Canadian Export Requirements for Honey - Overview
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This information is intended to provide an overview of federal requirements grade and standard, prescribed containers and labelling for the preparation and export of products covered by the Honey Regulations. Currently, honey is the only product regulated by the Honey Regulations. Bee products such as honeycomb (comb honey), flavoured honey, royal jelly, bee propolis, and bee pollen fall under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drugs Act.
This is not intended to replace any federal regulations; it is recommended to consult the appropriate set of regulations before using any information.
If you wish to export honey, please ensure that the following points are observed:
- Prepared in a Registered Honey Establishment (under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
- Appropriate Grade or Standard
- Prescribed containers
- Correct Labelling
- Health and Safety Requirements
Honey which does not meet the requirements of the Honey Regulations with respect to grade, standard, packing, or labelling may be exported if all of the following conditions are met:
- prepared in a Registered Honey Establishment (under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and the registration number of the establishment in which the honey was packed appears on the label of the container;
- lot number or code of the shipment is marked on the label or embossed on the container;
- the markings on the label or the container do not misrepresent the quality, quantity, colour class, composition, characteristics, origin, safety, or value of the honey; and,
- the shipper provides to an inspector a signed statement certifying that the container and labelling meet the requirements of the importing country, and that this statement is included with the export documents.
- If in doubt about a foreign country's requirements on imported foods, it is advisable that you enquire through the importing country's department of agriculture or perhaps through their embassy/consulate/trade commission in Canada before exporting.
Export documents are not mandatory under the Honey Regulations; however, some countries may have their own certification requirements.
- Upon request, the CFIA may issue export documents.
- A fee may apply as prescribed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice
Grade and Standard
Section 5 to 8, and Schedule I of the Honey Regulations set out the requirements on grading, compositional standards and colour class for honey.
The grade names are: Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2, and Canada No.3.
Prescribed or standard container sizes, which must be used, are indicated in Section 29(2) and 30(2) of the Honey Regulations. Prescribed containers refer to container net quantities.
It is the registered establishment or importer's responsibility to comply with all labelling requirements.
- Honey Regulations, Section 35 to 37, and 47.
- Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising - Chapter 12 - Honey
- Nutrition Labelling
- Food Allergens
Health and Safety Requirements
It is the registered establishment or importer's responsibility to comply with all health and safety requirements as prescribed in the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and the Honey Regulations.
- Division 15 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) sets out the maximum residue limits (MRLs) permitted for veterinary drugs, and heavy metals.
- Health Canada has both Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) and recommended safe Working Residue Levels (WRLs) for a number of veterinary drugs approved for use in other species that may be detected in domestic or imported honey.
- Health Canada has recommended safe Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) and for a number of pesticides approved for use in beekeeping that may be detected in domestic or imported honey.
Registered Honey Establishments
Regulated product shipped interprovincially, exported or which bear the Canadian grade mark must be prepared in an establishment registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Contact your regional Canadian Food Inspection Agency office for further information on registration requirements. A list of registered honey establishments is available upon request.
Export Inspection: A person wanting an export certificate (for his own protection or to meet a requirement of an importing country e.g. European Union) shall submit a completed application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (please contact your regional Canadian Food Inspection Agency office for sample forms). A fee may be charged for the grading and/or issuance of an Export Certificate as prescribed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice.
Administrative Inspections: At any time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may randomly inspect any honey to ensure that minimum requirements (grade and standard, prescribed containers, labelling and health standards) are met. Non-compliant product will be detained until it meets regulatory requirements.
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