Japan - Certification Requirements

Last update: June 18, 2013

Certification requirements

The following requirements apply to shipments of fish and seafood exported to Japan:

  • Shipments of live lobster and lobster products containing tomalley and shipments of live and raw oysters should be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin and Hygiene (CFIA/ACIA 5003).
  • All other products do not require a certificate (but must still comply with Japanese Food Safety standards).

1. Live Lobster and Lobster Products Containing Tomalley

Before requesting a certificate, the exporter must have provided the CFIA with a description of their controls that follow the Guidance Document - Export of Live Lobsters and Lobster Products Containing Tomalley.

Exporter must appear on the "List of Exporters of Live Lobster and Lobster Tomalley Products to Japan".

The exporter must include the results of tests performed on the lobsters being shipped to Japan with each certificate request to show that the levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) toxin in the hepatopancreas met Japan's standard of 80 µg/100 g.

The Certificate of Origin and Hygiene should include the following statement: “The consignor listed below is controlling their shipments of lobsters in accordance with the "Guidance Document - Export of Live Lobsters and Lobster Products Containing Tomalley".

NOTE - The exporter's physical address must appear on both the "Certificate of Origin and Hygiene" and the "List of Exporters of Live Lobster and Lobster Tomalley Products to Japan."

2. Live and Raw Oysters

The product must originate from an establishment and harvest area/lease published on the "List of Canadian Certified Shellfish Dealers and Leases Approved to Export their Products to Japan". For information on the procedure to get an establishment or growing area/lease published on this list, please contact your local CFIA office

The Certificate must include the following statements:

  1. The product meets the requirements of the Fish Inspection Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-12 and the Fish Inspection Regulations, C.R.C., c.802 as amended from time to time and the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program.
  2. The product originates from oyster harvesting areas where the total coliform geometric mean MPN of the water samples does not exceed 70 per 100 mls and the product  sample does not exceed a MPN of 230 per 100 grams as determined by regular coliform testing.
  3. The Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) content is less than 80 µg/100 g.

For information on the procedure to verify the last attestation, please contact your local CFIA office).

The certificate must also indicate:

  • Geographic and Harvest Area
  • Harvest Date, and
  • Growing area/Lease no.

NOTE - The exporter's physical address must appear on both the "Certificate of Origin and Hygiene" and the "List of Canadian Certified Shellfish Dealers and Leases Approved to Export their Products to Japan".

Other Information

Tolerances and Guidelines

  • Total mercury - 0.4 ppm (does not apply to tuna or sturgeon, fish oils, gelatin or other fish by-products)
  • Methyl mercury - 0.3 ppm (does not apply to tuna or sturgeon, fish oils, gelatin or other fish by-products)
  • PCB - 0.5 ppm (does not apply to fish oils, gelatin or other fish by-products)

Further information can be obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.