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United States of America – Export requirements for fish and seafood

Eligible/ineligible product



Pre-export approvals by the competent authority of the importing country


  • Most fish and seafood product falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Please see the Notice to Industry – United States of America – Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for more information regarding Canadian establishments exporting FDA regulated foods to the United States.
  • Importation of certain fish by-products are also subject to requirements under the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services.


Certification for the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL)

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) licence holders wishing to be added to the ICSSL, to make amendments to a current listing, or to be removed from the list must submit the following information to their local CFIA office:


Effective December 1, 2019, licence holders conducting wet storage activities are required to indicate “WS” on the ICSSL in addition to any other applicable certification designation. Wet storage is defined as the temporary storage (less than 60 days) of live shellfish from approved sources, intended for marketing, in containers or floats in natural bodies of seawater or in tanks containing natural or synthetic seawater. Any applicable labels and tags must be updated with the new suffix.

An ICSSL listing for a SFCR licence holder must be renewed annually. The expiration date of Canadian licence holders on the ICSSL is November 30th of each year.

Further information on the types of ICSSL designations can be found in the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) - Guide for the Control of Molluscan Shellfish.



Fish by-products

Prior notice

Production controls and inspection requirements

Other information

For requirements related to Product of Canada designation, please refer to Country of Origin Declaration – Imported Product Exported From Canada.

United States acts and regulations

United States official webpages

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)


Fish in the order of Siluriformes ("catfish") and products derived from such fish are subject to different export requirements because they fall under the jurisdiction of the FSIS under the USDA.

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