These new import permit requirements represent a significant regulatory change for importers of aquatic animals to Canada.
Because of this, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing a Stream of Commerce Policy.
The policy will be in effect until 10 December, 2012 to allow for a transition period before the import permit requirements are enforced.
During this transition period, the CFIA will:
- provide information on the new requirements for an aquatic animal health permit,
- advise importers of aquatic animals on where and how to obtain all of the required permits and other documentation,
- issue import permits.
Foreign trading partners will also be informed of their obligations for providing export certification during this transition period.
The CFIA will take enforcement action if there is a risk of introducing a significant aquatic animal disease into Canadian waters.
After 10 December, 2012, a CFIA permit will be required for any species listed in Schedule III of the Health of Animals Regulations. Without this permit, a shipment could be refused entry into Canada.