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Operational Procedure: Issuing a Letter of Non-Compliance

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1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection staff with a standardized procedure for issuing a letter of non-compliance (LoNC).

This document is intended to be used in conjunction with CFIA guidance documents as referenced in Section 3.0.

The procedure outlined below should be used when inspection staff have determined that issuing LoNC is an appropriate response to a non-compliance observed, as per the Standard Regulatory Response Process.

The issuance of a LoNC may not apply to all CFIA inspection programs and the inspectorate should refer to program-related enforcement guidance or procedures.

2. Authorities

A LoNC is an administrative enforcement action established under policy that is not enabled by legislation enforced by the CFIA.

3. Reference documents

4. Definitions

Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:

5. Acronyms

CFIA
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
LoNC
Letter of non-compliance
DSDP
Digital Service Delivery Platform

6. Operational procedure

CFIA inspection staff should follow this procedure when they have made the decision to issue a LoNC as referenced in the Standard Regulatory Response Process and commodity specific guidance.

The LoNC is an administrative action used to document a contravention of legislation. It serves as a notice to the regulated party and forms part of the internal administratively collected information gathered by the CFIA regarding compliance history. As per the Standard Regulatory Response Process, this information is documented to support enforcement actions if they are required in the future.

Use of a LoNC may be appropriate in situations where the following statements apply:

The enforcement decision process in the Standard Regulatory Response Process will help determine if a LoNC is an appropriate response to the non-compliance.

6.1 Preparing the LoNC

Inspectors should refer to Appendix 1 when drafting the LoNC. This letter should include the following information:

The information above may be adjusted to appropriately address the circumstances of each instance of non-compliance. However, it is recommended that all information noted above be included and worded as closely as possible to the recommended template, as per Appendix 1.

The LoNC should be signed by the inspector, supervisor or inspection manager as per the Standard Regulatory Response Process. Should the regulated party wish to question the content of the LoNC, the CFIA official who signs the document would be the point of contact to discuss issues outlined in the letter.

6.2 Sending the LoNC to the regulated party

Send the original LoNC signed by the inspector or Inspection Manager who made the decision to the regulated party by registered mail, courier or hand deliver in person. If digitally signed, send the letter by email.

Follow up with the regulated party by telephone or in person, if it was delivered by registered mail or email, to ensure they received the notice and understand it.

The LoNC should be delivered to the regulated party with a copy of the associated inspection report(s) or supporting document that resulted in its issuance as applicable.

The best practice is hand delivering the LoNC and copies of associated inspection reports to the regulated party, preferably by the inspector who conducted the inspection. Upon delivery to the regulated party, the inspector should clearly explain:

6.3 Documenting the delivery of the LoNC

The letter delivery process and interaction with the regulated party must be documented in the inspector notes. The notes, along with a copy (photocopy, scanned or digitally signed copy) of the LoNC should be kept on file for future reference. If the LoNC was sent by registered mail or courier, a copy of the delivery notice should be included in the file. A best practice is to file a copy of the original signed correspondence with the following information recorded on the back of it:

If the letter was digitally signed and sent by email, copies of the email and signed letter should be saved in RDIMS.

6.4 Tracking the recommendation and issuance of a LoNC

Digital Service Delivery Platform (DSDP) users:

Enter the details of the enforcement action in the DSDP. To do this, refer to Standard Inspection Process section A.5.5.2 Capture regulatory response actions and DSDP Standard operating procedure Managing a Non-Compliance Record (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 9906406). In the Non-compliance Response Details tab add a new Regulatory Response and select the Regulatory Response Type: Letter of Non-compliance. The enforcement details are being entered after the decision to issue a LoNC has been made, therefore select the Response Status: Issued. At a minimum, add a copy of the LoNC to the Documents sub-grid within the new regulatory response record.

For inspection programs that have yet to be incorporated into DSDP:

Enter the details of the enforcement action using established procedures.

Logging this information is required to document a regulated party's compliance history and ensure that non-compliance is documented as part of the compliance and enforcement continuum.

7. Appendices

Appendix 1 – Forms and Templates

For general inquiries related to this operational procedure, 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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