Guidelines for the Preparation of Export Certificates for the Canadian pet food industry
Role and Responsibilities of CFIA

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Certification requirements and conditions are established through bilateral negotiations with the competent authority of an importing country. CFIA staff is responsible for negotiating sanitary and phytosanitary conditions and other technical requirements, as well as to resolve bilateral technical market access issues.

To support Canadian pet food exports, the CFIA has produced guidelines that summarize the import requirements of foreign countries. Importing conditions are subject to change at any time and the CFIA is constantly updating this information. Consult with your local district office to confirm that the conditions within this document are current for a particular country.

The CFIA helps and facilitates exports of pet food products by:

  • maintaining a strong and credible system for inspection of animal products and by-products including pet food to verify compliance with importing country requirements;
  • helping exporters to understand and meet the requirements of foreign countries;
  • negotiating with foreign countries to eliminate differences in interpretation of inspection requirements to reach agreement on market access conditions acceptable to all concerned;
  • certifying exports as meeting requirements agreed upon with the importing country.

Obligations of Certifying Veterinarians

Certifying veterinarians should:

  1. Be authorized by the competent authority of the exporting country to sign international veterinary certificates;
  2. Only certify matters that are within their own knowledge at the time of signing the certificate such as animal health statements or based on supporting documentations and matters that have been separately attested by another competent party (e.g. slaughterhouse veterinarians, inspectors from other CFIA programs or the provincial government, officials from foreign countries etc.);
  3. Sign only at the appropriate time certificates that have been completed fully and correctly. Where a certificate is signed on the basis of supporting documentation, the certifying veterinarian should possess that documentation before signing; and
  4. Have no conflict of interest with respect to the commercial aspects of the animal products being certified and be independent from the commercial parties.

Free sale declaration

The production and the sale of pet food in Canada are currently not regulated by the Government of Canada. Therefore, the CFIA does not control the sale of pet food in Canada, unless it is notified that a pet food poses an animal health risk. However, a free sale declaration may be issued by the CFIA if it has been officially requested by the competent authority of the importing country.

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