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D-14-01 : Pilot Canadian Compliance Program for the Export of Canary Seed (Phalaris canariensis) to Mexico

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Effective Date: April 1, 2015


Canadian canary seed (Phalaris canariensis) exported to Mexico for end use as bird food must be processed in a facility approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This directive describes:

  1. The CFIA approval procedure for Canadian facilities to process canary seed for export to Mexico;
  2. The specific requirements that must be met in the processing of canary seed in Canada to meet Mexico's phytosanitary import requirements; and
  3. The related responsibilities of the CFIA, canary seed processors/exporters, CFIA approved samplers and laboratories.

Table of Contents


This directive will be reviewed by the CFIA and the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA) one year after implementation. For further information or clarification, please contact the CFIA.


Approved by:

Chief Plant Health Officer

Amendment Record

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


  1. Directive mail list (CFIA Policy and Programs, Operations, and Science Branches)
  2. Canadian Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments
  3. Industry Organizations (determined by Author)
  4. General Public, Internet


Mexico's National Plant Protection Organization (SENASICA) implemented weed seed import requirements for Canadian origin canary seed (Phalaris canariensis) in 2010 over concerns that this product is a potential pathway for the movement and introduction of seeds of regulated weed species into Mexico.

To address these concerns, the CFIA has developed a pilot program for the Canadian industry aimed at mitigating the phytosanitary risk of Mexico's quarantine weed species that can occur in consignments of canary seed processed at facilities in Canada. The requirements for this pilot program are based on:


The information in this directive is intended for CFIA inspectors and program officers, exporters, and facilities that process canary seed for export to Mexico.


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

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

Plant Protection Act, S.C. 1990, c. 22
Plant Protection Regulations, SOR/95-212
Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice, Canada Gazette: Part 1 (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 us at our Fees Notice Website.

1.3 Regulated Pests

Mexico's quarantine weed species are listed in SENASICA's regulation NOM-043-FITO-1999 and in Appendix 1 of this directive. The weed species listed in this appendix are a shortened list of the species that have been previously reported in Canada. This list will be updated by the CFIA as required, upon receipt of notification from SENASICA of any changes and/or upon further review by the CFIA.

1.4 Regulated Commodities

Canadian origin canary seed grain that is processed in CFIA-approved facilities for export to Mexico for end use as bird food.

1.5 Regulated Areas


2.0 CFIA Canary Seed Export Program Requirements

2.1 Program Requirements

In order to export canary seed from Canada to Mexico, a compliance agreement between the CFIA and the processing facility which processes canary seed for export to Mexico must be in place. Under this pilot program, the canary seed being exported from Canada to Mexico must:

This pilot program will create a systems approach to pest management that ensures export consignments of canary seed meet the phytosanitary import requirements of Mexico as administered by SENASICA on a consistent and ongoing basis.

2.1.1 Application Requirement

Facilities that process canary seed for export to Mexico must apply to participate in this pilot program by completing their portion of the compliance agreement (Appendix 2) and submitting it to their local CFIA office.

2.1.2 Facility Audit

The facility must agree to:

Note: The CFIA retains the option to visit the processing facility at any time to verify compliance with this program.

2.1.3 Process Verification

At the time of the facility audit, the CFIA inspector will take official samples of canary seed processed at the facility for submission to the CFIA laboratory for analysis. The results of this analysis will verify whether the processes employed at the facility ensure that export shipments do not contain Mexico's quarantine weed seeds at a level that exceeds 15 regulated weeds seeds per kilogram. This is the standard at which consignments may be released for re-cleaning in Mexico under the care and control of companies authorized by SENASICA for that purpose.

2.1.4 Facility Approval

Once a processing facility has been audited by the CFIA according to the audit checklist in Appendix 3 and process verification samples have been analyzed according to the requirements of Section 2.1.3, and determined to have met Mexico's requirements, the facility will receive an approval letter from the CFIA (Appendix 4). Within this letter, the facility will be issued a unique facility approval number (CFIA-CGSP-##).

The processing facility's name, address and the CFIA issued approval number will be posted on the CFIA's external website. The list of approved facilities will also be communicated by the CFIA to SENASICA's Plant Health Directorate.

2.2 Sampling Requirements

2.2.1 Canadian Grain Sampling Program Requirements

As a requirement under this export program, canary seed processing facilities must either be approved for sampling consignments under the CFIA's Canadian Grain Sampling Program (CGSP) or use a third party sampler that is approved under the CGSP. For more information please see the CGSP directive.

2.2.2 Representative Samples

For each consignment of canary seed destined for export to Mexico, two separate representative samples must be submitted, one for weed seed analysis and the second for other phytosanitary inspection (i.e. stored product insect pests regulated by Mexico and soil). All sampling related activities must be completed and documented as per the requirements of the CGSP and the facility's quality management systems manual.   

2.2.3 Sample Submission

Representative samples drawn for quarantine weed seed testing must be submitted to a CFIA approved laboratory for weed seed analysis. The second representative sample must be submitted directly to the processing facility's local CFIA office for additional phytosanitary testing. To obtain a list of laboratories approved by the CFIA to conduct weed seed analyses of canary seed grain, please contact a local CFIA office.

2.3 Testing Requirements

2.3.1 Quarantine Weed Seed Analysis

The laboratory will analyze the representative samples for the absence or presence of quarantine weed seeds. The laboratory will then prepare a Laboratory Analysis Report summarizing their findings. The analysis report will be provided to the local CFIA office as specified by the processing facility, and a copy will be provided to the processor.

2.3.2 Other Phytosanitary Testing

For each consignment, a sample will be analyzed by the CFIA local office to verify freedom from regulated stored product pests and soil.

3.0 Responsibilities

3.1 CFIA Responsibilities

3.1.1 Review and approval of compliance agreement

The CFIA is responsible for:
Receiving, evaluating and approving the compliance agreement with the canary seed processing facility.

3.1.2 Facility Audit and Approval

The CFIA is responsible for:

The CFIA's Grains and Oilseeds Section will provide a list of approved processing facilities to SENASICA and will inform SENASICA of any changes to the list under this compliance program.

3.1.3 Testing of Samples for Regulated Stored Product Insect Pests and Soil

The CFIA is responsible for:

3.2 Laboratory Responsibilities

3.2.1 Analysis of Samples for the presence of Mexico's Quarantine Weed Seeds

The laboratory is responsible for:

3.3 Processor/Exporter Responsibilities

The canary seed processing facility/exporting company is responsible for:

4.0 Export Documentation

The CFIA will issue a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration if:

The additional declaration which appears on the phytosanitary certificate issued by the CFIA will be:


The CFIA will attach a copy of the laboratory analysis report to the phytosanitary certificate. The laboratory analysis report number will also be referenced on the phytosanitary certificate.

The exporter will issue an export certificate (Appendix 5), to accompany each consignment.

5.0 Non-Compliance

The CFIA may suspend or revoke a facility's approval status upon finding non-compliance with the requirements specified in this directive, or if non-compliance is identified by SENASICA, communicated to the CFIA, and confirmed by the CFIA.

Until a suspended facility's approval status is restored by the CFIA (i.e. corrective action(s) are applied by the facility and verified by the CFIA), the canary seed processed at the facility cannot be certified for export to Mexico. Facilities that have had their approval revoked may reapply for re-approval at any time, following the procedures outlined in this directive for facilities seeking first time approval. A facility's application for re-approval must include corrective actions taken to address the identified non-compliance(s). Re-approval under this program may require on-site verification of corrective actions by a CFIA inspector.  

6.0 Appendices

Appendix 1. Regulated Quarantine Weed Seeds of Mexico Present in Canada (as of April 1, 2014)

Acanthospermum hispidum
Agrostemma githago
Anthoxanthum aristatum (Present in QC and BC only)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (Not present in AB, SK, or MB)
Apera spica-venti
Asclepias syriaca
Calystegia sepium
Carthamus lanatus
Conringia orientalis
Cuscuta spp.
Echium vulgare
Euphorbia esula
Galega officinalis
Galeopsis tetrahit
Galium aparine
Galium spurium
Heracleum mantegazzianum
Linaria vulgaris
Lithospermum arvense
Matricaria inodora
Matricaria maritima
Neslia paniculata
Orobanche spp.
Polygonum convolvulus (syn. Fallopia convolvulus)
Ranunculus repens
Silene noctiflora
Silybum marianum
Solanum carolinense
Solanum ptycanthum
Thlaspi arvense
Ulex europaeus
Vaccaria hispanica

Appendix 2. Compliance Agreement between Canadian Companies Processing/Exporting Grain of Canary Seed to Mexico and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Company Name: space

Name of Company Contact Person: space

Address: space

Telephone No.: space Email address: space

This agreement certifies that the canary seed processed by the above facility for export to Mexico were produced according to the requirements specified in D-14-01, Canadian Compliance Program for Canary Seed Processed for Export to Mexico.

The above named facility shall:

  1. Allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to conduct audits, as required, to verify compliance with this agreement.
  2. Demonstrate to the CFIA that the canary seed processed for export to Mexico is cleaned to eliminate weed seeds to levels established by SENASICA.
  3. Maintain a written protocol which is reviewed and approved by the CFIA which describes the cleaning equipment and internal quality control procedures employed by the facility.
  4. Ensure that shipping conveyances (i.e. railcars, boxcars, trucks, etc.) were emptied and cleaned of other products prior to loading of canary seed under this compliance agreement to avoid contamination with quarantine weed seeds.
  5. Issue an export certificate for all consignments of canary seed which specifies the facility name and CFIA issued registration number. The certificate must also confirm the crop kind, origin, bin number(s) if applicable, and rail car identification number(s). A consignment identification number (e.g. bin number, lot number, railcar number, bill of lading number) must be included on each certificate. This certificate should be included in the documentation package for each consignment along with the CFIA issued phytosanitary certificate and the Laboratory Analysis Report.
  6. Maintain records for two years including internal verifications of the processing of canary seed consignments destined for export to Mexico. The facility must maintain records of their compliance agreement with the CFIA and their CFIA approval letter.
  7. Agree to the publishing of the company name on the CFIA's website. 

Further, I am and shall be responsible for and shall indemnify and save harmless Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, including Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Her officers, 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 terms, conditions and requirements.

Date space, 20 space

Signature – Facility Contact 

Print Name – Facility Contact


Facility Recommended for Approval by:

Signature – CFIA Inspector


Print Name – CFIA Inspector



Canary seed sample analysis has acceptable result (i.e. CFIA laboratory analysis report confirms 15 or less quarantine weed seeds per kilogram are present in the sample):

Yes space 

No space

Approved for participation in the Pilot Canadian Compliance Program for the Export of Canary Seed (Phalaris canariensis) to Mexico.

Signature – Regional Program Officer
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Print Name – Regional Program Officer
Canadian Food Inspection Agency


CFIA Assigned Facility Approval Number CFIA-CGSP- space

Appendix 3. Facility Audit Checklist - Canadian Compliance Program for Canary Seed Processed for Export to Mexico

Name of facility: space

Location: space

Date: space Name of CFIA Inspector: space

Checklist A.
Best Management Practices (Note: these items are voluntary and do not impact facility approval) Comments/Observations
1. What best management practices are implemented by the facility to ensure the high quality of canary seed consignments exported to Mexico? Potential examples include: testing of incoming lots for weed seed content, establishment of export threshold below that of Mexico's import standard, providing agronomic advice on weed control to producers, etc.  
2. Are storage and handling equipment and final   shipping conveyances (e.g. trucks or railcars) emptied and cleaned of other products prior to receiving canary seed processed by the facility for export to Mexico?  
Checklist B.
Internal Verifications Comments/Observations
3. How does the facility perform internal process (weed seed) verifications on canary seed lots processed for export to Mexico? How often are internal process (weed seed) verifications completed?  
4. If either internal verifications or external laboratory reports confirm that canary seed does not conform with phytosanitary requirements for export to Mexico, what subsequent steps are used to:
  1. bring non-conforming product into conformity; or
  2. prevent export of the product to Mexico?
  3. recall/redirect product that has already been shipped?
Checklist C.
Documentation Y/N Comments/Observations
5. Has the facility management completed the compliance agreement according to D-14-01 (Appendix 2)? checkbox  
6. Does the facility have guidance documentation (e.g. manual or standard operating procedures (SOP)) for the processing of canary seed to Mexico as per Appendix 6? checkbox  

7. Are the processing procedures for canary seed to Mexico documented, including:

  1. make, model and purpose of equipment used.
  2. settings applied to the operation of all pieces of equipment for processing canary seed to Mexico, e.g. specifications such as speed, duration, and volume of canary seed processed during each processing step.
  3. order of operations if multiple types of equipment are used in succession.
  4. measurements of all screen sizes used, if applicable.
  5. overall rate (include a range) at which canary seed is processed at the facility (e.g. kilograms per hour).







8. Can the facility provide a copy/example of the Export Certificate that will be issued by the facility to accompany each consignment? checkbox  
Checklist D.
Record Keeping Y/N Comments/Observations
9. Does the facility keep records of applications for phytosanitary certification, copies of phytosanitary certificates, laboratory reports, and export certificates? checkbox  
10. Does the facility maintain records of internal process (weed seed) verifications for canary seed lots cleaned for export to Mexico? checkbox  
Checklist E.
Training Y/N Comments/Observations
11. Is training provided to relevant staff on processing procedures and internal verifications specific to exports of canary seed to Mexico? checkbox  
12. Is there a record of staff training with respect to canary seed for export to Mexico? checkbox  

Representative Sample (1):

Checklist Checklist F.
Sample Number Date (dd-mm-yyyy) Lab Report Number Results
Checklist G.
For annual re-approval of facilities only: Y/N Comments/Observations
13. Can the facility provide a copy of their signed compliance agreement application and the CFIA approval letter to participate in the "Pilot Canadian Compliance Program for the Export of Canary Seed (Phalaris canariensis) to Mexico"? checkbox  
14. Are records kept for two years including internal processing verifications (weed seed quality control checks) of canary seed for export to Mexico? checkbox  

CFIA Comments:

Signature of CFIA Inspector:

Date (DD-MM-YYYY):

Please print inspector name:

Local CFIA Office:

Audit Outcome (select one)

Pass checkbox

Fail checkbox

Appendix 4. Example of Facility Approval Letter

[print on CFIA letterhead]

[Insert Company Name and Address Block]

[Insert Date]

Dear [Insert Facility Manager Name],

An inspection of (Enter Facility Name and Location Here) on, (Enter Date) has confirmed that your facility meets the requirements as outlined in CFIA's directive D-14-01: Pilot Canadian Compliance Program for the Export of Canary Seed (Phalaris canariensis) to Mexico.

By way of this letter, I am approving (Enter Facility Name and Location Here) to process canary seed for export to Mexico.

As outlined in your compliance agreement signed (Insert Date Here) and submitted to your local CFIA office, your facility will be subject to an annual inspection should you wish to maintain your approval under this program.

The unique CFIA issued number that has been assigned to your facility is:

CFIA-CGSP - space space.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this compliance program, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Regional Program Officer, Plant Protection, CFIA
C.C. CFIA Inspector
C.C. National Manager, Grains and Oilseeds Section, CFIA
C.C. Area Operations Specialist, CFIA                                                                                         

Appendix 5. Example of Export Certificate Issued by the Approved Processing Facility

[Mandatory title for use on all certificates]: "Export Certificate Under CFIA Plant Health Directive D-14-01"

[The following information fields and attestation below must appear on the certificate]:

Consignment Identification Number:  space

Facility Name: space

Facility Address: space


CFIA Facility Approval Number: CFIA-CGSP - space

Bin or Lot or Railcar or Bill of Lading Number(s) [if applicable]:space


This certificate attests that the canary seeds in this consignment are not intended to be used for planting, and;

  1. meet the processing requirements as outlined in the compliance agreement between the above facility and the CFIA as per Plant Health Directive D-14-01: Pilot Canadian Compliance Program for the Export of Canary Seed (Phalaris canariensis) to Mexico.
  2. have been produced from canary seed of Canadian origin.
  3. have been sampled at the time of loading by a sampler approved by the CFIA to draw representative samples of grain for export (Canadian Grain Sampling Program).
  4. have been analyzed by a CFIA-approved laboratory for the presence, identity, and number of seeds of Mexico's quarantine weeds.

Signature - Facility Representative: space

Print name - Facility Representative: space

Date: space

Appendix 6. Canary Seed to Mexico - Processing Facility Manual/Guidance Documentation Checklist

1. Administration Y N
Facility identification is provided (name, address, contact names, phone, email, etc.).    
Relevant personnel including roles and responsibilities are identified.    
2. Sampling    
References to CGSP approval, CGSP documentation, and responsible personnel under CGSP are provided.    
3. Training    
A description of the training that will be provided to facility staff on processing procedures and internal quality control weed seed checks for canary seed to Mexico (training plan) is provided.  Included in this may be the training schedule, who will be responsible for delivering training, and who will receive training.    
4. Best Management Practices    
If certain best management practices are standard for canary seed to Mexico, they should be described in the manual / guidance document.    
5. Processing and Shipping    
Specific procedures for the processing of canary seed destined to Mexico are described.  Cleaning equipment is listed, and a description or illustration of the routing of canary seed through the cleaning line is provided.  Information on the processing capacity of canary seed at the facility (kilograms per hour) is provided.       
A description of the procedures for the inspection of empty bins and the final shipping conveyances (example: railcar) prior to filling with cleaned canary seed  is provided, as well as details on how these inspections are recorded.    
6. Quality Control And Weed Seed Checks    
A description of how weed seed checks will be completed during the processing of canary seed (frequency of checks, quantity examined, how checks will be recorded, etc.) is provided.    
Are there procedures describing actions to be taken when internal quality control checks indicate the presence of regulated weed seed above the permissible level?    
If conveyances will be loaded and shipped prior to the receipt of the official laboratory analysis report, are there procedures describing how the review of all the relevant internal weed seed check data will be done, and for making a final decision whether the material can be shipped to Mexico?    
Are there procedures in place to recall product that has been shipped prior to the receipt of the final official seed certificate of analysis that reports weed seed levels above the maximum allowable level?     
7. Record Keeping    
Records related to canary seed consignments exported to Mexico are taken and filed appropriately. (e.g. in-house or third party verifications if conducted, copies of phytosanitary certificates, copies of exporter issued certificates, copies of laboratory analyses).    
8. Amendments    
A record of amendments to the manual indicating what was changed/updated is provided.    
Date modified: