Update on bilateral + increased CFIA enforcement

March 19, 2015

Update on ISPM-15 Bilateral Exemption between Canada and the United States

There have been no change in the rules with respect to the termination of the current ISPM 15 bilateral exemption nor have there been any new timelines announced. However, negotiations on the bilateral exemption have progressed up to the Canada – United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), the highest level bi-national organization looking at ways and means of better aligning our two countries’ regulatory affairs.    

To view the CFIA Notice to Industry on Phase II of the Regulatory Cooperation Council, click here.

For your information, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has circulated an article that they still expect a rule to be announced in 2015 with a two year period of informed consent before the final rule is implemented. More important to our industry is the recommendation that “Carriers may wish to consider requiring ISPM-15 compliant wood in contracts.”

Updated Legislation Enhances CFIA Enforcement Powers 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has had its powers to visit and inspect facilities that are outside the HT programs where suspected misuse of IPPC stamps occurs.  Updated federal legislation, passed at the end of 2014, will now give CFIA more enforcement powers.

Inside the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act are new regulations which will implement penalties that may be imposed for violations in the use of IPPC stamps. These new powers are what CFIA have long been asking for in order to better police the companies that handle and trade in HT wood packing without proper program certification. 

The section on monetary penalties details the following penalties, which could be applied for the use of IPPC stamps by companies outside registered program: 

  • $5,000 for a minor violation
  • $15,000 for a serious violation
  • $25,000 for a very serious violation

Section 26 specifies timelines for addressing these violations, stating that: 

26. No proceedings in respect of a violation may be commenced later than

(a) six months after the day on which the subject matter of the proceedings arises, in the case of a minor violation; or

(b) two years after the day on which the subject matter of the proceedings arises, in the case of a serious violation or a very serious violation.

To read more about the legislation, click here.

From the perspective of the wood packaging industry and clients of the HT program this is a welcomed piece of legislation and something we have long been in favour of.

If you know of facilities manufacturing or repairing ISPM-15 wood packaging without being certified, please consult our violations procedure.

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