Date: Nov 11, 2015

This is a refresher on Canadian government inspection procedures and the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC). What makes good delivery in Canada versus the U.S. on a no grade contract? While an easy rule of thumb in determining good delivery in Canada is to use the same guidelines as the PACA, there are some exceptions on certain commodities with the maximum allowable on any one defect not to exceed 10 percent.  If you keep in mind the 10 percent limitation on any one condition factor, you will not have to memorize two sets of “Good Arrival Guidelines”. 

Of course there are always exceptions, and in this case for Canada there are 30 commodities where the 10 percent limitation on any one defect always applies.  To further explain, when shipping to Canada, under an FOB no grade contract, the condition defect guidelines are the same as the PACA for a five day trip, other than the 30 commodities as detailed in the DRC Guidelines. All other commodities, the PACA Guidelines apply when shipping to Canada. Hopefully this general overview will help you to determine if your commodity meets contract specifications in Canada

Please see these DRC Guidelines for Good Delivery which are minimum standards established under the Canadian Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations and published on the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution (DRC) website. For these 30 named commodities the last column delineates the Canadian Destination Tolerances and Suitable Shipping Condition Guidelines.

In the last column there are five reference numbers in the Canadian Destination Tolerances and Suitable Shipping Condition Guidelines (example 15-10-5-10-4).

1.    The first highlighted number (example 15-10-5-10-4) meaning the total of condition defects allowed in an FOB no grade contract.

2.    The second and third highlighted numbers (example 15-10-5-10-4) refers to quality defects, which under an FOB no grade contract are not utilized to calculate contract compliance, or good delivery.

3.    The fourth highlighted number (example 15-10-5-10-4) refers to the fact that no individual average condition defect can exceed 10%. The fifth and final highlighted number (example 15-10-5-10-4) is the amount of maximum average decay allowed under an FOB no grade contract.

I would also like to highlight the issue of non-government private inspections performed in Canada; the Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) will not recognize private inspections when adjudicating DRC complaints unless both seller and buyer have a prior agreement that a private inspection will be acceptable. Always insist on a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection when determining quality and condition of your product. Because of streamlined efficiencies, the CFIA have inspectors available to perform timely inspections in major markets including both Toronto and Montreal. The CFIA has stringent performance measurements connected to turnaround time and written procedures to follow when performing and submitting a written summary of the inspection, thus making it in almost all circumstances not necessary to seek a non-government inspection alternative. As a shipper, always ask yourself the upside benefit to your company of acquiescing to a non-government private inspection service in Canada?

Calculating compliance with good delivery at contract destination can be complex at times. Hopefully this general overview will help you in determining if your product meets contract specifications in Canada. After you review the specifications of your commodity, call with any questions at 949-885-2269 or email at

WG Staff Contact

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