The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reported today that on Jan. 20, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) implemented a streamlined import document review process. The CFIA is removing the requirement for pre-clearance of the FSIS Form 9135-3, Certificate for Export of Meat and Poultry Products to Canada. This change will also apply to FSIS 9060-7 and FSIS 9060-18 issued for natural casings. As of Feb. 17, 2014, the implementation of this change will be complete and the CFIA will no longer process pre-clearance review requests of export certificates or documentation.

Details outlining the transition with implementation dates assigned to specific Canadian importers and brokers are available in the FSIS Export Library. The original completed and signed export certificate must be provided directly to the broker effective the date assigned to each Canadian importer and broker. Since the CFIA will no longer pre-clear export certificates for accuracy and completeness, exporters must ensure that all data requirements are entered accurately and completely onto FSIS Forms 9135-3, FSIS 9060-7, FSIS 9060-18 and FSIS letterhead certificates. Failure to provide accurate and complete information could result in delayed or refused entry of the U.S. products exported to Canada. A guideline for completing export certificates for Canada is available in the FSIS Export Library.

Canadian importers and brokers will enter the import data requirements available on the export certificate into the Canadian Border Services Agency’s Electronic Data Interchange system. The data requirements must be accurate and complete to ensure the import requirements are met to allow entry into Canada. Exporters are encouraged to work closely with their Canadian importers and brokers to prevent any potential disruption to shipments to Canada.