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CFIA: New requirements for shipments through Canada
Posted On: January 05, 2016

 Interim Phytosanitary Requirements for In-transit shipments of plants and plant products of United States Origin en route to a Foreign Country Destination and in-transit shipments of foreign origin Refused Entry by the United States

Effective Date: January 1, 2016

This protocol is valid for an interim period while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) completes its comprehensive in-transit policy and program for plant health.


This protocol recognizes the potential for in-transit shipments to be a pathway of introduction or spread of plant pests in Canada. Plant pests can have significant negative impacts on Canadian agriculture, forestry and environment resources, commerce that relies on those sectors, and access to export markets for Canadian plants and plant products. This interim protocol was developed to address an immediate need to provide guidance and outline the phytosanitary requirements for specific origins and transit routes. A comprehensive in-transit policy and program for plant health is under development and will provide a more predictable, risk-based approach to safeguarding in-transit shipments from all origins, for all modes of transport and all transit routes.


In-transit means the movement from a foreign country, through Canada, to a foreign country.


The requirements within this interim protocol apply to all land transportation modes and at all U.S. - Canada border crossings.


The protection of Canada's plant resources is a shared responsibility and for the purposes of this interim in-transit protocol,

  • The party in care and control of the shipment at the time of entry and while transiting through Canada is responsible for:
    • complying with both the CFIA's and the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA's) requirements regarding in-transit shipments;
    • any costs or fees associated with meeting these requirements;
    • notifying the local CFIA office when an in-transit shipment has been refused entry to the U.S. and the reason for the refusal; and
    • for U.S. origin plants and plant products transiting Canada, reporting the species name and U.S. state of origin in the description field of the cargo control document.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for:
    • determining the appropriate mitigation measures based on the level of risk and communicating those measures; and
    • issuing the required documentation and verifying that CFIA requirements are met.
  • The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for:
    • notifying the CFIA of plant pest risks identified at the border in a timely manner; and
    • refusing shipments entry to Canada for non-compliance with the requirements contained within this protocol.

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