CFIA Implementation of Guidelines for Importing Mixtures Containing Animal-Origin Ingredients

October 11, 2019 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a notice advising of changes to guidelines for importing products of animal origin containing multiple ingredients (Section 9 of the Terrestrial animal products and by-products: Import policy framework). These changes will be in effect as of November 1, 2019.

These guidelines affect, for example, livestock feeds and feed ingredients, fertilizers, medicinal products, mixtures used for the production of pet foods, food with milk or egg ingredients, vitamin and mineral supplements, and commodities containing products of a rendering plant or other animal-origin ingredients. The import requirement of these types of products will require an import permit issued by CFIA.

Details can be found in Section 9 of the Terrestrial animal products and by-products import policy framework.

What’s new

To help prevent the introduction of animal diseases into Canada, ingredient percentages will no longer be used to determine import conditions and the focus will be on disease risk. Therefore, import requirements may change and, in some cases, become more stringent.

What to do

If you import mixtures containing animal-origin ingredients, here’s what to do:

  • Review Section 9 (products of animal origin containing multiple ingredients) to determine whether it applies to your commodities
  • If you already have an import permit and need an amendment because of these changes, you only need to apply for the amendment before your next required permit renewal
    • For one year after the implementation date of November 1st, 2019, import permits may reflect either the previous or new guidelines
    • As permits are renewed during this transitional year, they will reflect the new guidelines
  • Please continue to use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) to identify import conditions.
    • If your commodity is not listed in AIRS, CFIA may apply Section 9 import requirements case by case
  • If you do not yet have an import permit or need to renew your permit, you must provide documentation listing all animal-origin ingredients in the commodity, as well as the species and the country of origin of each ingredient, to the Centre of Administration when applying for an import permit and to the National Import Service Centre when requesting clearance of a shipment.

Understanding the meat product exceptions under section 25 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Section 25 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) applies to meat products; imported meat products and meat products prepared within Canada. The meat products are grouped into 2 categories:

  1. Mixtures
    • A mixture is a food that contains ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products with other non-meat ingredients (for example, meat stew, tourtière, pepperoni pizza)
  2. Broth/animal fat/ meat flavor or extract
    • Broth, lard, leaf lard, tallow or other rendered fat, suet, shortening, flavor or extract

Mixtures and broths/animal fats/ meat flavors or extracts that meet the requirements of section 25 are exempt from SFCR requirements specific to the import of meat products and the work shift requirements, including the storing and handling of meat products in its imported condition for inspection. A comparison of how some of the SFCR requirements apply to meat products that fall under section 25 to all other meat products; whether imported and prepared in Canada are found in Table 1 and Table 2.

If you prepare meat products that fall into the two categories in section 25, you need a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence and a written preventive control plan (PCP). Licence holders who are making an RTE meat product prior to mixing it with other non-meat ingredients do not qualify for the exception under section 25.

While section 25 meat products are exempt from certain SFCR requirements outlined in the tables above, when exporting, you must meet all requirements of the importing country to avoid affecting your eligibility and status on export eligibility lists. For more information export eligibility lists, consult the Export registers and lists.

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