July 20, 2021

CFIA Update on Import Control Measures

The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) provided an update to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the California and Arizona Leafy Green Marketing Agreements (LGMA), Western Growers (WG) and the United Fresh Produce Association regarding their plans for Import Control Measures for romaine lettuce in fall 2021.

As of today, CFIA plans to implement the same protocol for post-harvest product sampling/testing as they followed last year. However, in light of WG and LGMA’s efforts related to standardizing pre-harvest sampling (Appendix C of the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production and Harvest of Lettuce and Leafy Greens), CFIA is now also evaluating the option for pre-harvest testing (per our revised Appendix C) in lieu of their post-harvest surveillance sampling requirement. If adopted, the Appendix C risk-based sampling/testing requirements would be included within the Temporary License Condition provision for importers under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFC) (Section 20/subsection 3). The temporary license condition would be effective from September 30 through December 31st of 2021. CFIA is close to making a decision on Appendix C and will be informing WG of their decision by the end of July/early August. 

Furthermore, under the Safe Food for Canadians Act, all importers (non-resident and Canadian) are still also required to comply with import requirements related to written preventive controls and traceability. Beginning August 1, 2021, all romaine shipments entering Canada from the United States will be subject to these requirements.

CFIA will conduct random post-entry inspections to verify compliance with these requirements and the temporary license condition.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Western Growers Science at [email protected].