The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is revising its import policy for processed (heat-treated, shelf-stable) US pet food and treats.
Effective September 1, 2015, CFIA will stop issuing import permits for US pet food, treats or compound chews not containing beef/bovine ingredients. Instead, these products must be accompanied by a health/export certificate issued by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Under this process, all products will require a health/export certificate from APHIS, regardless of whether they contain beef.
From September 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, APHIS will issue health/export certificate for products that do not contain beef/bovine ingredients based upon a notarized affidavit that each pet food maker, their packager and/or exporter must file with APHIS.
APHIS will begin inspecting non-beef/bovine pet food facilities in order to ensure compliance with CFIA import policy requirements. Starting July 1st, 2016, APHIS will issue export certificates based upon the APHIS inspection.
“The pet food industry is grateful for the effort by APHIS and CFIA to find a timely, workable process that meets Canada’s new import requirements without disrupting the supply of safe, nutritious food for Canada’s cats and dogs,” said Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute.
Facilities that currently export products containing beef to Canada should ensure that re-inspections occur by the applicable expiration date.
APHIS and CFIA, with significant industry input, have agreed to new export certificates that are not limited to a single shipment. The new export certificates apply to all qualifying shipments over a seven-day period. These certificates can be used for shipments of pet food/treats containing beef ingredients, not containing beef ingredients, or combined shipments.
US producers/exporters are urged to work with their Canadian importers to ensure a smooth transition to this new import policy.