was also generated in TRACES NT.

The entire package of documents is 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, that will streamline the certificate issuance process.

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