Importing live and raw molluscan shellfish

Live or raw molluscan shellfish, whether frozen or unfrozen, must be harvested, handled and processed in a manner to ensure that the products are safe for human consumption.

These requirements apply to the following species of molluscan shellfish imported live or raw (frozen or unfrozen) for direct consumption or to be cooked prior to consumption:

Species of live or raw (frozen or unfrozen) molluscan shellfish (bivalves and predatory gastropods) such as but not limited to

  • Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish
    • Clams/Quahogs/Geoducks (Geoduck products consisting of the meat free of viscera are exempt)
    • Mussels
    • Oysters
    • Scallops (Products consisting of the adductor muscle/meat free of viscera or roe are exempt)
  • Predatory Gastropods
    • Loco
    • Whelks (Products consisting of the meat free of viscera are exempt)

Molluscan shellfish are considered "cooked" and exempt from these requirements only when the process control documents demonstrate that the heat process results in a fully cooked product.

Imports of live or raw (frozen or unfrozen) molluscan shellfish are permitted entry into Canada only if the following conditions are met:

1) The live or raw (frozen or unfrozen) molluscan shellfish were harvested in an authorized country of harvest and are a species approved to be exported to Canada:
Authorized countries of harvest Species of molluscan shellfish approved
Chile Roe-on scallops only
European Union All Species
Korea Shucked Frozen Oysters only
Mexico All Species
New Zealand All Species
Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (SPM) Live Whelks (Buccinum undatum)
United States All Species

2) The live or raw (frozen or unfrozen) molluscan shellfish were handled and processed by an authorized shipper / establishment.

Authorized shippers/ establishments

Chile

European Community Member States

Korea

Mexico

New Zealand

Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

  • All live common whelks (B. undatum) from a Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon fishing zone that is covered by the CFIA recognised Biotoxin monitoring program.

United States

  • Bivlave molluscs: Shippers on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List
  • Predatory gastropods: Imports from all US shippers/establishments are approved. As such, the request for documentation review, indicated in the section "Instructions for Import", is not required.

The Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL) is published by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Please note that the ICSSL includes shippers from countries that are not authorized to export live or raw molluscan shellfish products to Canada.

Instructions for import

  • Importers must verify, prior to import, that the molluscan shellfish are from an authorized country of harvest and shipper and are a species approved for import into Canada.
  • Importers must complete the form Request for documentation review and send the form to the CFIA National import service centre (NISC) prior to importing a raw or live molluscan shellfish product. Information on completing the form can be found in the Instructions for completing the CFIA National import service centre cover sheet.
  • The NISC verifies whether the raw or live molluscan shellfish product is from an authorized country of harvest and shipper and stamps the NISC cover sheet when the conditions of import are met.
  • Importers must present the stamped cover sheet to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in order for the product to be permitted entry into Canada. CBSA will not allow the entry of any live or raw molluscan shellfish product without the stamped NISC cover sheet.

The National import service centre may be contacted at:

National Import Service Centre
Telephone: 1-800-835-4486 or 905-795-7834
Facsimile: 613-773-9999

Related information

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