New export requirements for Canadian fish processors and brokers
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently announced that it is in the process of modifying the procedure for certifying compliance with the Fish Inspection Regulations. This step is the latest phase of a two-year plan originally identified by the CFIA in 2012. These changes will affect export certification and export eligibility lists.
The CFIA is now strengthening its regulatory oversight of Export Certification Control Program (ECCP) implementation. Federally registered fish establishments are required to complete the ECCP – Attestation for Registered Establishments form and send it to their local CFIA office by December 1, 2014. This form attests that establishments have updated their Quality Management Program (QMP) plan to include relevant elements of the ECCP plan. During fish establishments’ next compliance verification audit, the CFIA will review establishments’ QMP plans to confirm that these plans include relevant elements of the ECCP.
Brokers (parties purchasing fish/seafood for resale without further transformation) will also be required to complete the required elements of the ECCP to continue receiving export certificates without inspection of all product, or to be eligible for export lists. Export certificates will be issued based on the broker’s ECCP and not on master certificates (certificates for one or more lots of fish which have been previously certified), which are used presently. As well, brokers will not be able to receive partially-completed certificates (partially-completed certificates are used for live or fresh fish).