Exporting to the EU? Export certificate requirements for animal and food products have changed

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has taken steps to help Canadian businesses use the EU’s digital system of export certificate issuance called Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT).

Effective January 15th, 2022, the EU will require businesses to use updated export certificates to maintain market access due to the Animal Health Law (AHL) that came into force in the spring 2021. This news is important to Canadian companies because noncompliance will lead to shipping and clearance delays for shipments entering the EU.

All regulated commercial animal and food products exported to the EU must be accompanied by import documents that will now be prepared in TRACES NT, serving as pre-notification of the arrival of a consignment. This means that control authorities at EU borders or at destination points can plan their controls and secure inspection times.

Export certificates will be accessed and certified by the CFIA online through TRACES NT. The use of TRACES NT for certification will expedite the preparation of the clearance documentation package and clearance times for Canadian exports, resulting in a more efficient process. Canadian agricultural and food businesses will have a more secure and streamlined process to access to the EU markets.

Canada is recognized as having strong animal health and food safety systems. The changes associated with the AHL in combination with the adoption of TRACES NT will benefit the agricultural and food businesses by ensuring more efficient service while continuing to safeguard food and animal products.

The AHL contains detailed requirements about the registration and approval of establishments, traceability of animals, and animal health requirements for movement of animals and their products and entry into the European Union, and specific measures for animal disease prevention and control.

Current export certificates will be accepted by the EU until March 15th, 2022, provided they are signed before January 15th, 2022.