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Export requirements for meat

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Preamble

This page and the country specific meat and poultry export requirements in the Export requirements library are not a complete source of information for the exporter. They contain only information regarding veterinary, sanitary, packing, marking, labelling and certification requirements of most countries to which Canada exports meat and meat products.

With regard to the commercial aspect and related documentation, it is strongly recommended that the exporter communicate with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), a specialized broker, the embassy, or a consulate of the country to which export is contemplated.

Before completing any deal, an exporter should ensure that the product is acceptable to the authorities of the importing country. It is the responsibility of the exporter to verify that all the requirements of the importing country are being met. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) only supervises their implementation and certifies accordingly.

Consignments of meat products for countries whose requirements are not known, may be certified with the standard CFIA certificate for meat products (CFIA/ACIA 1454). These consignments are at commercial risk. Commercial risk means acceptance by the exporter that the CFIA certificate is given in good faith based on the exporter's written assurances that all due enquiries have been made and that there is no known impediment to entry of the product into the country concerned. These products must meet all Canadian requirements. The letter of commercial risk provided by the exporter is to be included with the export certificate when presented for signature. One letter per lot and per export certificate is required. Certifications in relation to radioactivity (Annex A) and dioxin (Annex A1) can be used along with form CFIA/ACIA 1454 for commercial risk shipments at the request of the exporter. Commercial risk does not mean that CFIA will provide certificates at the exporter's request, if the request is contrary to known requirements. When requirements for one type of meat product for export to a country are known and published, additional meat products will not automatically qualify for commercial risk export.

For this reason, any person aware of a requirement not indicated on this page or in the Export requirements library should inform the appropriate regional office. This would permit us to verify this information and add it, if applicable, to the other requirements of the country concerned.

Legal basis of export certification

Safe Food For Canadians Act (SFCA)

For all food: The following requirements must be met in order to export a food product:

10 (1) It is prohibited for a person to send or convey from one province to another - or to import or export - a prescribed food commodity unless the person does so in accordance with the regulations.

(2) It is prohibited for a person to send or convey from one province to another - or to import or export - a prescribed food commodity unless the person is authorized to do so by a registration made under paragraph 20(1)(a), by a licence issued under that paragraph or by both such a registration and licence, as provided for in the regulations.

(3) It is prohibited for a person to send or convey from one province to another - or to import or export - a prescribed food commodity unless the food commodity meets the requirements of the regulations.

Licensing

The Minister may issue a licence to authorize a person to export.

20 (1) The Minister may, on application: The Minister may, on application:

Certification

The minister may issue any certificate or other document necessary to facilitate the export. currently for meat there is no accepted other document other than the Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC).

48 The Minister may issue any certificate or other document setting out any information that he or she considers necessary to facilitate the export of any food commodity.

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) (January 15, 2019)

Interprovincial trade and export

A meat product has to be produced and labelled by a licence holder.

15 (1) Any food that is sent or conveyed from one province to another or that is exported must meet the following requirements:

Exception: export of non-compliant food

Export of non-compliant food, a label has to be applied on boxes: "Export" or "Exportation"

16 (1) Any person may export a food that does not meet the requirements of these Regulations, other than a requirement of paragraph 8(1)(c) or (d) or subsection 15(1), if a label applied or attached to the food bears the word "Export" or "exportation" and….

Inspection before export

The Minister may require that an inspection be conducted of any food commodity in respect of which a person has applied for a certificate or other document referred to in section 48 of the Act, for the purpose of deciding whether to issue the certificate.

17 (1) An application for the issuance of a certificate or other document referred to in section 48 of the Act must be made to the Minister in a form approved by the President.

17 (5) The Minister may require that an inspection be conducted of any food commodity in respect of which a person has applied for a certificate or other document referred to in section 48 of the Act, for the purpose of deciding whether to issue the certificate or other document.

Separation of food

Section 60 and 61 allow a licence holder to have provincial or municipal meat within their facility, however if the licence holder wishes to export meat, this is not permitted.

60 Physical or other effective means must be used to separate incompatible activities in order to prevent contamination of a food.

61 Physical or other effective means must be used to separate a food from:

Certification

The licence holder has to provide CFIA inspector with any document related to the export as Annex H, lab results, trichina treatment document…

For meat commodity, Annexes are part of the export certificate negotiated with foreign countries, currently there is no accepted other document other than the OMIC.

168 (1) A licence holder may export an edible meat product only if:

Meat establishment licensing and registration requirements

To meet importing country requirements, Canadian establishments which intend to export the meat and meat products to other countries, must only receive, store, process, and/or ship meat and meat product compliant with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). Cold storage facilities (see Policy for cold storages and export certification) which intend to export meat and meat products and/or store meat and meat products intended for export to other countries must be licensed under the SFCR. The frozen meat product meant for export must be kept at -18C or below at all times.

Only meat products prepared in accordance with SFCR may be exported and then only if they are prepared according to the requirements of the importing country, are certified accordingly and, when applicable, the registered establishment is on the list of establishments approved for export to the country in question. When applicable, requests for approval should be submitted using Annex I: Application for Establishment Approval. Furthermore, in those establishments which are processing meat products intended for export, the meat products must have originated from a source approved by the country of destination. In some cases (see Export requirements library) a transfer certificate may need to be used to demonstrate that the meat used for processing is eligible for a specific market. Annex J: Transfer certificate for meat products must be used for such purposes. Annex J must be used for every transfer of meat shipment. When there are multiple transfers to the same destination establishment, Annex J could be used for the day.

No meat product shipment shall be exported unless it has received a final inspection and is found satisfactory.

Note: The Certificate of Inspection Covering Meat Products (CFIA/ACIA 1454) has been updated due to implementation of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) on January 15, 2019.

Establishment eligibility to export

1) Export eligibility - General information

Many countries allow the import of meat products from all Canadian registered establishments. For these countries, there is no need to apply for export eligibility since all registered establishments are automatically eligible to export.

However, some importing countries have requirements in addition to the Canadian meat inspection requirements, including specific prior approval of foreign establishments. Because establishment approval may be limited to meat from certain species or even to certain products from these species, it is essential that exporters and operators consult the current requirements for the country of interest before applying for export. This is especially important since the operator is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the importing countries are met.

Note: When importing countries have requirements in addition to the Canadian meat inspection requirements, the operator must review the current export requirements for the importing country and develop an appropriate written control program to ensure compliance with the additional requirements. This control program has to be reviewed and approved by the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) or Inspector in Charge (IIC).

Establishments on eligibility lists may experience limitations in the following situations:

2) Protocol to add an establishment to an export eligibility list

In order for an establishment to be added to an eligibility list, the following procedure is to be followed:

Note: The approval process may be more specific for certain countries. In such cases, the additional procedures outlined in the section specific to the country requirements must be followed.

Additional notes:

3) Keeping the Establishment Information Current

Operators and CFIA staff should note that changes at the establishment may impact the export eligibility:

4) List of Establishments Approved by Importing Countries

Interested parties should consult the requirements by country to establish the eligibility status of an establishment, because export eligibility can be further restricted to a specific category of meat product.

The CFIA lists are updated on an ongoing basis. In case of doubt on the eligibility status of an establishment, the Area Export Specialist may be consulted.

It is important to note that the official list of Canadian federally registered establishments provides registration details for the establishments but not details on their export eligibility.

5) Removal of an Establishment from an Eligibility List (Delistment)

Note: if meat which is ineligible because of animal health restrictions is present in the establishment, it will result in immediate de-listment of the establishment for the country with this restriction. Removal of the ineligible product from the establishment will not result in its automatic re-listing.

6) Resumption of Export Following the Removal from an Eligibility List

The operator of an establishment which has been removed from an eligibility list may apply to regain export privileges once all necessary corrective measures have been taken to comply with the applicable requirements. The plant approval procedures outlined in Protocol to add an establishment to an export eligibility list must be followed.

Note: If de-listment occurs as a result of an issue(s) identified during a foreign audit, the officials of that country may allow an establishment to be re-listed based on a recommendation by the CFIA, or the establishment may require an on-site visit by the foreign officials before it can be re-listed.

Follow-up to port of entry violation reported by an importing country:

When a meat consignment fails to meet import requirements of the importing country, this consignment will be refused clearance at the port of entry (POE). In such a situation, the foreign competent authority notifies the CFIA of the POE violation through the appropriate Canadian post. The official POE violation correspondence provides a timeframe within which CFIA is required to respond to foreign competent authorities. the following steps will be applicable whenever CFIA receives communication from foreign competent authorities.

  1. The Food Import/Export Division (FIED) communicates the information contained in the official notification to operations
  2. Operations immediately notifies the appropriate area program manager, area export specialist (AES) and the area operations coordinator (AOC) of the POE violation, including the immediate actions taken by the CFIA and / or the foreign competent authority (this may include delisting the establishment and suspension of exports from the affected Canadian establishment).
    Note: operations in collaboration with FIED will establish an appropriate deadline for a response from the establishment and the local inspection staff.
  3. The veterinarian in-charge (VIC) or inspector in-charge (IIC) advises the operator of the establishment of POE violation. An investigation will be conducted by the operator to determine the cause(s) of this non-compliance and also the operator will take appropriate corrective and preventative action(s) to avoid further re-occurrence of such incidences. The response to this violation must be provided to the AES within the pre-determined time frame.
    • Upon notification of the POE violation, the VIC / IIC conducts CVS Task 3.3.02 – Foreign country import inspections violations, issuesa corrective action request (CAR) to the operator, and requests a corrective action plan (CAP).
    • The action plan in form of a letter on company letter head must be submitted by the operator to the VIC/IIC and it must include the following elements:
      • what caused the non-compliance
      • what actions were taken by the operator to correct the cause(s) of the non-compliance
      • what actions were taken by the operator to verify that its corrective actions are effective
      • what action will be taken to prevent recurrence of the non-compliance
      • what has been done by the operator to ensure no additional product implicated in the non-compliance will be exported to this particular country
    • Note: inspection staff must follow the CAR process as described in the following link: Operational procedure: Meat Compliance Verification System (CVS) – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (canada.ca). This includes the process for assessing the operator's CAP.
  4. Once the operator provides an acceptable action plan to the VIC/ IIC, the CFIA inspection staff will verify the effectiveness of that action plan by performing the applicable CVS task (s). If the action plan is found satisfactory, a letter addressed to AES will be prepared by the VIC / IIC. In case the action plan is not found acceptable, further actions as enforcement actions will be taken as described in Food inspection guidance: regulatory response – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).
    Note: depending on the timeframe established by the foreign competent authority for a response, the operator may not have fully implemented their corrective and preventive measures by the date a response from CFIA is required. The VIC / IIC must document this as described in the next step.
    • The veterinarian in charge (VIC) / inspector in charge (IIC) prepares / gathers the following documentation and sends them to the AES for review:
      • a) a letter on CFIA letter head addressed to the AES and signed by the VIC / IIC elaborating on actions taken by inspection staff to validate operator's corrective actions and preventative plans in response to the POE violation. This letter should include:
        • confirmation that the action plan is acceptable
        • the verification activities that were performed by the CFIA to assess the corrective / preventative measures implemented by the operator. In case the CAR(s) is / are not closed at the time of writing this letter, provide reason(s) why the CAR(s) remains open and how control will be maintained until the CAP is fully implemented and CAR is closed
        • if applicable, describe what additional actions were or will be taken by the CFIA in response to this notification for example enforcement activities, change in frequency of CVS task (s) etc
      • b) a letter from the operator on company letter head and signed by the responsible company representative detailing the actions taken in response to the POE violation.
    • Note: the operators are responsible for translating their documents after approval from, FIED as required by the foreign competent authorities.
  5. The AES reviews and sends the accepted documentation package to operations. Operations send the documentation package to FIED.
    • FIED reviews the documentation package and provides an official response, sent from the Director of Food Import/Export Division, to the foreign competent authority. In case documentation is not satisfactory, the documentation will be returned to operation and AES with instructions.
    • The final decision about eligibility to export will be made by foreign competent authority.

Animal health requirements

Canadian animal health status

Information on the Canadian animal health status can be found at Terrestrial Animal Diseases. For more information on federally reportable diseases for terrestrial animals in Canada, please visit Reportable Diseases.

In addition, the situation of World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) listed diseases in Canada is available on the World Animal Health Information Database (WAHIS) and in the OIE HANDISTATUS II System.

Some importing countries, for example China, Saudi Arabia, European Union, Brazil, Peru, Egypt, Ukraine, Russia etc. require that meat should not be derived from animals that were slaughtered in an official disease eradication program, and/or premises/zone/compartment of origin of animals should be free from infectious diseases.

To meet foreign country import requirements, the operators must include segregation procedures, acceptable to the veterinarian-in-charge, in their written control programs when meat is derived from animals that are accompanied by the CFIA/ACIA 4206 (Requirement to Quarantine and License to Transport Animals or Things) and/or CFIA/ACIA 1509 (License for Removal of Animals or Things).

As always, but in disease outbreak situations in particular, modifications to the information on import requirements could be made by importing countries without prior notice or restrictions unknown to the CFIA may apply. Under the circumstances, it is important to reiterate that exporters are responsible to ensure that the products destined for export meet the applicable requirements of the countries of destination.

Export requirements for meat by-products not intended for human food and by-products intended for the production of gelatin

This section includes: hides, by-products intended for pet food manufacturing, by-products intended for technical or pharmaceutical use and by-products intended for the production of gelatine.

Terrestrial Animal Health must be contacted for obtaining the applicable requirements, including the certification required. Certification requirements applicable to the various products and the various export markets are available from the district veterinarian. When not available, the respective CFIA area or regional office must be contacted for more information.

It should be noted that the export stamp and the export stickers must not be applied to the shipping containers and that food export certificates (example: CFIA/ACIA 1454) must not be issued for these types of products. Exceptions to that rule will be specified in the section specific to the export market, when applicable.

Animal health restrictions

Please consult the individual country pages on the Export requirements library for details on any restrictions imposed by the foreign competent authorities of importing countries.

Restrictions related to Avian Influenza

The Canadian control procedures to implement in the event of an outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) are outlined in the Animal Health Common Procedures Manual (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) under the Appendix – Avian Influenza: Export market access and marketing requirements on meat containers.

Several countries imposed restrictions on the importation of poultry meat products following the report of AI by a country from which poultry meat is imported.

Available information on AI related requirements established by authorities of importing countries is included in the section specific to the country or was distributed to CFIA area and regional offices.

As always, but in disease outbreak situations in particular, modifications to the information on import requirements could be made by importing countries without prior notice or restrictions unknown to the CFIA may apply. Under the circumstances, it is important to reiterate that exporters are responsible to ensure that the products destined for export meet the applicable requirements of the countries of destination.

Use and control of official certificates, stickers, stamps and seals for export of meat products

Countries importing Canadian meat products require cartons to have an export label affixed or to be stamped. In addition, each shipment must be accompanied by the required certificate. In order to avoid any abuse or attempt at fraud, strict control must be exercised by the inspectors concerning the use and safekeeping of these items. The purpose of the following is to provide guidance in exercising control and to ensure that Canada's credibility is maintained vis-à-vis foreign countries.

Regardless of the control measures adopted, the inspector-in-charge must bear in mind that certificates, stickers, seals, and stamps are official items for which the inspector is responsible.

Issuance of certificates for edible meat products

All meat export forms except poultry meat forms must be mailed to:

Centre of Administration
Floor 2W, Suite 308
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0Y9

Any meat export form that contains poultry, even if it is only one (1) line item, shall be directed to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) by email to:

aafc.poultry-volaille.aac@agr.gc.ca

Attention: Supervisor Import Control and Data Information Center

Additional certification

Some countries require additional certification. This certification must be made on CFIA official letterhead paper. In all cases (except where otherwise specified) form CFIA/ACIA 1454 must be completed, and the serial number of that document must appear on the additional required certification. The additional certification should be prepared on a single sheet of paper (back to back in case of a two page certificate). If the certification requires more than one sheet, each sheet must bear an original stamp and the initials of the signing veterinarian.

Some countries require additional certification when a meat or meat product is exported to a foreign market for later re-export to a third county. At the request of the exporter/importer, and if all applicable requirements for the third country are met, the certificate in Annex D: Certification in Relation to Japanese Requirements in the case of Japan, or Annex S: Certification in relation to a third country's requirements in the case of another third country, may also be issued. It is important to note that Annex D or Annex S are not issued to comply with an import requirement of the market but simply to facilitate compliance with the third country requirements.

Signature

The original (Part 1) of the certificate CFIA/ACIA 1454 must be signed and stamped. Part 2 and Part 3 are to be stamped only. Only one set of the additional certification must bear the original signature and stamp. If more than one copy bears the original signature and stamp, then the word "Copy" must be stamped on each additional copy.

The official seal of the CFIA (see Annex N: Stamp to be applied on export certificates) must be applied above the signature. Ink of a colour other than black must be used for the stamp and the signature.

It should be noted that only official veterinarians of the CFIA are authorized to sign the above-mentioned documents.

Application of export stickers (CFIA/ACIA 4091)

Export stickers (see Annex M: Official export sticker) shall only be used on products destined for export to Switzerland and Russia under certain circumstances.

Generally, the affixing of export stickers to cartons of meat products destined for storage before export is not permissible. An exception may be made, however, for well identified lots with known destination and for which export certificates have been duly completed pending imminent final loading. The stickers shall be placed over the lid and bottom junction, or over an encircling strap of the carton. This procedure is intended to prevent any unauthorized tampering of the product. The stickers guarantee that the shipment has received a final inspection before export and identifies the shipment to the certification.

European Union (EU) Health Marks

The European Union (EU) requires that all shipping containers be sealed with the health mark. The application of the health mark will be allowed only on products that fully meet the applicable requirements, that is to say EU requirements or member state requirements if the product does not fall under the EU jurisdiction, in eligible establishments, including cold storage establishments.

The CFIA inspector will verify that the establishment's written control program maintains the product eligibility and identification controls throughout the slaughter, fabrication, processing, packaging process, to the point that the EU health mark is applied in a temper evident fashion. As an exemption, in case of pork products health marks may be applied at the eligible cold storage establishments. See European Union (EU) – Export requirements for meat and poultry products for details.

Application of export stamps

All shipping containers of meat products destined for export shall bear the export stamp or export label. The export stamp guarantees that the shipment has received a final inspection before export and identifies the shipment to the certification.

The rubber die of the stamp produces an oval, within which appears the word "Canada" and the number of the establishment. Next to the oval are the abbreviations "Cert. No. Cert." (certificate number), and a space for insertion of numbers (see Annex L: Official stamp for shipping containers).

When shipments are assembled in an approved storage, the inspector-in-charge may have to obtain an export stamp from the CFIA regional office. He or she will have to assure themselves that all the numbers and letters necessary for export stamping have been provided with the stamp.

The numbers to be inserted beneath the abbreviations must agree with those comprising the number of the certificate accompanying the shipment. Therefore, before boxes are stamped, one must verify that the selected number corresponds with the certificate number.

Ordinary ink, preferably black, of the type used to print on paper, cardboard or similar materials, should be used in all cases. Export stamp impressions must be complete, clear and legible, and be applied in a space reserved for that purpose.

In cases where a replacement certificate has to be issued and the number of the previous certificate has already been stamped on the boxes, the number of the previously issued certificate must appear on the replacement certificate. Moreover, the replacement certificate must bear the following mention that it replaces the number of the previous certificate:

"This certificate replaces and supersedes certificate No __________ (number of the previous certificate) issued on __________ (date)."

Application of seals

Seals shall be affixed by or under the authority of an inspector as provided in section 287 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).

Control and custody of inspection certificates

The inspector-in-charge of an exporting establishment must ensure that there is at least a three (3) month supply of certificates in reserve. These certificates shall be safely stored in a locked cabinet.

Orders for new certificates shall be made in the regular manner on form CFIA/ACIA 0262 and should not exceed one (1) year of requirements. The order forms must be sent to the authorized person at each regional office. This person will ensure that the delivery address corresponds either to the regional office or to the address of the inspector-in-charge at the registered establishment.

The serial numbers of the certificates and the date of receipt shall be recorded in a special log book by the inspector-in-charge. See Annex P: Inventory Form for log book to be kept for export certificates. In the case of certificate on which no serial numbers appear (for example: CFIA/ACIA 4566), the applicable controls are verification upon reception of the total number of certificates ordered and the total certificates used in correlation with the corresponding CFIA forms. The inspector-in-charge must send the packing slip (purchase order) to the regional office after verification that the certificates received match with the order.

The authorized person at the regional office shall also register the serial numbers of the official forms CFIA/ACIA 5733 for the United States, CFIA/ACIA 4159 for China, and CFIA/ACIA 1454 for all countries except United States, in the required log book. See Annex P: Inventory Form for examples of information to keep. These log books must indicate the packing slip (or purchase order) number, the date they were received, the serial numbers of the certificates and the name and number of the registered establishments for which the orders were placed.

These log books must be kept on file for a minimum of two (2) years

When a certificate is used, including those which have been voided, Part 2 of CFIA/ACIA 1454, or a photocopy of CFIA/ ACIA 5733, or a photocopy CFIA/ACIA 4159 of the certificate shall be sent to the CFIA National Headquarters.

All export certificates used, issued and voided, Part 3 of CFIA/ACIA 1454, or Part 3 of CFIA/ACIA 5733 and CFIA/ACIA 4159, must be kept on file by numerical order together with all additional certification (annex(s), laboratory reports, etc.) required by the importing country. The certificates must be kept on file for a minimum period of ten (10) years.

Export stickers

General information

Control of export stickers

Strict control shall be exercised over export stickers. A record should be kept of serial numbers of stickers in stock (see Annex P: Inventory Form). Every time stickers are used, the serial numbers shall be recorded with a reference to the serial number of the corresponding export certificate. As with certificates, stickers should be kept under lock and key. Export stickers shall be affixed under the control of an inspector (see Annex Q: Log Book).

Specifications for export stickers

Export stickers are an official form (CFIA/ACIA 4091). Forms Management is responsible to provide each regional office with the applicable specifications for the form. The inspection legend appearing on the export stickers must conform to the dimensions specified in Annex M: Official export sticker. Each export sticker must bear a serial number. Inspectors-in-charge will ensure that the serial numbers do not repeat. The serial number together with the establishment registration number, which is part of the inspection legend, makes export stickers unique. Self-adhesive export stickers must be tamper evident. It is the responsibility of the operator of the establishment ordering self-adhesive export stickers to provide specifications for the paper and for the glue to be used to produce the export stickers. The inspectors-in-charge of the registered establishment will be responsible for specifying which serial numbers are to be used on the export stickers ordered. The inspectors-in-charge will also be responsible for implementing the controls referred to above.

Ordering export stickers

Part I of the order form provided in Annex O: Export Stickers Order Form is to be completed by the operator and presented to the inspector-in-charge.

The inspector-in-charge will review the information and determine if it is complete. The inspector-in-charge will fill out the section reserved for his use by clearly indicating the serial numbers that must be used on stickers to be printed and will authorize the printing of the stickers by signing the order form. A copy of the form will be kept by the inspector in his files and the original will be sent to the regional office along with a purchase order.

An authorized person at the regional office will forward the request and the purchase order to an approved printer (Part III of Annex O: Export Stickers Order Form). The printer will have to make commitments to the effect that he or she will print form CFIA/ACIA 4091 only when orders are received from the regional office. The printer will also be accountable for sending the stickers only as directed by the authorized person from the regional office.

The export stickers will be sent by the printer to the appropriate regional office or at the discretion of the regional director general directly to the inspector-in-charge.

The inspector-in-charge shall verify that the export stickers received match with the order, notify plant management that the stickers are now available and amend the inventory accordingly. The inspector-in-charge must then send the packing slip (purchase order) to the regional office.

The authorized person at the regional office shall register the serial numbers of the export stickers CFIA/ACIA 4091 in the required log book. See Annex P: Inventory Form for examples of information to keep. These log books must indicate the number of the purchase order, the date they were received, the serial numbers of the stickers and the name and number of the registered establishments for which the orders were placed. These log books must be kept on file for a minimum of two (2) years.

Note: All export stickers are to be paid for by the operator according to the printer's instruction.

The stickers, if ordered through the area office, must be subjected to the same controls. The EU Health mark is subject to the same controls as the stickers.

Control of export stamps

Like any other official stamp, the export stamp shall remain under the control of the inspector-in-charge. At the discretion of an inspector, the stamps are to be applied either by themselves or by a plant employee, under the supervision of the inspector.

Control of seals

The recommendations made under control of stickers apply. See Annex P: Inventory Form and Annex Q: Log Book for log books to be kept for seals. The seal, if ordered through the area office, must be subjected to the same controls.

Orders of export stamps and certificates

Orders for certificates should be forwarded to the regional office. In order to simplify and accelerate the processing of orders, the procedure outlined below must be followed when ordering stamps bearing the meat inspection legend. The procedure listed is the minimum requirement and areas may have additional controls and/or forms to be used.

Responsibility and conservation of stamps bearing the meat inspection legend

Stamps bearing the meat inspection legend must be stored in a sturdy cabinet. The cabinet hinges must be concealed, and the hasps must be mounted such that the screw heads are covered. The cabinet must also be locked with a padlock provided by the CFIA, and the key must remain in the possession of the inspection staff.

If an inspector is available at the start of operations but cannot be present once the operations are completed, the cabinet can be equipped with a secure opening so that stamps can be placed into the cabinet but not taken out.

The complete list of stamps, their use and the locations where they must be applied must be posted inside the cabinet in which the stamps are stored.

The operator must sign a sign-out/sign-in sheet each time a stamp is removed from or returned to the cabinet. It is recommended that the time of sign-out/sign-in be indicated. The operator is also responsible for thoroughly cleaning the stamp and returning it at the end of the shift.

The inspector-in-charge must provide the register for the signatures mentioned above.

Stamp inventory

The monitoring of marking devices (metal stamps, needlepoint legend stamps, matrices for engraving metal, etc.) must be maintained. Inspection staff must conduct a daily inventory of stamps and must carry out ongoing monitoring of the stamps as they are signed out and in, according to the register. In addition, to prove that the inspector is effectively monitoring the inventory of stamps, inspection staff should initial the register.

During quarterly visits, supervisors will perform an inventory check of the stamps. This involves counting the stamps in the cabinet and those signed out, as indicated in the register, and comparing the total number with the available inventory of stamps. They must then compare the results obtained with the number of stamps that should be in the establishment's inventory according to the regional centre. Supervisors should document the inventory check in their report.

Any discrepancies must be immediately investigated. The justification presented for each discrepancy should be documented in a separate report.

Damaged, worn or surplus stamps

Only stamps that give a clear, legible imprint are acceptable for use. Damaged, worn or surplus stamps must be sent, along an accompanying note, to the regional office, which will dispose of them. Stamps from closed establishments must be returned via the regional office.

Lost stamps

To minimize the accidental loss of brass stamps, the handles must be designed in such a way as to reduce the tendency of the stamps to roll off tables, desks, etc.

Each time a stamp is lost, an effort must be made to locate them and the operator and the inspector-in-charge must provide detailed explanations in writing.

Transloading of meat products destined for export

Occasionally, a shipment may be prepared, marked and transported to another licensed establishment for containerization. The applicant forwards a copy of the partially completed Export Application Verification Form – Annex H (CFIA/ACIA 5344) to the inspector at the site of the containerization. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to advise the inspector responsible for the registered facility where the containerizing occurs of the planned time of loading, products to be exported and of the container number. The inspector at the storage facility will verify the loading and contents of the container. Such verification will be relayed by completing the additional endorsement of Annex H (CFIA/ACIA 5344) and returning it to the applicant. The applicant is responsible to forward the form to the signing official CFIA veterinarian.

Products consigned to an in-bond storage (ship stores) located in the country of destination

The following conditions apply:

Meat products exported and returned

For guidance and procedures on the return of exported meat products to Canada please consult the Meat products section of Food-specific import requirements.

With respect to products returned from the United States, more information is available on United States of America – Export requirements for meat and poultry products webpage.

Meat products derived from ruminants - Restrictions related to BSE

Several countries have imposed restrictions on the importation of Canadian meat products derived from ruminants following the report of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada.

Available information on restrictions imposed is summarized in Annex R: Summary of restrictions imposed by importing countries relative to BSE of this section. It is important to note that this information relative to BSE is in addition to the information already available in the section specific to each country which continues to apply. See the Export requirements library for more country specific details on BSE restrictions.

The information provided in this section represents the best effort to inform interested parties on the current situation. In order to do so Annex R: Summary of restrictions imposed by importing countries relative to BSE also includes foreign markets that have not imposed a ban on the import of Canadian products but that have either restrictions or certification requirements regarding BSE when available. Changes to the information provided could be made by importing countries without prior notice or restrictions unknown to the CFIA may apply. Under these circumstances, it is important to reiterate that exporters are responsible to ensure that the products destined for export meet the applicable requirements of the countries of destination.

Specific BSE requirements

Available information on BSE related requirements established by authorities of importing countries is included in the section specific to the country (see the Export requirements library) or is distributed to CFIA area and regional offices.

Beef tallow: tallow with a maximum level of insoluble impurities of 0.15% in weight and derivatives made from this tallow, as defined by OIE, are exempted from BSE related restrictions.

Beef tongues

When import requirements refer to removal of tonsils, without specifying palatine tonsils, the tongues must be harvested making a cut caudal to (just behind) the vallate papillae (request Annex R-1: Bovine Tongue and Tonsils for details).

Marking requirements

To facilitate the work of all parties involved, an identification mark has been agreed upon to identify products derived from animals aged thirty (30) months or older (OTM). The identification mark (see Annex R-2: Identification Mark: Carcass of Cattle Aged 30 Months or Older), should appear on the products in the case of unpackaged products or on the main panel of the shipping container in the case of packaged products. The size of the mark should be of at least 5 cm; sides in the case of the triangle and height in the case of the numeral. The above marking does not apply to meat products which are labelled as "Only for Domestic Sale in Canada" provided that this statement is next to product description and letter size is same as product description (see Annex R-2: Identification Mark: Carcass of Cattle Aged 30 Months or Older) Operators of establishments where bovine meat products are manufactured are responsible for developing marking procedures, using one of the agreed upon identification marks, or the optional labelling statement, to the satisfaction of the CFIA to ensure that all products derived from OTM animals are identified as required.

As a control measure at a receiving establishment, written confirmation from the operator of the supplying establishment attesting that the marking/labelling is conducted in a satisfactory manner should be retained on file and made available on request.

Meat products prepackaged for retail sale on the Canadian market and prepared meat products for retail sale in Canada do not need to bear the markings described above.

Canadian beta agonist-free beef certification program

The CFIA is responsible for certifying that beef exported from Canada originate from cattle that have never been fed and/or exposed to beta agonists. Annex V: Canadian Beta Agonist-Free Beef Certification Program describes the general requirements for the production and certification of beta agonist-free beef for export.

Canadian ractopamine-free pork certification program

The CFIA is responsible for certifying that pork products exported from Canada originate from pigs that have never been fed and/or exposed to ractopamine hydrochloride. Annex T: Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program describes the general requirements for the production and certification of ractopamine-free pork products for export.

Boar, stag and ridgling derived meat - Export market restrictions

Available information indicates that the United States, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Bermuda permit import of boar meat without restrictions. Identification of the product will need to be maintained as no official information on the acceptance of these products is on record for other countries and that same restrictions may apply.

Therefore, exporters may be authorized to export boar meat when no restrictions prohibiting such exports are indicated in the section specific to the country, at commercial risk, as long as the above-mentioned conditions are met and the exporter is not aware of any prohibitions.

It is the responsibility of the operator to be informed of the importing country requirements if they want to export this type of product, if the importing country has not formally notified the CFIA, and if it is acceptable.

Canadian ractopamine-free poultry certification program

The CFIA is responsible for certifying that poultry products exported from Canada originate from birds that have never been fed and/or exposed to ractopamine hydrochloride. Annex U: Canadian Ractopamine-Free Poultry Certification Program describes the general requirements for the production and certification of ractopamine-free poultry products for export.

Export of meat products to Muslim countries

Some countries may have specific requirements for the slaughter of animals for their meat. Please verify under the importing country requirements. Further information on halal requirements is available through the Industry Labelling Tool.

There are several organizations that offer Halal certification. Canadian companies interested in obtaining Halal certification should contact one of the certification bodies and make sure it is acceptable to the importing country.

General annexes

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