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Operational procedure: Issuing an export certificate for processed fruit or vegetable products, or maple products

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1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection staff on issuing export certificates for processed fruit or vegetable products, or maple products intended for human consumption.

The guidance outlined below should be used when an inspector receives an application for an export certificate at the local CFIA office from an exporter and the Digital Service Delivery Platform (DSDP) is not accessible to the inspector (for example, DSDP is down or offline) or until such time the certificate is available in DSDP.

This document is intended to be used in conjunction with other guidance documents referenced in section 3.0.

2.0 Authorities

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

4.0 Definitions

Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:

5.0 Acronyms

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

6.1 Receipt of an application

6.1.1 The Food export certificate application request (internal access only - RDIMS 11409529) document is to be provided to the exporter for them to complete and submit to the CFIA for export certification requests. Upon receipt of a Food export certificate application request, inspectors must ensure that the exporter meets the regulatory requirements:

As indicated on the CFIA Food exports page, exporters are responsible to verify and meet the import requirements of the destination country. Documentation of import requirements as issued by the competent authority of the importing country is to be maintained by the exporter for at least 2 years [16(2), SFCR]. When no requirements are available, exporters can export at their own commercial risk.

6.1.2 If a request is received to sign a document that is not already identified in the Export certification inspection task tables (internal access only), please contact the Operational Guidance and Expertise (OGE) through the established communicationpathways to ensure that the statements contained in the proposed document accurately reflect the public health status in Canada.

6.1.3 Processed fruit or vegetable products, or maple products must have been processed and graded in an establishment licensed with the CFIA. The exported products are to meet the Canadian Standard of Identity to be eligible for export and the Canadian Grade Compendium (if applicable). Only maple syrup meeting the Canada Process Grade standard or higher is eligible to be exported.

6.2 Reviewing the application

The inspector will review the completed Food export certificate application request which is recommended to be submitted a minimum of 48 hours prior to loading to allow time for document verification and product inspection (under review).

The inspector will verify that the application request is completed correctly and includes the requested date of inspection.

For shipments of maple syrup, the following information must also be included on the Food export certificate application form:

If this information is not provided, export certification will be refused.

6.3 Processing the export certificate

6.3.1 Before issuing an export certificate, the inspector must review if there are any negotiated or identified requirements for the country of destination and if there are any inspection tasks to be conducted as listed in the respective Export certification inspection task tables (internal access only), and determine if the consignment meets these requirements. The identified additional tasks that are completed in support of an export certificate are stored in DSDP as per the Interim guidance on entering food commodity inspection data into DSDP (internal access only - RDIMS 12369415).

6.3.2 Before issuing an export certificate, the lot must be inspected and graded according to the Operational procedure: Processed product grade verification or Maple syrup grade verification. If the product inspection is not satisfactory, do not issue an export certificate. Instead, enter the results into the appropriate inspection database to document inspection findings. Provide a copy to the applicant. Follow up with appropriate compliance and enforcement action.

6.3.3 When the inspector 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 inspector will generate the applicable export certificate as indicated on the Export certification inspection task tables (internal access only).

The Export Certificate – Processed fruits and vegetables, honey and maple products (internal access only CFIA/ACIA 2659) is populated by the inspector with the following information:

Field descriptions for Export Certificate – Processed fruits and vegetables, honey and maple products (CFIA/ACIA 2659)
Export certificate field Description

may be the operator/owner of a licenced establishment, exporter, broker or legal agent

  • there can only be one exporter per export certificate
Address (exporter)

applicant's mailing address


common name of the product

Colour class

as per the Canadian Grade Compendium Volume 7 – Maple syrup

  • indicate "N/A" if the importing country does not require a colour class

brand name as declared on the label

  • if no brand is identified, enter "N/A"
Codes examined

inspected lot code(s) or production sale(s) examined to identify the inspection lot

No. of cases

total number of cases to be exported

  • if there is more than one container size, use one line on the export certificate for each size
    For example: 2100 cases
    1000 cases of 50 g containers
    1100 cases of 1 kg containers
Size and no. of containers per case

container size(s) inspected and the number of containers per case

  • if there is more than one container size, use one line on the export certificate for each size
    For example:
    500 g – 12 per case
    1 kg – 6 per case
  • some importing countries require both gross and net weights to be included in this box
Registration no. establishment identification (ID) number (former registration number)
Shipping marks

identifying marks not already captured on the export certificate (for example, trailer seal number, pallet code, barrel marking)

  • if no other marks exist, record a dash/hyphen

name of the company accepting possession of the product

  • there can only be one consignee per export certificate
Address (consignee)

consignee's address


name of the transporter

  • if a name is not provided, record "Unknown"

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 export certificate must be signed by the inspector who performed the product inspection and must bear the date (YYYY-MM-DD) 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 original document must carry the official CFIA red stamp in the area indicated to that effect. The stamp used for the certificate must be in the format as per the Operational guideline: Guidance on the purchase, use, control and decommissioning of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency official export certificate stamp (OECS)OG/OO-20150831 (internal access only – RDIMS 12181558).

6.4.2 Until DSDP is used for the issuance of processed fruit and vegetable or maple products export certificates, the certificates are tracked using the system in use currently. Until the use of DSDP has been established, each office must keep a log of export documents issued. There is no standard format but this log must include the tombstone information of the product being exported.

Once DSDP is fully functional, export cases will be created for the certificates, and the issued certificates will be uploaded into the export case.

Currently when an inspector issues a certificate, all documentation related to this certificate must be kept on file at the local CFIA office or within DSDP. This includes, but is not limited to:

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 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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