Operational procedure: Procedure for maintaining food export eligibility lists
Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements are being phased in over the following 12 to 30 months. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.
On this page
- 1.0 Purpose
- 2.0 Scope
- 3.0 Authorities
- 4.0 Reference documents
- 5.0 Definitions
- 6.0 Acronyms
- 7.0 Background
- 8.0 perational procedure
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Staff on the procedures for maintaining food export eligibility lists. This document is intended to be used in conjunction with reference documents listed in the section 4.0 below.
The guidance outlined below should be used when requests are received to amend food export eligibility lists.
This operational procedure is limited to the review of documentation submitted in respect to all food export lists which are maintained by the Food Import Export Division (FIED) and export lists that are maintained by the importing countries based on the recommendation made by the FIED. This operational procedure does not alter or replace existing policy and program requirements.
The inspection powers, control actions and enforcement actions authorized by the above legislation are identified and explained in the Operational guideline: Food regulatory response guidelines.
4.0 Reference documents
- Exporting Food: A step by step guide
- Export registers and lists
- Industry guidance – Regulatory requirements -Trade
- Industry guidance- Food Specific – Export requirements
Definitions are located in either the:
- Safe Food for Canadians: Glossary of Key Terms
- Integrated Agency Inspection Model (iAIM) - Glossary of Terms (Annex F)
- MyCFIA Glossary of Terms
Acronyms are spelled out the first time they are used in this document and are consolidated in the Food business line acronyms list.
Some countries require that a Canadian exporter or various parts of the distribution chain to be identified on a registry or list before they allow the import of food products into their country.
It is important that these lists be kept current to enable the export of Canadian food products. Amendments may include the addition or deletion of eligible Canadian exporters, parts of the distribution chain, or changes to the food products being exported.
Changes to export eligibility lists may be initiated by Canadian exporters, CFIA or the competent authority of the importing country. Exporters may ask to be included on an export eligibility list by submitting a request with the supporting documentation to CFIA. CFIA may take actions to remove exporters from an export eligibility list if it is determined that the exporter no longer meets the CFIA requirements or those of the importing country.
8.0 Operational procedure
Requests for addition, removal or amendment of export lists may be initiated by:
- an eligible exporter (for example, licenced operator or licensed exporter)
- CFIA inspection staff
- a Foreign Competent Authority (FCA)
In some cases a country specific application must be completed by the applicant and submitted along with the application to initiate the process.
8.1 Request initiated by an exporter
An application for amendment of an export list is submitted by the applicant to the local CFIA office. The request must be made in writing (including a country specific application package when required) and be accompanied by all relevant supporting documents. Export requirements by country are available on the Export registers and lists page of the CFIA website.
Review of application
The Inspector will review the application and supporting document(s) to verify that:
- the application is complete,
- the product intended for export is processed in an establishment that has a valid SFCR license, and
- all supporting documentation required has been included with the submission
The Inspector must review and follow the program specific requirements and procedures when required (for example: meat inspectors may be required to conduct a CVS task prior to recommending an exporter for inclusion on an export eligibility list).
The Inspector may contact the applicant if additional information is required to process the application. The Inspector may also consult with their Supervisor, Area Operational Specialists, or the Operational Guidance and Expertise Division, if required.
The Supervisor/Specialist is required to verify that all requests are appropriately completed prior to submission.
Submission of application
Once an application is reviewed and approved, the Inspector or Supervisor/Specialist will submit the application via the electronic Request for Action Form (e-RAF). For assistance to complete the form, please refer to the "Guide on How to Fill Out the Online Request for Action Form (e-RAF)". If an original copy of the application is required by the importing country, the Inspector or Supervisor/Specialist must submit a colour copy of the original request in PDF format.
The Enquiry Title of the e-RAF submission must state:
[Action][establishment name & number] to [Country][Commodity list].
For example: Add establishment ABC Reg # 123 to EU Shellfish list.
Assignment of application
The enquiry will be uploaded into the Ask CFIA – Operations Enquiries Database (OED) (Share Point) (internal access only). The request will be assigned to Food Import Export Division for their action.
The Ask CFIA – OED (Share Point) (internal access only) will send an automatic notification containing the tracking number and title of the request to the requestor (Inspector or Supervisor/Specialist) and to the generic Food Import Export Division (FIED) account at email@example.com. Once assigned to an FIED designate, that individual will also receive an automatic notification.
Request for action to foreign competent authorities
The FIED designate will make recommendation to the FCA regarding the request for changes to the specific export eligibility list.
Once the FIED designate has communicated the request for amendment to the FCA, FIED will enter the date when the requested was submitted to the FCA in the comment box of the query in Ask CFIA – OED (Share Point) (internal access only). FIED then will set the status of the query to "complete."
The Inspector can check the status of the query in Ask CFIA – OED (Share Point) (internal access only), using the tracking number received by email or by setting up an alarm to receive notifications when the status of query has changed. Refer to the document Setting Alerts in the Ask CFIA – OED (Internal access only) for more information.
Update of export lists
FIED will update the CFIA maintained export list and prepare a Listserv message that will be sent to the Operations staff to provide notification of these changes. To request a Listserv message complete the Request for Action Form for other Branches (internal access only - RDIMS 6294187) and Request for Dissemination of Information Template (internal access only - RDIMS 6667914).
The status of the eligible exporter will be updated in the Digital Service Delivery Platform (DSDP).
Some export lists are maintained by the FCA. When this is the case, no notification is issued when the lists are updated. Exporters are responsible for checking the status of their request with their contact in the importing country or by checking the link to export lists on the external web site.
8.2 Request initiated by a CFIA inspection staff
A request to remove an exporter, a distribution chain or the products exported by them, from an export eligibility list may be initiated by an Inspector when the licence holder no longer meets the export eligibility requirements. The exporter must be notified by the Inspector that a request to remove the name of their establishment or name of their product(s) on an export list will be submitted.
Once the exporter is notified, the Inspector must submit a request to amend the specified export eligibility list. Products that are processed prior to removal of the establishment / product from the export list may be eligible for export. Refer to the program specific policy prior to submitting amendment request.
The request should be submitted by completing and submitting an e-RAF.
The Enquiry title must state:
[Action][establishment name & number] to [Country][Commodity list].
For example: Remove establishment ABC Reg # 123 to EU Shellfish list.
High priority requests can be identified as an urgent query in Ask CFIA-OED (Share Point).
When the enquiry is uploaded into the Ask CFIA – OED, the above described procedure for assignment of the request to FIED will be implemented.
Amendment to the Interstate Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL) is an example of Inspector initiated request.
8.3 Request initiated by a Foreign Competent Authority
A FCA may communicate directly with the FIED to request the removal of an exporter or of a product processed by an establishment from an export eligibility list.
FIED will update the CFIA maintained export list and prepare a Listserv message to be distributed to notify CFIA staff of the changes to the export eligibility list. To request a Listserv message use the Request for Action Form for other Branches (internal access only - RDIMS 6294187) and Request for Dissemination of Information Template (internal access only - RDIMS 6667914).
The status of the eligible exporter in the DSDP will be updated.
For general inquiries related to this Operational Guidance Document, please follow established communication channels, including submitting an electronic Request for Action Form (e-RAF).
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