Guidelines for the Preparation of Export Certificates for the Canadian pet food industry
Roles and Responsibilities of Exporters

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Exporters have full responsibility for ensuring that all applicable requirements of the importing country are met and for providing satisfactory evidence to that effect to the CFIA veterinarian before export is authorized and appropriate certificate issued.

They must also have qualified and legally responsible personnel to prepare, sign and provide the exporter's declaration as well as to provide any supporting documents as necessary in order to get an export certificate issued.

For advice and guidance on Export Health Certificates, exporters should contact the local CFIA Animal Health district office. They will confirm whether a certificate is available and will be able to provide them with an electronic version of the certificate.

Each shipment must be accompanied by an export certificate signed by a CFIA Veterinarian. The health export certificate must be signed before the shipment leaves Canada. The CFIA will not issue an export certificate after the shipment has left Canada.

Request for Certification

These requests vary depending on whether or not there is an existing process for the export of pet food, and if a negotiated certificate is readily available.

In circumstances where there is an official negotiated certificate, the exporter's declaration must include the specific reference number issued by the exporter on the first page of the health export certificate submitted for signature and specific attestations as mentioned below for each country (see Section Listing of requirements from importing countries). In some cases, additional documentation is also required such as laboratory testing results issued by accredited laboratories and/or copy of sanitary certificates issued by third countries in case of finished pet food containing imported ingredients.

In some circumstances where there is not an existing certificate negotiated by the CFIA and the country to which the pet food is destined, it is the exporter's responsibility to get the importing country requirements for his/her commodity prior to making an application to the CFIA. Once the conditions have been obtained, the CFIA must ensure that the exported product meets the importing country's zoosanitary requirements and issue an in house certificate HA2341. The exporter must then assume all commercial risk related to that export.

When exports are covered by an in house certificate HA2341, the exporter should submit a declaration to describe the product and add a statement on that declaration to discharge the CFIA from any commercial risk related to that export. The information contained in the declaration should reflect the import conditions provided by the exporter.

Even when a country does not require an export certificate (e.g. Japan, Hong Kong), export of pet food containing rendered material such as animal meal or animal fats requires an in house certificate HA2341 to be issued. In this case, the exporter should only provide a copy of the packing slip as supporting documentation.

Examples of when an in house certificate (HA2341) can be used:

  1. USA and Australia: HA2341 must include conditions written on the import permit.
  2. Others Countries where:
    1. No Negotiated Export Certificate exists but import conditions exist: A HA2341 can be issued and will include import conditions provided by the exporter. The exporter must then assume all commercial risk related to that export.
    2. No Certification is required but Pet food contains rendered material: A HA2341 must be issued and should mention that the product was manufactured in Canada.
    3. No Certification is required (no conditions have to be met) and Pet food does not contain rendered material: A HA2341 can be issued to mention that the product was manufactured in Canada.

When endorsing an export certificate, the certifying veterinarian must make sure that the exporter has provided:

  • The appropriate export certificate (most recent version)Footnote 1
  • The exporter's declaration
  • The microbiological testing laboratory report(s)

In the case where a shipment is transiting through a third country, please contact your local district office for further information.

Labelling requirements

CFIA does not regulate the labelling requirements for the Canadian Pet food. However the Competition Bureau of Canada has guidelines regarding pet food labelling.

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