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D-10-02: The Canadian Grain Sampling Program (CGSP)

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Effective date: April 1, 2022


Under the voluntary Canadian Grain Sampling Program (CGSP) companies can collect and submit samples from consignments of seed, grain and grain products to support phytosanitary certification for export from Canada. This directive establishes the criteria that will be used by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for approval of companies under the CGSP. In addition, this directive outlines the procedures that must be followed for the collection and submission of samples to the CFIA. Laboratory results from samples submitted by approved companies will be used as the basis for issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates by the CFIA.

Several changes have been made to the document, including the following:

This document supersedes all previous versions of directive D-10-02.

On this page


This directive will be reviewed and updated as required. For further information or clarification, please contact the CFIA.

Amendment record

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

Distribution list

  1. Directive mail list (regions, Plant Health Risk Assessment Unit, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA))
  2. Provincial government, industry (determined by author)
  3. National industry organizations (determined by author)
  4. Internet


The Plant Protection Act and regulations require that plants and plant products exported from Canada meet the phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. Phytosanitary Certificates are issued based on the model set out in the International Plant Protection Convention to indicate that consignments of plants, plant products or other regulated articles meet specified phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. The CFIA as the National Plant Protection Organization of Canada is responsible for the phytosanitary export certification of plants and plant products and for the development of certification programs to address phytosanitary requirements of importing countries.

Most countries have phytosanitary import requirements that must be met prior to exportation to ensure that pest risks are effectively mitigated. International trade of seed, grain and grain products has been identified as a pathway for the introduction of regulated pests. As a major exporter of these commodities, Canada recognizes that trade in these products is only possible if this pathway is addressed to ensure there is a minimal risk of transporting pests to the importing country.

The Canadian Grain Sampling Program (CGSP) allows for approved companies to submit samples to the CFIA or private laboratories approved under the Recognition of export grain analysis by authorized laboratories program (REGAL laboratory) for phytosanitary analysis under a quality management system.


This document is intended for use by the various branches of the CFIA, and by the companies approved, or seeking approval, to collect samples for phytosanitary certification. This directive establishes the criteria and requirements allowing companies to collect official samples, the results of which will be used as the basis for issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates by the CFIA.

Under this program, samples could be collected from bulk and bagged shipments of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and other specialty crops, for export from Canada and intended for any end use (for example, propagation; processing; human or animal consumption), and may be stored or handled by facilities such as inland handling and processing facilities; container trans-loading facilities. The sampled lot must be kept segregated from other lots, and handled in such a manner to prevent potential introduction, development or reproduction of plant pests, until export.

This program does not allow for the sampling of product at terminal grain elevators (see exceptions in 1.6), which are covered under other inspection programs.

The CGSP is a voluntary program. Exporting facilities not participating in this program or not using the services of an approved third party sampler can still opt to have official samples drawn by a CFIA inspector for phytosanitary certification.


Definitions, abbreviations and acronyms

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

1.0 General requirements

1.1 Legislative authority

The Plant Protection Act, S.C. 1990, c. 22

The Plant Protection Regulations, SOR/95-212

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice, Canada Gazette, Part I (as amended from time to time)

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 our Fees Notice website.

Audit of facilities and third parties, as well as issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates are cost recovered according to the Plant Protection Fees.

1.3 Regulated pests

Seed, grain and grain products are a pathway for the movement of a number of regulated pests. Commodity specific regulated pests are generally listed in an importing country's phytosanitary requirements. Please contact a local office of the CFIA to obtain country specific phytosanitary requirements for the commodity intended to be exported.

1.4 Eligible commodities

All seed, grain and grain products of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and other specialty crops that require the issuance of a Phytosanitary Certificate prior to export are eligible to be sampled under this program.

1.5 Exempt commodities

Commodities that do not require a CFIA Phytosanitary Certificate prior to export are exempt from this program. Please contact a local office of the CFIA to obtain country specific phytosanitary requirements for the commodity intended to be exported.

1.6 Eligible applicants

Only facilities located in Canada are eligible to participate in the CGSP. Eligible applicants include facilities which are involved in the processing, handling and export of seed, grain and grain products. Businesses or individual samplers of grain or grain products for export on behalf of an exporter are also eligible to apply under the program as "third party" samplers.

Facilities, businesses or individuals drawing samples under this program will be referred to as company(ies), hereafter in this document.

Terminal elevators are not eligible to apply for participation in the CGSP. The phytosanitary certification of products shipped from these facilities is based on other CFIA inspection programs. However, there are some scenarios at terminal elevators where approval under the CGSP is necessary:

2.0 Export certification

All samples drawn by approved companies will be subjected to phytosanitary actions in order to meet the phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. Phytosanitary actions include inspection (for example, analysis for the presence of weed species) or testing for the presence of pests such as bacteria, fungi and virus. As such, the inspection or testing results obtained will be used as a basis for issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates by the CFIA. A Phytosanitary Certificate will only be issued when the inspection or test result(s) obtained from the representative sample(s) is compliant with the phytosanitary requirements of the importing country.

It is possible that the phytosanitary import requirements of some countries may require that the CFIA conduct analysis for weed species and testing for pests prior to certification. This may require that additional samples and/or larger sample sizes in excess of the standard CGSP guidelines be taken and submitted. It is the responsibility of the exporter to be aware of these requirements and to communicate them to their CGSP sampling company.

Please refer to D-99-06 "Policy on the Issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates" for further information on the CFIA's phytosanitary certification policy and procedures.

2.1 Approval of material prior to export

Material in storage intended for export can be approved by sampling, inspection or testing for pests regulated by the importing country, prior to the loading of conveyances and movement into export position. Facilities interested in such an approval must ensure that the sampled lot is kept segregated and its identity preserved until the product is exported. Procedures to maintain the integrity and identity of the lot from which the sample has been drawn must be described in the manual (see section 4.0).

It is the responsibility of the exporter to coordinate sample collection and submission between the company approved to draw samples and the CFIA. The exporter must ensure that the appropriate number of samples is submitted for inspection or testing in order for the CFIA to issue a phytosanitary certificate. The exporter should allow for the time necessary to confirm freedom from pests in the submitted samples as it is this confirmation which forms the basis for phytosanitary certification. As a general guideline, the lot should be sampled within 1 month of the intended date of export. In situations where this may not be possible, consult with the CFIA local office as necessary.

Additional sampling, inspection or testing may be required to verify the pest free status of that lot in the following cases:

In these cases, the decision to re-sample, inspect or test will be at the discretion of the CFIA.

3.0 Program requirements of the CGSP

3.1 Submission of documents

A company seeking approval under the CGSP is required to submit an "Application for Participation in the Canadian Grain Sampling Program" (Appendix 1), and a completed Quality Management System Manual, (hereafter referred to as the manual) to the local office of the CFIA for review. The completed application must be signed off by a manager (section 3.3.2) of the company, who will have overall responsibility for delivery of the program.

A company must operate under a Quality Management System that ensures consistent compliance with the phytosanitary principles of sampling. The company must document the procedures that they will be following in their quality system to meet the conditions of the CGSP. This documentation is the company's manual. If a company is sampling at their own facility but also wants to act as a third party sampler for other facilities, they need to meet the requirements applicable to third party samplers, and this should be included in their manual. A separate application for the additional third party sampler scope is not required, as such, only a single number will be issued.

Companies acting as third party samplers will be required to submit an application and manual per third party operating location office. When the third party sampler(s) working out of an office are delivering phytosanitary sampling services in multiple provinces, their manual must identify this. The CFIA office evaluating a third party operating office's submission, will share information on the scope of the third party company's operations with other CFIA offices in other provinces as required.

3.2 Review by the CFIA

The CFIA will review the application and assess the company's manual according to the requirements of section 4.0 and Appendix 3 outlined in this document. If the manual does not meet the requirements, areas requiring changes will be identified to the applicant. When these modifications to the manual are made it can be resubmitted, and if requirements of the program are met an initial evaluation audit will be scheduled by the CFIA.

During the evaluation audit, the CFIA will assess if the company can comply with the procedures outlined in their manual and if those procedures conform to the goals of the CGSP. For third party samplers, the CFIA's scheduling of the evaluation audit will involve an on-site visit at a client's facility.

Companies successfully completing a manual and evaluation audit will receive a copy of the approved application from the CFIA providing them with their unique identification number. They will be added to the list of approved companies maintained by CFIA (not available externally). The approved company must maintain a current copy of its manual and make it available to the CFIA upon request.

In subsequent years, the CFIA will conduct a system audit annually.

3.3 Company responsibilities

3.3.1 Management

3.3.2 Manager

The manager must:

While the manager is responsible for overall manual, he/she may designate qualified personnel or contractors to assist with developing and implementing different components of the manual, such as document control, record keeping, administration and internal audits. The manager may only designate those tasks to a qualified individual.

The manager, or a designated alternate, must be present at the facility during a CFIA audit.

4.0 Manual

4.1 Administration

The manual must provide information as to the function and responsibilities of staff members involved in maintaining the CGSP requirements. An organizational chart may be a simple means of achieving this requirement. The manual should be typed and all pages numbered. The manual must provide the company name, address, table of contents, and a list of where copies of the manual were distributed.

A procedure to amend the manual must be identified. It must describe how and when the CFIA will be informed of any updates to the manual as they occur. A list of amendments must be maintained and a list of the manual locations should be included in the manual. The list must identify those individuals receiving copies of amendments, so the company is able to track versions of the manual.

The company must describe the procedures for ensuring that records pertaining to every aspect of the CGSP are maintained and retrievable for a minimum of 2 years. All records must be made available to the CFIA upon request. Refer to Appendix 2 for additional manual guidelines.

Companies that want to develop a single manual that meets both the CFIA's CGSP program and the CGC's Certified Container Sampling Program (CCSP) must meet all the requirements of the CGSP as summarized in Appendices 2 and 3. If a company is working to obtain approval under the CGSP and CCSP at the same time, they must work directly with each organization.

4.2 Health and safety issues

The sampler should be familiar with the company's sampling and safety procedures prior to sampling the product. Each company should have their own safety procedures which should be adhered to when sampling. It is recommended that appropriate personal protective equipment be used in all situations. If the product has been chemically treated appropriate safety precautions as determined by the employer should be taken.

4.3 Sanitation

Good sanitation practices are the first steps in preventing infestations and keeping insect management costs to a minimum. Grain spillage, dust and old residues provide an available food source and can harbour insect populations that can continually spread to other areas of the facility. Grain residues reduce the effectiveness of pesticide treatments by protecting insects from contact insecticides or by absorbing insecticides and thereby reducing the amount available for controlling insects. In addition, the presence of food may result in insects being able to recover from pesticide treatments. Therefore cleaning of grain spillage, residues and dust should always be done prior to applying an insecticide. As well, proper sanitation practices can also reduce human health and safety hazard issues.

The companies participating in the program are encouraged to include a sanitation policy and procedures chapter in their manual.

4.4 Sampling procedures

It is the responsibility of exporters and participants in the CGSP to work cooperatively with each other and with the CFIA to verify commodity specific phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. Country specific phytosanitary import requirements should be taken into consideration prior to initiating sampling, as they may affect sample submission, inspection and testing requirements.

The sampler plays a critical role in sampling lots for inspection or testing; thorough sampling and the information submitted with the sample are vital to the validity of any subsequent inspection or testing results.

4.4.1 Determining the lot

Under this program, the CFIA will allow a single submitted sample to represent a maximum lot size of 330 metric tonnes (mt). Where the size of a lot is in excess of 330 mt, submitted samples representative of each 330 mt increment, or portion thereof, must be provided. Prior to sampling, verify the correct lot to be sampled, determine the type of product, number of bags or containers, and lot number. The sample should be collected with care, the choice of equipment and sampling method must ensure that samples are representative of the entire lot.

For bulk vessel shipments of commodities not handled by the CGC (for example, canola meal pellets), a sampling rate of 1 sample representing up to 2000 tonnes is permitted.

4.4.2 Sampling equipment and methodology

It is mandatory to have proper equipment available to draw samples and the equipment must be kept clean to eliminate any cross contamination between samples from different lots. A company's sampling procedures need to be described in detail in their manual. Refer to Appendix 4 for further details on sampling equipment and methods.

4.4.3 Sampling intensity

A primary sample represents a small portion of the product taken from a lot during 1 single sampling action. The number of primary samples of a product required to be taken from a lot to ensure that a representative sample is obtained, is dependent on the number of bags or net weight of bulk shipments. Appendix 5 summarizes the minimum required sampling intensities for bulk and bagged export lot shipments.

For facilities that process retail ready packages that don't allow for normal sampling, they can work with their local office to develop an alternative sampling scheme.

In cases where a CGSP company needs to sample according to CGC guidelines, it is permissible to use CGC guidelines and obtain a sample for phytosanitary certification at the same time they obtain a grade sample as long as the CGSP "minimum" sampling intensities are achieved.

4.5 Sample reduction and preparation

A composite sample of the entire lot is obtained by the combining of all primary samples that have been collected. The composite sample is normally more than the amount of product required for analysis. Therefore, the composite sample must be reduced to an acceptable size that can be submitted. This must be done in a way that ensures the final sample submitted to the CFIA is representative of the lot for export.

In all cases, the submitted sample must weigh, at minimum 1 kg (for excessively bulky crops kinds, for example, brome grass, needle grass, you should submit minimum volume of 2 litres). This ensures that a sufficient amount of product is available for the CFIA or a CFIA approved laboratory to analyze. Refer to Appendix 6 for laboratory testing options.

The specific phytosanitary requirements of some importing countries may dictate that a larger submitted sample or more than 1 submitted sample is required to allow for additional inspection or testing.

The following are acceptable methods of sample reduction:

Boerner-type divider

A Boerner-type divider is a gravity-operated dividing apparatus that reduces a grain sample. The sample is placed in the upper hopper and released by opening the valve in the hopper throat. The sample flows downward and is evenly dispersed over a cone with evenly spaced separations. The divided sample is reformed into 2 grain streams which empty into 2 collecting pans at the bottom.

Riffle divider

A Riffle Divider consists of a hopper with attached channels or ducts, a frame to hold the hopper, four receiving pans and a pouring pan. Alternating ducts or channels lead from the hopper to the collecting pans on either side. This divider is suitable for most crop kinds. Riffle dividers are available with a range of channel sizes and those with large channels are approved for large crop kinds.

Manual reduction

Where a Boerner-type or Riffle divider is not available, composite samples may be manually reduced to provide a sample for submission using the following procedure. Since the finer components of the sample are likely to settle to the bottom of a container during mixing, the composite sample should be poured in a shallow layer onto a clean surface (for example, paper or plastic), and using a clean board or ruler, dividing the sample as required to create a sub-sample, which is representative of the composite sample, and of the sufficient weight for submission for analysis.

An alternative method for manually reducing a composite sample allows for the hand mixing of the composite sample in a large container and then re-sampling to obtain a representative portion that will serve as the submitted sample.

4.6 Sample submission

A sample submission form must be completed to submit a sample for analysis. The sample submission form used by the company must be approved by the CFIA during Evaluation Audit. If multiple samples are part of the same shipment they can be submitted using the same form, however all railcar, container, truck or lot identification numbers must be listed. A log of the samples submitted must be maintained by the company. Samples must be placed in a sturdy, sealed cloth or plastic bags that will not break or leak during shipping. A completed sample submission form (Appendix 7) must be securely attached to the sample bag. It is advisable to print some unique information directly onto the bag, which corresponds to the sample submission form, in the event that the form and sample become separated during shipping. A lead sheet summarizing all submitted samples should also be included if sending multiple samples.

It should be noted that the "place of origin" information field on the submission form must be completed and accurately reflect the country where the commodity was grown. CFIA Directive D-99-06 outlines the agency's policy on the issuance of phytosanitary certificates. Section 3.2 of the directive indicates that place of origin is to refer to the place(s)s where the commodity was produced, and where it was possibly exposed to infestation or contamination by regulated pests.

Sample bags should be packed in a sturdy box or container with sufficient packing material to prevent damage during transit. If samples cannot be sent immediately after collection they should be stored in a secure, climate-controlled location.

If the product, represented by the sample, has been chemically treated (that is, seed treatment or fumigant), this must be indicated in the appropriate area on the sample submission form. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) must accompany any treated sample. The local CFIA office must be notified in advance of sending chemically treated or fumigated samples. A "degas" certificate should accompany any submitted samples that have been previously fumigated.

Sampling records are required to ensure that the sample can be linked to the shipment intended to be exported. Phytosanitary certificates will not be issued if there is not a clear link between the submitted sample and the lot being exported. Sample integrity and identification must be maintained at all times following the completion of sampling. The sample and sample submission form must be directly submitted to CFIA (or where recognized by CFIA, to the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) or to a REGAL laboratory) as soon as possible following sampling by an employee of the CGSP approved company.

The sample must be identified in a manner that will clearly link it to the "Application for Export Inspection and Phytosanitary Certification" (CFIA/ACIA 3369). This application is to be completed by or on behalf of the exporter and should be submitted to the CFIA in sufficient time to complete the laboratory analysis on the samples that would permit issuance of the Phytosanitary Certificate. A Phytosanitary Certificate can be issued up to 1 month from the time the representative sample(s) corresponding to that consignment is submitted for analysis. The CFIA Authorized Certification Officer (ACO) may use his/her discretion to issue phytosanitary certificates later than 1 month following receipt of samples for that consignment, where laboratory testing requires a longer period of time to confirm results and/or in instances where the ACO can verify that the consignment has been stored since sampling in a manner to prevent potential introduction, development or reproduction of plant pests, or commingling with other lots.

4.7 Storage of product prior to export

It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that the phytosanitary integrity of the sampled lot is maintained prior to export. Sampling consignments as near to the final point of export, where they can be safeguarded from potential infestation or contamination is recommended. At the time of submission of the "Application for Export Inspection and Phytosanitary Certification" (CFIA/ACIA 3369), the exporter will be required to provide the link between the sample submitted by the CGSP approved company and the actual consignment for exportation. This may involve the sampling company providing additional information to the CFIA.

If a company samples product being transferred into storage bins, the company must include a section in their manual on the procedures being followed to ensure identity preservation of the product prior to shipment. Elements that must be covered within the manual include:

If the total time from sampling to export is expected to exceed 1 month, the local CFIA Office should be contacted to assess if additional sampling may be required.

4.8 Training

The company must outline the training plan for staff involved in any aspect of the CGSP. It must describe the frequency of training, what was covered, who has been trained and how training records will be kept. The manual should be sufficiently detailed that it is possible for the CFIA to assess that people are adequately trained.

4.9 Internal audit

The company must describe the internal audit process to be conducted that will ensure the sampling processes are being conducted in a consistent manner. Internal audits must be conducted on a twice per year basis the first year and a minimum of once per year the following years. For approved companies operating seasonally (that is, not the entire year), the frequency of first year and subsequent year audits can be reduced proportionally by the months they operate, but not less than once per year if they are in operation. If the seasonal exporter is not in operation, a note can be made on the audit report that the facility was not operating during that period, so an audit was not conducted.

During the course of a year, all criteria in Appendix 1 of R-006, should be evaluated. The company must notify the CFIA immediately when there is a critical or major non-conformance. Records of internal audits must be available for review during the annual CFIA systems audit.

4.10 Non-conformance

Non-fulfillment of a specified requirement of the CGSP is considered to be a non-conformance. Non-conformances can be detected at any time, including, but not limited to, during internal audits conducted by the company or audits done by the CFIA.

The company must specify procedures for addressing non-conformances and must include a plan for dealing with specific processes and activities that fail to comply with 1 or more of the specified elements. Refer to section 5.3 for additional information.

5.0 CFIA audits

5.1 Evaluation audit

An evaluation audit must be conducted by the CFIA on a company prior to approval under the CGSP. This audit will be scheduled by the CFIA when it is determined that the manual submitted by the company meets all the criteria established in the CGSP. The evaluation audit is necessary to demonstrate to the CFIA that the company is able to follow the procedures outlined in their manual and that those procedures conform to the goals of the CGSP. Companies successfully completing an evaluation audit will receive a copy of the approved application with their unique identification number.

However, if deficiencies are identified in the manual or in the implementation of the manual procedures; the company must address those deficiencies and inform the CFIA. At that time the CFIA may schedule a second evaluation audit to determine if the company can be approved for the CGSP. The CFIA will maintain a list of approved CGSP companies (not available externally).

5.2 System audit

A system audit will be performed by the CFIA at a minimum of once a year but the frequency can be increased if compliance issues arise. The system audit will evaluate how well the company's practices correspond with the requirements of the CGSP. The audit may involve assessment of the program, including review of the company's manual, sampling records, interviews and observation of company staff responsible for conducting CGSP activities.

The overall objective of the system audit is to ensure the company is in compliance with the CGSP and that all commodities sampled and submitted for inspection or testing meet the criteria of the CGSP. The audit will evaluate whether the company is implementing their manual and facilitate continual improvement to the company's sampling procedures. The company must meet CGSP requirements. It is acceptable to exceed these requirements. However, if the system audit reveals the company is not following their manual, observation will be put in the audit report (R-006 Appendix 1).

Audits of companies will be composed of 2 elements: documentation review and onsite review of sampling and preparation of samples for submission. Each component of the audit may be conducted at different times. The auditor will review the documentation that the company is keeping for the manual to ensure they are fulfilling the conditions of the CGSP. At this time the auditor will arrange a location for the practical component of the audit. This component will be conducted at a facility where the company carries out sampling. The CFIA will provide an audit report (R-006 Appendix 1) that summarizes the audit findings. Follow-up audits may be required to verify corrective actions, if noted in the audit report.

For more specific audit information refer to R-006 "Canadian Grain Sampling Program Audit Manual".

5.3 Non-conformance

A Corrective Action Request (CAR) form (R-006 Appendix 2) will be generated by the CFIA for each non-conformance that is detected during the system audit of a company. Observations on suggested changes or improvements to a company's manual will be documented in the CGSP Audit Report.

The number and type of non-conformances found will determine the status of the company and the subsequent auditing frequency. Each CAR must be accompanied by an action plan that includes a detailed description of the measures that need to be implemented to prevent recurrences of the non-conformances. Corrective actions must be undertaken by the company within a time limit specified by the auditor.

Critical - Audit findings indicate that the integrity of the CGSP is in jeopardy. The company will be immediately suspended from the CGSP if any critical non-conformances are found.

Major - Isolated incidents of non-conformance, which do not immediately impact the integrity of the CGSP but may become a problem over time. To maintain their approved status, corrective actions must be carried out within 10 business days of receiving the CAR.

If 2 or more are detected during an audit, or if the company fails to carry out the required corrective actions within the specified time period, the non-conformance will be assessed as critical and the company will be immediately suspended.

Minor - Do not immediately and/or significantly affect the status of the CGSP, but could lead to a major non-conformance if not addressed. The company will be required to address these within the time limit specified by the CFIA.

If 3 minor non-conformances are detected in any one audit this is considered equivalent to 1 major non-conformance (for example, 4 minor non-conformances are equal to 1 major non-conformance and 1 minor non-conformance and all 4 should be addressed in 10 business days.

Similarly, 6 minor non-conformances are equal to 2 major non-conformances, which constitutes a critical and the company would be immediately suspended from the CGSP).

Observations are points or practices, which also may be noted during audits and could be used to improve the company's manual. An observation may be used to identify a situation of concern that does not warrant a CAR, or to highlight, suggest or reinforce particular practices. If there is an issue that contradicts the manual but still conforms to the requirements of the CGSP, it is referred to as an observation, not a non-conformance.

6.0 Enforcement, suspension, withdrawal

When audits determine that a company no longer fully meets the requirements of the CGSP, its approval status will either be suspended or the frequency of audits increased dependent on the level of non-conformance. This may result in the company being removed from the list of approved companies maintained by the CFIA.

A company, which has had its approval suspended, may re-apply for participation under the CGSP at any time, provided a detailed report of the corrective actions taken to address the previous non-conformances is included with the application form (Appendix 1). The CFIA will conduct an evaluation audit to verify if the corrective actions are adequate. If re-approved, the CFIA will re-list the company on the internal list of approved companies.

Suspended companies cannot submit sample(s) for phytosanitary certification to the CFIA. The options available will be either product sampling by the CFIA or by another CGSP company, the use of which must be approved by the CFIA (for example, a third party company approved under the CGSP to take samples on behalf of an exporter or by a trans-loading facilities approved under the CGSP). The suspended company should work closely with the CFIA to determine the best course of action for re-approval.

If a company wishes to voluntarily withdraw from the CGSP, they can notify their local CFIA office, and they will be removed from the list of approved CGSP companies. The company may re-apply for participation under the CGSP at any time.

7.0 Appendices

Appendix 1: Application for participation in the Canadian Grain Sampling Program

Click on Image for larger view
Appendix 1: Application for Participation in the Canadian Grain Sampling Program. Description follows.

Application for Participation in the Canadian Grain Sampling Program

Application for Participation in the CFIA Canadian Grain Sampling Program (CGSP)

CFIA use only

CGSP Identification Number

Please indicate what types of company is applying for participation.

Facility, third party sampler

Contact information for the manager making the application

Mr Mrs Ms, first name, last name

Name of company

Name of facility (if different)


City, province, postal code

Phone, fax, email

Contact and location information for the facility if different from above.

Name and contact information for person responsible for the manual if different from above

Name, phone, email

Please refer to D-10-02 section 3.1 regarding submitting a copy of the manual along with this application.

As a participant in the CGSP, we agree to follow the guidelines and condition of the CGSP and to have our company name published on the CFIA website as a participant.

Manager's title, manager's signature, date

For CFIA use only

This company has completed a manual and evaluation audit in accordance with the CGSP.

Regional program officer, signature, date

This company has completed the requirements for approval under the CGSP.

Version date December 2020

Appendix 2: Manual

1. Administration

1.1 The manual must be typed, dated and include a table content and a version number. Pages must be numbered.

1.2 Title page must include the name and address of the facility, the date, the name of the person(s) that prepared the document, and the manager's name.

1.3 A general description of the facility, including pertinent specifics, such as name, address, phone and fax number, contact person, and email.

1.4 The manual must include a distribution list.

1.5 Structure of the organization (organizational chart). Function and responsibilities of staff members involved in the program.

2. Sampling

2.1 List sampling equipment used, when it is used and how it will be maintained.

2.2 Describe sanitation procedures for tools and equipment to avoid cross-contamination and how this will be ensured.

2.3 Describe procedures for sampling each "type" of shipment (bulk, bagged) including where in the facility this sampling will occur (include schematic diagrams of facility if appropriate).

2.4 If utilizing an automatic sampling system, complete part I of the Automatic Sampler Checklist (Appendix 8), including a summary of equipment being used, the checklist confirming the correct operation of equipment, and system calibration requirements.

2.5 Describe sample reduction procedures.

2.6 Describe sample identification, packaging and labelling procedures.

2.7 Describe how sample integrity will be maintained (that is, packaging is intact).

2.8 Describe sample submission procedures.

2.9 Describe or provide an example of the sampling records that will be maintained. As a minimum, the following information must be recorded: sampling date, sampler's name, commodity, lot number, number of bags sampled or frequency of stream samples for bulk product, date when the sample was sent and name of CFIA office or CFIA approved testing body that the sample was submitted to.

3. Storage of product prior export

3.1 Describe how shipment integrity will be maintained if sampling occurs prior to the loading of the conveyance.

3.2 Describe how the facility maintains the association between the submitted sample and the lot that it represents.

4. Training

4.1 Training plan; including methods by which training will occur, frequency of training and refresher training.

4.2 Maintain records of who was trained, and when, and what are their responsibilities relative to the CGSP.

5. Non-conformance

5.1 Describe procedure for addressing non-conformances.

6. Internal audit

6.1 Describe how internal audits will be performed; by whom, components examined, frequency, and so on.

6.2 Describe the process used for employee performance evaluations relating to the CGSP.

7. Amendment to the manual

7.1 Describe how changes to the manual will be made.

7.2 Maintain list of amendments made.

7.3 Maintain a distribution list.

8. Record Keeping

The company must describe the procedures for ensuring that written records pertaining to every aspect of the CGSP are maintained and retrievable for a minimum of 2 years. These written records include, but not limited to, the following:

8.1 sampling (for example, sampling log, copy of submission form, automatic sampler checklist)

8.2 shipping (for example, sample information linked to export shipment)

8.3 internal audit (for example, audit checklist, records of non-conformances, corrective actions taken)

8.4 training (for example, training plan, names of trainees, date)

8.5 updates to manual (for example, dates, changes, recipients of changes)

N.B.: All records must be made available to the CFIA upon request.

Appendix 3: manual review checklist

Facility Name and Address space
Review No. space
Date of Review space

Click on image for larger view
Appendix 3: Manual Review Checklist. Description follow.

Description of manual review checklist

This is the checklist to be used by the CFIA when reviewing the applicant's manual.

It covers all the elements that should be found in a manual:

  • Administration:
    • the manual includes the date and version number
    • the manual includes a table of content (manual must have page numbers)
    • title page includes name and address of the company
    • distribution list
    • the manual includes the facility identification (for example, address, phone, fax, contact person)
    • the manual describes the functions (titles of staff positions) and responsibilities of involved staff members
  • Sampling:
    • the manual provides a list of sampling equipment used and methodology
    • the manual describes sanitation procedures for sampling equipment
    • the manual describes the sampling intensity and procedures
    • if an automatic sampling system is being used, a completed Automatic Sampler checklist (Appendix 8), is included as an attachment to the manual
    • the manual describes the sample reduction procedures
    • the manual describes sample identification, packaging and labelling procedures
    • the manual describes how sample integrity will be maintained
    • the manual describes sample submission procedures
    • the manual describe sampling records
    • an example of a sample log is in the appendix
    • an example of the sample submission form is in the appendix
  • Storage of product prior to export:
    • the manual describes how shipment integrity will be maintained prior to loading
    • the manual describes how the company maintains association between the submitted sample and exported lot
  • Training:
    • the company outlines a staff training plan (specific training elements)
    • the manual describes the frequency of training
    • the manual describes how the company will maintain records of who was trained, when
    • an example of the training records is in the appendix
    • an example of the training plan is in the appendix
  • Non-Conformance:
    • manual includes the action plan, correctives actions, processes and activities performed to address the causes of non-conformance
    • an example of non-conformance corrective action record is in the appendix
  • Internal audit:
    • the manual describes the process and frequency of internal audit
    • an example of an audit checklist is in an appendix (if not: N/A)
  • Amendment to the manual:
    • manual outlines procedure for the amendments of the manual and identifies those receiving copies of amendments
    • the manual contains the record of amendments
    • the manual includes a distribution list
  • Record keeping:
    • the quality manual states the retention period for all records used by the facility to track activities or procedures related to the CGSP

Appendix 4: Sample Equipment and Methodology

1. Sampling Equipment

1.1 Automatic sampling

There are many types and designs of automatic sampling devices. Automatic samplers take the most representative sample from a lot because there is no human bias involved. They draw a sample automatically by removing a portion of the product from the flow at regular intervals.

If a company is utilizing automatic sampling equipment, their manual should make reference to:

Appendix 8 is an automatic sampler checklist that each company must complete and include as an attachment to their manual, and must then be reviewed and updated by the company as a part of their internal audits. Part 2 of the checklist must be verified twice the first year and once per year the following years. Part 3 of the checklist includes the requirement for calibration of the delivery system at a minimum frequency of once every 3 years or when changes are made to the sample delivery system. A third party sampler must conduct verification of the automatic sampler calibration if the facility or a contracted outside party has not done so before they are able to accept the automatic sampler generated samples. Where the sample delivery system is not pneumatic, Part 3 can be waived.

Calibration can be completed by the company or an outside party, following the protocol available from the CFIA local office upon request (on the internal CFIA website). Facilities having valid CGC approval of their automatic sampling system will be recognized by the CFIA. A company will be required to provide proof of this approval to the CFIA. This eliminates the need for a facility to complete Appendix 8.

1.2 Manual static sampling equipment and procedures

Manual sampling of a static lot is usually done using a probe or a trier. When selecting the appropriate sampling equipment, the sampler should consider the commodity being sampled, the size and type of the containers, whether one is sampling vertically or horizontally, the number of primary samples to be drawn and the required composite sample size. The sampling device should not select the product by size or damage the product being sampled.

Certain types of chaffy grasses which are difficult to sample with a trier may be sampled by the hand method (section 1.2.5).

1.2.1 The Nobbe Trier

This type of trier is a pointed tube with an oval opening near the pointed end. It is relatively compact making it easy to transport. The risk of contamination is low as the trier is easy to keep clean. A Nobbe trier is suitable for sampling free-flowing product in bags (legumes, timothy, rapeseed, mustard) but only where the trier can reach to the centre of the container. It may only be used horizontally and its use is limited to penetrable containers.

Follow these steps to use the Nobbe trier:

  1. insert the trier gently into the centre of the container with the trier opening facing downwards and the trier tilted upwards at an angle of approximately 30 degrees to the horizontal
  2. when sampling from the end of a container, the opening of the trier must reach the centre of the container. Insert the trier as close to the bottom edge of the container as possible (that is, below stitching)
  3. when sampling from the side, the opening of the trier must reach the opposite side of the container. Insert the trier at the bottom edge of the container such that the 30 degree angle is achieved
  4. rotate the trier through 180 degrees, bringing the slot to face upwards
  5. withdraw the trier with gentle agitation to help maintain an even flow of product
  6. the trier must not be agitated without withdrawing
  7. when sampling from the end, withdraw with decreasing speed so that the quantity of product obtained from successive locations increases progressively from the centre to the container
  8. when sampling from the side, withdraw with a constant speed
  9. each primary sample must be placed into a suitable clean container(s) (pan, pails) to allow for checking for uniformity
  10. readjust the bag fibres to close the gap by running the point of the trier across the hole a few times in opposite directions
1.2.2 The Double Sleeve Trier

This type of trier is suitable for sampling static bulk lots in standard or large containers of both small and large crop kinds. The double sleeve trier consists of a hollow tube with a solid pointed end and a close fitting inner tube such that the product cannot slip between the 2 sleeves. The inner tube may be with or without partitions between the slots. Double sleeved triers without partitions may only be used vertically for sampling grain in containers when the container weight is greater than 100 kg. Vertical sampling of grain in containers 100 kg or less must be undertaken with the partitions in place.

Multiple openings (slots/holes) are cut into both the inner and outer tubes so that turning the inner tube aligns the openings in the inner and outer tubes. There is a greater risk of contamination with this type of trier. Care must be taken to ensure that all the openings in both the inner and outer tubes are clean. When closing the openings there is a risk of damaging the product trapped between the edges of the slots but this damage can be reduced by closing the openings slowly to the point where resistance is felt.

The contents of the entire tube represent 1 sample. There is no possibility of varying the amount of product obtained from the inner and outer part of the container by adjusting the speed with which the trier is withdrawn as the trier draws the same size of sample in each sampling action. The trier must always be long enough to reach the opposite end of the container on the diagonal. When sampling the containers vertically, the trier must be long enough to reach the bottom of the container.

Follow these steps to use the double sleeve trier, horizontally or vertically:

  1. with the trier in the closed position carefully insert it into the container until it reaches the opposite side. The outer tube opening must be facing upward when inserting horizontally. Be careful not to push the trier through the opposite side
  2. open the trier and agitate slightly to allow the openings to fill
  3. gently close the trier to the point of resistance and withdraw it from the container
  4. pour out the sample onto a clean, long piece of paper or into a suitable clean container that is the same length as the trier to check for uniformity
1.2.3 The Grain Probe

The grain probe (see Figure 1) is a very large double sleeved trier. It is used for sampling bulk commodities in railcars, trucks, containers, bins, or holds of ships. Probes vary in length from 1 metre to 3.65 metres. Grain probes may be partitioned or non-partitioned.

Stream sampling during the loading of bulk rail hopper cars is encouraged. However, the use of a double sleeved non-partitioned probe can be accepted under the following conditions:

Appendix 4 - Grain Probe
Figure 1 The Grain Probe
1.2.4 Approved trier (nobbe and double sleeved) sizes by crop kind

Small: Nobbe or double-sleeve trier with slot size width 8 mm to 14 mm
Medium: Nobbe or double-sleeve trier with slot size width 15 mm to 19 mm
Large: Nobbe or double-sleeve trier with slot size width 20 mm or greater

Crop Kind Trier Size
Alfalfa Small
Alkaligrass, weeping Small
Barley Large
Bean, field Large
Bean, Faba Large
Bean, Faba Large
Beet Medium
Bentgrass Small
Bluegrass Small
Brassica spp. Small
Bromegrass, sweet Large
Bromegrass, meadow Medium
Bromegrass, smooth Medium
Canarygrass, reed Small
Canarygrass Medium
Chickpea Large
Clover, alsike Small
Clover, crimson Small
Clover, red Small
Clover, hop Small
Clover, Persian Small
Clover, strawberry Small
Clover, subterranean Small
Clover, white Small
Corn Large
Cowpea Large
Fescues Medium
Flax Medium
Foxtails Medium
Lentil Medium
Lespedeza spp. Small
Medick, black Small
Milk-vetch, cicer Small
Millet, proso Small
Millet, foxtail or Italian Small
Millet, Japanese Medium
Mustard, black Small
Mustard, Oriental or Indian Small
Mustard, white Small
Oat Large
Oatgrass, tall Medium
Orchardgrass Medium
Pea Large
Rape, forage Small
Rapeseed, oilseed rape
including Canola
Redtop Small
Rye Large
Ryegrass Medium
Sainfoin Medium
Sorghum spp. Medium
Soybean Large
Soybean, Natto-type Medium
Sudan grass Medium
Sunflower Large
Timothy Small
Trefoil, Bird's-foot Small
Triticale Large
Vetch, crown Small
Vetch, kidney Small
Vetches Medium
Wheat, durum Large
Wheat, common Medium
Wheatgrass Medium
Wheatgrass, crested Medium
Wild-rye Medium
Very chaffy grasses - Hand or stream sampling

Note: where sampling crop kinds other than those in this table, the minimum width of the opening of the trier should be wide enough to allow the smooth and free flow of grain and contaminants through the trier.

1.2.5 Sampling by hand

Hand sampling of chaffy, non-free-flowing grasses that bunch in the trier, or hand sampling from the top of the bag during the bagging of grain or grain products prior to stitching, may be the only practical sampling alternatives in some situations. It is also permissible to use a sampling cup (container which collects at least 50 g and not more than 200 g) instead of hand sampling at the top of the bag prior to stitching. Various positions within the bag should be sampled as practical.

Use the following procedure:

  1. insert your open hand through the top of the container with fingers held tightly together, until the desired depth is reached
  2. close your hand with the fingers held tightly together to ensure that few, if any, particles escape, and slowly withdraw your hand

Repeat this process a number of times in different parts of the lot and at different depths, to obtain the required number of primary samples as specified in Appendix 5.

1.3 Manual stream sampling equipment and procedures
  1. Select the appropriate location to take the stream sample. This should be at the last step before the product enters the container to be sealed
  2. Determine the sampling frequency required as specified in Appendix 5
  3. Ensure that the equipment does not select or separate the product during sampling, due to size, buoyancy or chaffiness
  4. The entire cross section of the stream must be sampled or various alternating points in the product flow. Each pass of the sampling tool through the stream is defined as 1 sampling action to obtain 1 primary sample
  5. Sampling should be at regular intervals and should reflect the entire lot from the beginning of the flow to the end
1.3.1 Pelican type

A Pelican-type sampling tool is approved for hand-sampling dynamic flows of grain for export. To be acceptable, it must:

  1. have an opening at least 2 times larger than the largest diameter of the particles (seed and contaminants) in the lot
  2. have sides tall enough to prevent particles from bouncing out
  3. be of sufficient length to span the complete cross section (side to side) of the stream
  4. be of sufficient capacity to prevent any overflow when taking a primary sample and
  5. be such that it can be cleaned properly between lots

When using a Pelican-type, draw the sampling tool once through the stream from back to front to ensure the entire cross-section of the stream is sampled.

1.3.2 Hand scoop

The hand scoop (See Figure 2) is a sampling device consisting of a rigid material scoop attached to a 50-100 centimetre handle which is stiff and durable. The sample collector capacity must be a minimum of 50 grams and not more than 200 grams.

When using a hand scoop, insert the sampling tool into the stream at an alternate point across the stream (left, middle, right) for each sampling action. The scoop should be placed into the flow of product "upstream" and matching the fall of the grain (if possible). As the scoop moves "downstream" it is turned and allowed to fill with grain.

When manual stream sampling free-flowing product, the scoop should be placed into the flow of product upside down, then rotated 180 degrees to fill, and then pulled out of the product flow.

Appendix 4 - Hand scoop
Figure 2 Hand scoop

2. Cleaning and care of sampling equipment

All equipment used for manual sampling must be thoroughly cleaned before each use, and free from all extraneous matter including crop and weed seeds; disease bodies or spores; any seed parts, chaff, dust and inert foreign bodies; and chemical residues such as seed treatments. Triers with residues of extraneous matter could cause cross contamination of other lots.

For the trier, the more polished the inner surface of the trier is, the more freely the product will flow. The rough edges and points of double sleeve triers should be occasionally dressed (removing sharp edges) with a file, emery or very fine sandpaper. This will greatly improve its ease of use for probing jute or poly bags.

The method for cleaning will be based on the type of equipment and the purpose and test for which the sample is to be drawn. Recommended cleaning methods are: cleaning wipes, cleaning solutions such as hand or dish soap, citric acid, rubbing alcohol or water, compressed air, bottle cleaning or gun cleaning tools.

For further information on sampling tools and methodology, refer to the Canadian Grain Commission web site.

Appendix 5: Sampling Intensity

1. Sampling for product in bagsFootnote 1

Bags are generally considered to weigh <100 kg

Number of bagsNumber of Primary Samples
1 - 14 1 sample from each bag
15 - 19 15
20 - 21 16
22 - 27 17
28 - 35 18
36 - 37 19
38 - 46 20
47 - 56 21
57 - 66 22
67 - 77 23
78 - 105 24
106 - 136 25
137 - 187 26
188 - 299 27
300 - 799 28
800 - 999 29
>1000 30

2. Sampling of product in totesFootnote 1

Totes are grain sacks generally weighing >100 kg

All totes must be sampled, collecting a minimum of 2 primary samples per tote. These samples may be taken by using a trier/probe only if it reaches to the bottom of the tote or by stream sampling during the loading of each tote. It is not permissible to sample totes with a hand or sampling cup after the tote has been filled (static).

3. Stream sampling (automatic or manual pelican/sampling cup) bulk grain during loading or filling of containers, railcars, trucks or bins

The sampling frequency is determined by how much time is needed to load the grain and the total lot size. During the loading of a truck, container, railcar, or bin, samples should be collected systemically at timed intervals, with at least 1 primary sample taken for every 4 metric tonnes loaded. If a larger composite sample is required, reduce the interval between primary sample collection, or use a larger sampling cup (only practical for manual stream sampling).

Example: the grain lot is 2 containers of 20 metric tonnes each, and will be loaded in about 30 minutes and will be stream sampled using a hand scoop.

A minimum of 10 primary samples are required (40 mt / 4 mt = 10 samples)

A sample will be taken every 3 minutes (30 minutes / 10 samples = 3 minutes)

The hand scoop to be used has a capacity of 200 grams. 10 × 200 grams = 2000 grams sample will be collected.

Appendix 6: sample inspection or testing options

CGSP facilities can send their own samples to CFIA as well as CFIA accredited (REGAL) labs. The CFIA external website provides more information on the REGAL program.

Approved testing bodies (Y)
Not approved testing bodies (X)

Inspection or testing required: CFIA CGC Table Note2 REGAL Lab
entomology/soil Y Y Y
weed seeds Y Y Y
bacteriology, virology mycology, nematology Y X X

Appendix 7: example of a sample submission form

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Appendix 7: Example of a Sample Submission Form. Description follows.

Example of a sample submission form

Company developed sample submission forms must include the elements outlined in the following form and be approved by the CFIA during the evaluation audit. This form is a template, and contains the following information fields:

CGSP sample submission form

Tracking number

CGSP facility identification number

Name contact information for sampling company

Contact information for facility where sample was taken if different than above

Name contact information for exporter



Provide a list of railcars, containers, trucks, or lot numbers sampled (attach an additional sheet if necessary).

Provide description and quantities of material to be exported (bags-package weight, number, total weight, totes-sizes, numbers, total weight Bulk-tonnages)

Was the shipment or sample was treated with a seed treatment or fumigant? Yes no

If yes, give details of the treatment

Please include an MSDS for any treated product including a gas free certificate if the product was fumigated.

Destination country

Billing to

Expected date of export

CFIA account number

Has the exporter contacted the CFIA to determine the testing requirements for this product going to the destination country?: yes no

The sample is to be tested for: insects/soil, weed seeds, nematodes, plant pathogens

The minimum sample size for submission is 1 kg. However, additional tests may require that larger sample sizes to be submitted. Please confirm the sample size requirements before taking the samples.

Sampler's name, signature, telephone, sampling date.

Version January 2021

Appendix 8: automatic sampler checklist

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Appendix 9: Automatic Sampler Checklist. Details follow.

Automatic sampler checklist

This Automatic Sampler Checklist is to be completed as part of the initial company approval and as a component of a company's internal audit. It is divided in 3 parts, providing information on the facility and equipment, approval/audit checklist and calibration of equipment.

The Automatic Sampler Checklist covers all these elements:

Part I: Facility and equipment

  • Facility name
  • Date
  • Address
  • City
  • Postal code
  • Province
  • Description of sampler/divider and location relative to the flow of the product

Part II: Approval/Audit Checklist

  • Criteria
  • Acceptable
  • Not acceptable

Criteria is:

  • Cleanliness and condition of sampler
  • Sampler cutter rhythm (interval) consistent
  • Condition of sampler divider
  • Condition of sampler delivery Piping
  • Timer, panel board and indication lights
  • Sample cutter dust seal (interior)
  • Sample cutter traverses at least 75% of the diameter of the grain stream

Frequency of Part 2 review: completed prior to initial evaluation audit as a requirement of the internal audit requirements outlined in the CGSP (section 4.9)

Name, signature, date

Part III: Calibration of equipment

  • Criteria
  • Acceptable
  • Not acceptable

Criteria is:

  • calibration records for sample delivery system

Calibration of sample delivery system (based on the Canadian Grain Commission's I-109 form) available upon request from the local CFIA office (on internal website)

Name, signature, date

Date modified: