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Archived - Regulatory Cooperation Council – Animal Health Work Plan 2015

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Regulatory area to be addressed

Animal Health

In order to expedite and simplify trade, the CFIA and USDA-APHIS will work together to develop and implement their respective electronic certification and delivery systems, and collaborate on animal health requirements and assessments for the movement of animals and animal products. Collaborative work will continue on Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Zoning, joint site visits to third-countries where there are animal health risks of common concern, and related data collection and approaches to risk mitigation. This will result in a more stable and predictable trading environment for Canadian and U.S. stakeholders.

United States us flag

United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA – APHIS)

Canada canadian flag

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Work stream A

Under the previous workplan, the CFIA and USDA-APHIS developed and entered into a formal Arrangement to recognize each other's zoning decisions in the event of an FAD outbreak, in order to facilitate trade between disease-free zones. The agencies also drafted a Guidance Framework for implementation of the Arrangement, which was released for public comment/consultation in 2014.

Through this workplan, the CFIA and USDA-APHIS intend to update the guidance framework, establish a governance structure as described in the Framework, and engage in several projects to build the credibility of the Arrangement and facilitate implementation. The agencies will continue efforts to promote stakeholder engagement throughout.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream A)
Planned initiatives and sub-deliverablesDate

Guidance Framework for FAD Arrangement

  • 1.1 Conduct joint after-action assessment of the functioning of the Zoning Recognition Arrangement and Guidance Framework in response to recent avian influenza outbreaks in the United States and Canada and make any updates to the Guidance Framework as necessary.
July 2015
  • 1.2 Embed zoning recognition into currently available training and exercises including:
    • A mock simulation exercises for federal / provincial / state regulators.
    • Work with stakeholders and animal health specialists to identify further training needs and exercises for industry community.
July 2015 Forward
  • 1.3 Prepare a public summary of stakeholder feedback from the Fall 2014 consultation process.
June 2015
  • 1.4 Post updated Guidance Framework with updates from public consultation and post-avian influenza assessment.
    • Release public summary of stakeholder feedback
    • Host teleconference with stakeholders to share findings and confirm needs for further guidance and/or training.
July 2015
  • 1.5 Recognizing that the Guidance Framework is an "evergreen document", amend as required.
After July 2015

Develop tools to inform zoning decisions

  • 2.1 Work with disease and economic modeling experts (North American Virtual Animal Disease Modelling Center – NAVADMC) to develop targeted consequence assessments and other tools to further inform zoning decisions.
January  2015 Forward

Work stream B

Electronic Certification

Electronic exchange of certificates (e-Cert) will increase the efficiency of the exchange of certificates between importing and exporting countries, improve reporting and security of the transmission of the certificates, and reduce the opportunity for fraudulent activity. This work plan builds upon existing initiatives within our respective countries to provide electronic service delivery to stakeholders. In the Unites States, the Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) provides core functionality to automate the creation, endorsement, payment and printing of USDA Veterinary Export Health Certificates based on the Model Veterinary Certificates for International Trade in Live Animals, Hatching Eggs and Products of Animal Origin. In Canada, the Electronic Service Delivery Platform (ESDP) is currently under development for Canada's major trading partners and is intended to provide an electronic system that will enable industry to more readily access CFIA programs and conduct regular business transactions, using secure information exchange protocols. Significant work has already been undertaken, and continues to occur outside of RCC, to develop a project plan for ESDP, including the identification of business requirements, time frames and stakeholder communication to ensure their business requirements are being addressed. The focus of this work plan will be to further streamline the efficient export and import of animals between Canada and the US through electronic certification processes by identifying technical options for the exchange of electronic certificates.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream B)
Planned initiatives and sub-deliverablesDate
1. Electronic Certification April 2015 - February 2016
  • 1.1 Undertake cooperative discussions to explore technical options to maximize the interoperability of our respective electronic systems.
April - November 2016
  • 1.2 Develop and implement our respective electronic platforms as required.
April 2015 - 2016
  • 1.3 Establish or update standard operating procedures / guidance manuals for staff to manage receipt and administration of E-certificates in line with overall project plans for electronic certification.
  • 1.4 Identify and develop a list of lessons learned and best practices for continuous improvement of our respective systems taking into account the results of the pilots undertaken on Canada's ESDP program in other areas.

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