Notice to industry - Changes to the requirements for importing earthworms into Canada
June 1, 2020
Beginning October 1, 2020, the following changes to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) plant protection requirements for importing earthworms for commercial or personal purposes will come into effect:
- A plant protection permit will be required to import earthworms from the continental United States
- Plant protection requirements will not apply to aquatic earthworms
- The list of earthworms pre-approved for import will apply to earthworms of all origins, not just from the continental United States
- The CFIA will consider adding species that are present in the Canadian environment to the list of earthworms pre-approved for import
These changes follow a public consultation on a proposal to enhance alignment of the CFIA's earthworm import requirements with plant health risks and international plant protection principles.
Based on comments received during the consultation, the CFIA clarified and added a level of scrutiny to the process for adding to the list of earthworms pre-approved for import. The CFIA may add earthworms to the list:
- if five or more specimens are recorded from one site in Canada or if any number of specimens are recorded from two different sites and
- after consideration of:
- where they are found: the records and site(s) in question (e.g. whether natural, urbanized or managed sites)
- how the worms reached or may have reached the site(s)
- any species-specific identification and taxonomic variabilities or challenges and
- whether there are morphologically similar species in Canada
These changes bring consistency to CFIA's import and domestic requirements, and provide safeguards to account for uncertainties.
You can now submit the Application for permit to import plants and other things (CFIA/ACIA 5256) by using My CFIA online services or by email, fax or mail.
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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