Aquaculture North America

Export certification changes for Canada

November 25, 2014
By Joy Wade

Canadian seafood exporters, including brokers, will soon be required to comply with changes to the process for certifying compliance to the Fish Inspection Regulations in addition to any requirements imposed by the importing country.  These changes do not apply to certificates issued for aquatic animal health purposes.

By December 1, 2014, federally registered fish establishments will be required to complete the Export Certification Control Program (ECCP) Attestation for Registered Establishments form.  This attestation supports that establishments have updated their Quality Management Program (QMP) plan to include elements relevant to their business in accordance with the ECCP plan. These elements, control measures and procedures will be reviewed at the establishment’s compliance verification audit.  After December 1st, if the elements of the ECCP plan have not been implemented, the facility will be subject to 100 per cent product inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  Additionally, the facility will be removed from foreign country export eligibility lists, with the exception of the United States eligibility list.  If a company wishes to be included on a specific export eligibility list, the request must be made to CFIA a minimum of three months prior to the anticipated date of shipment. These changes apply to federally registered fish processing establishments.

Additional compliance will also be required from brokers which, defined by CFIA as “… an individual or party who purchases fish or seafood for resale without any further transformation, including repackaging or labelling.  Customs brokers or parties who facilitate the buying transactions are not considered brokers and are not able to obtain a license.”

By December 1st, 2014, brokers will be required to complete the required elements of the ECCP as well as obtain a fish export licence in order to continue to receive export certificates without the requirement for 100 percent inspection or to be eligible for export lists.   After this time, brokers can receive export certificates with reduced product inspection for products from federally registered establishments. Brokers will however, not be able to receive partially completed certificates. CFIA will issue export certificates based on the broker’s ECCP and not on master certificates.


For further information regarding changes to export certification requirements refer to the CFIA’s Fish and Seafood Exports webpage or contact your local CFIA office.

— Joy Wade

Joy Wade is an independent consultant providing biological research services to the fisheries and aquaculture industries.  She can be reached at

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