Operational procedure: Issuing an export certificate for highly processed animal products intended for human consumption
On this page
- 1.0 Purpose
- 2.0 Authorities
- 3.0 Reference documents
- 4.0 Definitions
- 5.0 Acronyms
- 6.0 Operational procedure
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection staff on issuing export certificates for highly processed animal products intended for human consumption. Highly processed animal products are defined below and include products such as gelatin, collagen, highly refined products, or other products of animal origin.
The guidance outlined below should be used when CFIA inspection staff receives an application for an export certificate at the local CFIA office from an exporter. The guidance for using TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) for export to the European Union (EU) is also included.
This document is intended to be used in conjunction with other guidance documents referenced in section 3.0.
- Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA), 48
- Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), 17
The inspection powers, control actions and enforcement actions authorized by the above legislation are identified and explained in the Operational guideline – Food regulatory response guidelines
3.0 Reference documents
- Industry guidance – Food exports
- Industry guidance – Food export requirements library
- Industry guidance – Guide for preparing an Export Certification Control Program (ECCP) plan
- Export certification inspection task tables (accessible only on the Government of Canada network)
- TAHD-DSAT-IE-2009-02 Export certification guidelines for animal products and by-products for animal consumption or technical use (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 1437780)
- Operational procedure – Food preventive control and traceability inspection – Compliance verification system
- Operational procedure – Guidance on the purchase, use, control and decommissioning of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency official export certificate stamp (OECS)OG/OO-20150831 (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 12181558)
- Operational procedure – Replacing export certificates for food
- Health of Animals Act (HAA)
- Health of Animals Regulations (HAR)
Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:
- Safe Food for Canadians Regulations – Glossary of key terms
- My CFIA Glossary of terms
- animal by-product includes blood or any of its components, bones, bristles, feathers, flesh, hair, hides, hoofs, horns, offal, skins and wool, and any thing containing any of those things; [2(1), Health of Animals Act]
- animal by-product means an animal by-product that originated from a bird or from any mammal except a member of the orders Rodentia, Cetacea, Pinnipedia and Sirenia; [2, Health of Animals Regulations]
- animal product means an animal product that originated from a bird or from any mammal except a member of the orders Rodentia, Cetacea, Pinnipedia and Sirenia; [2, Health of Animals Regulations]
- highly processed animal products: manufactured from ingredients of animal origin derived from mammals or birds; examples include amino acids, gelatin, collagen, raw materials for the product of gelatin and collagen, gelatin capsules, trypsin and other enzymes
Acronyms are spelled out the first time they are used in this document and are consolidated in the Food business line acronyms list.
6.0 Operational procedure
Note: For highly processed animal products destined for the EU, export certificates will be issued using the European's TRACES NT system, as of January 15, 2022. Please consult the Comparative table for EU export certification using TRACES (accessible only on the Government of Canada network - RDIMS 15423609).
6.1 Receipt of an application
6.1.1 Upon receipt of an export certificate request from an exporter, the certifying official (inspector or veterinarian as specified on the certificate) must ensure that the exporter meets Canadian regulatory requirements:
- holds a valid licence [17(2), SFCR]
- has a written Preventive Control Plan (PCP) [86(2), SFCR]
6.1.2 As indicated on the CFIA Food exports page, exporters are also responsible for knowing and meeting the import requirements of the destination country. If the exporter provides the requirements of the importing country or a document that has not already been identified in the Food export requirements library, or if the import permit conditions cannot be met, please contact the Operational Guidance and Expertise (OGE) through the established communication pathways to ensure that the statements contained in the proposed document can be met by Canada. The requirements of the importing country must be kept on file by the exporter for at least 2 years [16(2), SFCR].
Note: the Animal Health business line has available export certificates that are applicable for human consumption. The certifying official should also check the Animal Health business line regarding the export of highly refined animal products: Veterinary Health Certificates - Animal products/By-products (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).
6.2 Reviewing the application
6.2.1 The certifying official will review the export certificate request to ensure that it is completed correctly. At a minimum, the application should contain information about the consignor, consignee, product description including the Harmonized System (HS) code, and information about the origin (country) and supplier of the animal products and by-products.
Refer to the specific country Food export requirements library and the Export certification inspection task tables (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) for additional information required to be provided (as applicable) for domestic and foreign sourced animal products and by-products.
For shipments that are to comply with the conditions on an import permit, the certifying official must determine if the conditions can be met. The use of imported ingredients may need supporting documentation to ensure that the importing country's requirements can be met.
6.3 Processing the export certificate
6.3.1 Before issuing an export certificate, the certifying official must review if there are any specific export documents or identified requirements for the country of destination as outlined in the Food export requirements library and if there are any inspection tasks to be conducted as listed in the respective Export certification inspection task tables (accessible only on the Government of Canada network). As an example, the export of gelatin and collagen to the European Union have specific pre-export approvals in places, as outlined in the Food export requirements library. Upon review, determine if the consignment meets these requirements.
The certifying official may request information from inspection staff that have more knowledge of the operator and their practices. Inspection staff can provide information about the status of the operator's licence, written preventive control plan and traceability controls that are in place, which are verified through a preventive control inspection using the Operational procedure: Food preventive control and traceability inspection – Compliance verification system.
To support certification, additional information supplied by the operator may be necessary, such as a manufacturer's declaration on company letterhead. The Food export requirements library and the Export certification inspection task tables (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) will indicate the details of any additional required information. For shipments that have an import permit, the certifying official can request additional information to determine if the import conditions have been met.
6.3.2 When the certifying official is satisfied that the applicant and the consignment meet the requirements and has reviewed and determined that the information submitted by the applicant is acceptable, the certifying official will generate the applicable export certificate.
6.4 Issuing the certificate
Export certificates cannot be issued for any shipments that have already left Canada.
6.4.1 All certificates must be signed in blue ink and stamped using red ink. The certificate must bear the date the export certificate was signed. The stamp is to be applied to an area that does not obscure any pertinent information.
The CFIA will issue one original document with a unique certificate number for each request made by the applicant. The unique certificate number is maintained by the local CFIA office.
The stamp used for the certificate must be in the format as per the Operational procedure: Guidance on the purchase, use, control and decommissioning of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency official export certificate stamp (OECS)OG/OO-20150831 (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 12181558).
6.4.2 Each office must keep a record of the export documents issued. There is no standard format but the record must include the tombstone information of the product being exported (for example, consignor, consignee, product, destination country, date certificate issued, certificate number).
6.4.3 All documentation related to this certificate must be kept on file at the local CFIA office. This includes, but is not limited to:
- a copy of the original certificate, a replacement certificate, or any other documents used to issue the certificate
- any correspondence from the exporter applying for a certificate
- a copy of inspection results, if applicable
6.5 Replacement of issued certificate
For the procedure to issue a replacement certificate, please refer to the Operational Procedure – Replacing export certificates for food.
For export certificates that are issued through TRACES NT, the comparative table (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 15423609) has additional information regarding the replacement function.
For general inquiries related to this operational guidance document, please follow established communication channels, including submitting an electronic Request for Action Form (e-RAF).
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