Notice to Industry - Government negotiates new export requirements for potatoes from PEI

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January 26, 2015: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has negotiated an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) to prevent the spread of potato wart and maintain market access for Canadian potato growers.

Effective immediately, new requirements are in place for exporting potatoes from Prince Edward Island (PEI) to the United States (U.S.).

Due to recent detections of potato wart on PEI, the CFIA continues to survey for this pest and is enforcing restrictions to prevent further spread from infested and associated fields. Potatoes from any field under CFIA restrictions for potato wart are not eligible for shipment to the U.S.

Read the complete requirements for potatoes from PEI.

All other requirements for the export of potatoes produced in Canada, including PEI, remain in effect and must be met. The above additional requirements are strictly for PEI potatoes destined for the U.S.

Potato wart poses no risk to human health or food safety. However, it can impact the economic viability of the potato industry by reducing yield and making potatoes unmarketable.

Since 2000, when potato wart was first detected on PEI, the CFIA has confirmed the detection of potato wart in 23 fields on PEI. These detections are expected and are as a result of ongoing CFIA survey activities and industry vigilance.

The potato industry has an important role to play in meeting U.S. import requirements and maintaining access for Canadian potatoes. The CFIA will seek the full collaboration of stakeholders to continue traceability activities and to verify that all applicable treatments have been applied.

CFIA inspectors continue to monitor for potato wart through ongoing surveillance, soil sampling and analysis. The CFIA and USDA-APHIS, along with industry representatives from both countries, continue to work closely together to prevent the spread of potato wart and maintain the trade of potatoes.

To learn more about the export requirements for potatoes, please contact your local CFIA office.

Additional requirements for potatoes from Prince Edward Island:

Packaged table stock potatoes

  • Require a phytosanitary inspection conducted by the CFIA,
  • Must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate or other acceptable documentation stating that the potatoes were grown in a field where potato wart is not known to occur,
  • Must be washed or dry-brushed,
  • Must be treated with a registered sprout inhibitor if they were harvested more than 30 days prior to shipment,
  • Must meet Canada or U.S. No. 2 Grade standard or higher, and
  • Must be packaged in containers of 50 lbs (22.72 kg) or less.

Bulk, washed potatoes for processing or repacking

  • Require a phytosanitary inspection conducted by the CFIA,
  • Must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate or a Certificate of Origin stating that the potatoes were grown in a field where potato wart is not known to occur, and
  • Must be treated with a registered sprout inhibitor if they were harvested more than 30 days prior to shipment.

Bulk, unwashed table stock potatoes for processing or repacking

  • Require a U.S. import permit,
  • Must be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin or other acceptable documentation stating that the potatoes were grown in a field where potato wart is not known to occur,
  • Can only be shipped to a facility with a compliance agreement administered by USDA-APHIS, and
  • Must be treated with a registered sprout inhibitor if they were harvested more than 30 days prior to shipment.

Seed potatoes

  • Must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate,
  • Must originate from a field that has been soil-sampled, tested for and found free of potato wart within one year of harvest, and
  • Must be visually inspected during harvest, or within 10 days of harvest.

Note: Seed potatoes harvested before the publication of the U.S. federal order (January 26, 2015) require a visual inspection done by the CFIA instead of the harvest inspection.

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