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D-06-01: Compliance Program for the Export of Niger Seed Products from Canada to the United States

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Effective Date September 14, 2011
(2nd Revision)


Establishments involved with the exportation of non-propagative material containing niger (Guizotia abyssinica) seed, such as bird food, are subject to procedures which ensure compliance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) import requirements. This directive describes the requirements by which facilities could be approved to export niger seed products to the United States (U.S.) and outlines the compliance agreement and the conditions that facilitate export for niger seed from Canada to the U.S.

This directive has been revised to update the review date, as well as minor administrative changes. Appendix 1, Table 1 of the directive has been updated to reflect changes to the list of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved heat treatment facilities for niger seed. No additional changes to the content of this directive have been made.

Table of Contents


This directive will be reviewed every 3 years unless otherwise needed. For further information or clarification, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).


Approved by:

Chief Plant Health Officer

Amendment Record

Amendments of this directive will be dated and distributed as outlined in the distribution below.


  1. Directive mail list (Regions, PHRA, USDA)
  2. Provincial Governments, Industry (as determined by author)
  3. National Industry Organizations
  4. Internet


Phytosanitary import requirements for niger seed (Guizotia abyssinica) differ between the U.S. and Canada. Under the Plant Protection Act, no commodity can be exported unless it complies with the requirements of the importing country. Therefore, Canadian niger seed products exported to the U.S. must meet the USDA import requirements.

The USDA has raised concerns with potential co-mingling of devitalized seed from USDA approved heat-treatment facilities and non-devitalized niger seed that may have entered Canada. To address these concerns, a compliance agreement program for exports of niger seed products from Canada to the U.S. has been developed.

To facilitate the export of niger seed and products containing niger seed for non-propagative uses (such as bird food) from Canada to the U.S., a compliance agreement between the exporting facility and the CFIA is required. This agreement is designed to verify that niger seed exported from Canada to the U.S. is:

A compliance agreement of this type satisfies the phytosanitary import requirements of the USDA.


The information in this directive is intended for inspectors and program officers of the CFIA, the Canada Border Services Agency and companies or facilities that export niger seed to the U.S.


Definitions, Abbreviations and Acronyms

Definitions for terms used in the present document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms.

1.0 General Requirements

1.1 Legislative Authority

1.2 Fees

The CFIA is charging fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. Anyone requiring other information regarding fees may contact any local CFIA office or visit us at our Fees Notice Web Site.

1.3 Regulated Pests

Noxious weeds such as Cuscuta spp.

1.4 Regulated Commodities

All pure and blended products containing niger (Guizotia abyssinica) seed.

Synonyms: nyger, nyjer

1.5 Commodities Exempt

See section 2.1.2

2.0 Specific Requirements

2.1 Export Requirements

2.1.1 Niger seed that is repackaged and/or blended in Canada

To be eligible to export niger seed products to the U.S., a facility must be approved by the CFIA under a compliance agreement (Appendix 1) and must:

The facility will be inspected annually to ensure that the conditions stated in the compliance agreement are met. The CFIA program officer or inspector is responsible for evaluating facility application, inspecting and auditing facilities, approving compliance documents, issuing the compliance agreement approval letter and for testing of retained samples as required.

A signed copy of the compliance agreement and the approval letter will be sent to the National Manager, Grains and Field Crops section in Ottawa or to the Network Specialist who will forward it to the USDA in order to have the facility listed as an authorized exporter in the USDA/APHIS Canadian Border Agricultural Clearance Manual.

2.1.2 Niger seed in original packaging

A niger seed product that was imported into Canada from the U.S. through USDA approved heat treatment facilities in Maryland or New Jersey (Table 1, Appendix 1) and is maintained in its original, unopened packaging is exempt from the compliance agreement requirements and may be sent back to the U.S. as "U.S. returned goods".

2.2 Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with the conditions set out in this agreement will result in the revocation of a facility's compliance agreement by the CFIA. The USDA will be notified of such facilities.

3.0 Appendices

Appendix 1 - Compliance Agreement Between Canadian Facilities Exporting Niger Seed to the United States and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Establishments involved with the exportation of non-propagative material containing niger (Guizotia abyssinica) seed, namely bird food to the U.S., are subject to procedures which ensure compliance with USDA import requirements. This agreement is designed to verify that such niger seed was imported into Canada via a USDA approved heat treatment facility (see Table 1), maintained in segregation throughout the repackaging process and sent directly from the exporter to the United States accompanied with a copy of the original heat treatment certificate(s).

Table 1. USDA Approved Heat Treatment Facilities for Niger Seed
Facility Name Location
ETO Sterilization Linden, New Jersey
I.S.I. Baltimore, Maryland
Shah Nanji Nagsi Nagpur, India
IMCO Agro Industries Ltd. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will verify that a facility meets the compliance standards based on the following criteria:

  1. The exporting facility will be inspected on an annual basis by a CFIA inspector.
  2. An exporting facility must show traceability of seed shipments from the USDA approved heat treatment facility through to the final exportation. The exporting facility must maintain records (i.e. inventory management and documentation) for each shipment of niger seed. The facility must demonstrate that each certified devitalized seed lot from a USDA approved heat treatment facility is segregated from seed that has not been treated in a USDA approved heat treatment facility.
  3. Storage bins must be cleaned prior to and after each use to ensure that no seed of unknown provenance can contaminate the USDA approved heat treated shipments.
  4. Seed lots must not be co-mingled.
  5. A representative sample will be taken from each imported seed lot by a CFIA inspector or responsible representative of the exporting facility, and retained for one year as a reference sample. A CFIA inspector will monitor the samples, as required, to verify that the seed has been effectively devitalized.
  6. A copy of the applicable heat treatment certificate(s) from a USDA approved facility must accompany every export shipment.

Compliance Agreement: Niger seed and products containing niger seed for export into the United States from Canada

  1. Name of responsible representative of exporting facility.
  2. Name and address of exporting (processing) facility (also provide address of administration office, if different from facility address.
  3. Telephone number, fax number and e-mail of responsible representative of exporting facility.

I am and shall be responsible for and shall indemnify and save harmless Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Her Officers, Servants, Employees, Successors and Assigns, from and against all manners of actions, causes of action, claims, demands, loss, costs, damages, actions or other proceedings by whomsoever made, sustained, brought or prosecuted in any manner based upon, caused by, arising out of, attributable to or with respect to any failure, inadvertent or otherwise, by act or omission, to fully comply with the said conditions and requirements.

Signature of Exporter
(or Representative)


Inspector's Signature
Regional Program Officer's Signature
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