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Operational directive: Retention of Official Meat Inspection Certificate accompanying meat shipments

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1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide direction to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection staff on requirement to shred Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC) upon completion of a meat import transaction.

This document is intended to be used in conjunction with other guidance documents as referenced in Section 4.0.

2.0 Authorities

The inspection powers, control actions and enforcement actions authorized by the food legislations are identified and explained in the Operational guideline – Food regulatory response guidelines.

3.0 Background

SFCR 167(d) requires the importer of meat products to provide an official document issued by the foreign state that states the meat product meets the requirements of the Acts and the Regulations. To date, this requirement has been satisfied through the use of OMICs, which are issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. As such, a paper copy of the OMIC accompanies each shipment of meat products imported into Canada.

Importers provide the original OMIC in electronic format to National Import Service Centre (NISC) as part of the documentation package sent via the Integrated Import Declaration (IID) to request release of the imports. The original OMIC in paper format accompanies each shipment of meat and is presented to the inspector at the time of inspection.

Currently there are two copies of the OMIC, a paper and electronic version, kept by the Agency. A policy decision was made in March 2012 to consider the electronic copy of OMIC stored in the DDS as the "ORIGINAL" version submitted at the time of import transaction processing. Therefore, it is not necessary to keep original OMICs accompanying meat shipments.

4.0 Reference documents

5.0 Definitions

Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:

6.0 Acronyms

Acronyms are spelled out the first time they are used in this document and are consolidated in the Food business line acronyms list.

7.0 Operational directive

The official (digital submission) OMIC must be verified by NISC staff in the review process for the import transaction. When the review is complete, a message indicating release of the shipment will be sent to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). If NISC is unable to complete the review due to, for example, the lack of an official OMIC, the shipment will not be permitted entry into Canada.

If the inspector receives a meat import shipment accompanied by a paper copy of the OMIC, the official (digital version) OMIC has previously been verified by NISC staff and is available in the Digital Document Storage (DDS) system.

All original OMICs in paper format must be shredded by the inspection staff once the inspection results have been entered in the Import Control Tracking System (ICTS Citrix).

For skip lots of meat shipment that are not subject to inspection, importers are responsible to forward the original certificates, within 10 days, to the CFIA (the responsible inspector at the import inspection establishment or to a regional office).

For general inquiries related to this Operational Guidance Document, please follow established communication channels, including submitting an electronic Request for Action Form (e-RAF) - (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).

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