Prohibition on the Importation and Exportation of Shark Fins reminder

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has released Customs Notice 21-02 on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) prohibition and requirements on the import and exports of shark fins.

DFO announced back in June 21, 2019, shark fins that are not attached to a shark carcass are prohibited from being imported into or exported from Canada except in accordance with a permit issued by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard authorizing the import or export.

DFO’s import and export restrictions for shark fins are applied based on section 32 of the Fisheries Act.

Section 32 of the Fisheries Act authorizes the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to issue a permit authorizing the importation or exportation into or from Canada of any shark fins or parts of shark fins that are not attached to a shark carcass only if the importation or exportation is for the purpose of scientific research related to shark conservation and if, in the Minister’s opinion, the scientific research is likely to benefit the survival of any shark species or is required to enhance the chances of survival of any shark species in the wild. For more information regarding permits contact: ““.

Furthermore, in addition to the DFO import or export permit, species of sharks protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) must also be accompanied by the required CITES permit(s) in order to be imported to or exported from Canada. For a list of protected species please consult the CITES species list.

Importers are reminded of the requirement under the Customs Act that information reported to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) must be true, accurate and complete. This means that the scientific or taxonomic names of all sharks and shark products imported must be declared upon entry. Importers must report scientific names of all imported shark species in the commodity description field of Form CI1, Canada Customs Invoice or the commercial invoice, either electronic or paper as per the instructions in Memorandum D1-4-1, CBSA Invoice Requirements, and/or in accordance with the technical requirements, specifications and procedures for electronic data interchange as set out in the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD).