Posted on 12/11/2012, 8:09 am, by Farmscape.Ca

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has delayed the implementation of new import requirements on crops entering Canada.

To protect Canadian crops from the introduction of foreign pests the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proposing new import requirements on a range of field crops entering Canada.

Under the proposal, which had been due to take effect December 1st, importers of grains destined for processing where the pests would be destroyed would be subject to less oversight while importers of grains destined for uses where the pests could escape would require more detailed certification.

Brian Lemon, the Director of the Field Crops and Input Division with the CFIA says, to ensure questions raised on both sides of the Canada U.S. border related to the potential impact on costs and on trade, the public comment period has been extended indefinitely and the change has been delayed.

Clip-Brian Lemon-Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

At this point we have our draft directives available for comment.

We had had a deadline to close the comment period but given the volumes of comments that we were receiving we opted to not impose these requirements without completely ensuring we understood how they might impact industry.

Certainly our goal is not to be overly burdensome to industry but yet protect our plant base here in Canada.

So we are continuing to receive those comments and we will continue to receive those comments.

We don’t have a closing date for the comment period at this point as we want to make sure that we will hear from all of those that we do need to hear from prior to closing that comment period.

Then, based on those comments, we will be moving forward with an implementation that takes into account all those comments heard.

Lemon says CFIA is taking its time to make sure it understands the ramifications and the impacts of the proposed change on industry.