North American per capita consumption of meat surpasses that of any other region. In the U.S., the meat and poultry industry is the largest segment of agriculture, with meat production reaching 52 billion pounds in 2017. Meanwhile, the volume of beef produced in Canada amounted to 1.23 million metric tons in 2018. Both countries are meat exporters, with the U.S. having a supply advantage. Meat trade is regulated and importers/exporters are expected to understand and comply with applicable laws. This makes managed services for meat exports crucial for importers and exporters.
Managed Services for Meat Exports: U.S. CBP Procedures
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has published guidelines for importers, customs brokers, import inspection establishments, and product plants to help understand import requirements and ensure compliance.
Meat products may be imported into the U.S. under the following conditions:
- Products must come from certified countries and establishments eligible to export to the United States.
- Eligibility is awarded after an equivalence determination process by FSIS.
- Imported products must meet the same labeling requirements as domestically-produced products.
- After filing all necessary forms to CBP and meeting Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) requirements, all imported meat must be presented for inspection by FSIS at an official import establishment.
- Some products are restricted from entering the country due to animal disease in the origin country.
Process and Documentation
The import process starts when an eligible establishment in a foreign country exports a certified meat shipment to the U.S. The importer or their customs broker then files an entry with CBP, submits import inspection application to FSIS and ensures the shipment clears CBP and APHIS at the U.S. point of entry. After obtaining clearance, the importer or broker ensures that the documented shipment is presented to FSIS for re-inspection at the designated inspection site by the estimated date of arrival.
All imported shipments of meat, poultry, and egg products must be presented to FSIS
for inspection. Inspection occurs after the product has met CBP and APHIS requirements at the U.S. Port of Entry (i.e. conditional release). After release by CBP, the shipment can be transferred to the
designated FSIS inspection establishment.
The importer of record is responsible for applying for FSIS inspection. Meat importers must submit
either the paper FSIS Form 9540-1 to the FSIS inspection personnel or electronic application to CBP via the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which connects to the to FSIS’ Public Health Information System (PHIS) Import Component. Inspection applications must be submitted as far in advance as possible of the shipment arrival, but no later than when the entry is filed. Import inspection applications must be complete, including the customs entry number.
Importers who choose to submit inspection application data electronically using the PGA Message Set automatically meet the prior notice (PN) requirement. Prior Notice is particularly critical for U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico meat shipments due to their fast entry into the U.S., compared to shipments coming by air or ocean. Advance notice for meat shipments is important to ensure that data entry can be completed in advance of the shipment’s arrival at the official import inspection site.
CBSA Procedures for Managed Services for Meat Exports
Edible meat products may be imported into Canada by a license holder only under the following conditions:
- The country where the meat product was manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged or labelled has an inspection system recognized by the CFIA as providing at least the same level of protection as that of Canada.
- The establishment where the food animal was slaughtered and where the meat product was manufactured, processed, treated, preserved, handled, tested, graded, coded, stored, packaged or labelled has a system recognized by the CFIA as providing at least the same level of protection as that of Canada.
- The importer provides the CFIA with an Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC) issued by the foreign country that states that the meat product meets Canadian requirements.
- The meat product meets the prescribed standard for imported meat as described in Standards of identity and grades for meat products.
The CFIA regulates meat imports to protect consumers and prevent the introduction of serious animal disease. Along with the CBSA, the CFIA verifies that the meat products have been manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged and labelled under conditions providing at least the same level of protection as meat products produced in Canada.
Meat products include the carcass of a food animal, the blood of a food animal or a product/byproduct of its carcass, and any other food that contains the blood of a food animal or a product/by-product of its carcass. Certain products may be restricted from entering Canada, depending on the status of that country regarding serious animal diseases.
For countries that are not considered free from serious animal disease, imports are generally limited to processed (dried, frozen) and canned meats and meat products. An import permit from the CFIA may still be obtained prior to arrival for meat products from these countries following a risk assessment.
Importers or their brokers must present all certificates and relevant documents to the National Import Service Centre (NISC) before the shipment is allowed to enter Canada. CBSA will not allow any meat product to enter Canada unless the importer/broker presents proof that the CFIA has reviewed the required documents, determined that the shipment is eligible to enter and that the CFIA is taking over the tracking of the shipment until inspection. Imported meat requiring an inspection must be immediately delivered to an establishment where the meat product will be stored and handled by a person who holds a license to store and handle imported meat products for inspection.
Meat products are agricultural commodities that are subject to controls under Canada's Export and Imports Permit Act (EIPA) and require an import permit. Import permits are issued to allocation holders under Canada's tariff rate quota (TRQ). This means that a quota holder can import a specific quantity of these meat products at a lower rate of duty, while imports not covered by a quota are subject to higher rates of duty.
All meat imports must be accompanied by a valid Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC) issued by the relevant authority from the exporting country. The OMIC specifies the importer/exporter, country of origin and as the slaughter, processing and exporting establishments involved in production and export to Canada. The certificates must be individually numbered, referencing the country of origin. The OMIC is the main document required by the CFIA as a proof that the imported meat products comply with the applicable Canadian legislation.
GeTS’ Managed Services for Meat Exports
With the amount of paperwork involved, importing and exporting meat products can get complicated. A partner like Global eTrade Services (GeTS) can help your business streamline customs processing and optimize compliance while reducing costs.
Our managed solutions for meat exports allows you to transmit entries to Customs via any GeTS service in one convenient bundle customized to your needs. Our team of professionals can quickly move your goods in compliance with CBP and CBSA regulations. We can also help with goods classification, act as a liaison between you and the government, and provide commodity-specific guidance.
GeTS managed solutions for meat exports for the U.S. and Canada are designed specifically for importers, exporters, customs brokers and other trade participants. GeTS managed solutions helps ease the burden of navigating the complexities of trade so you can focus on more important things, like growing your business.
Benefits of GeTS Managed Services for Meat Exports:
- Consolidate documentation services from multiple regions or offices
- Accommodate fluctuating documentation volume
- Eliminate rekeying
- Improve data accuracy
- Fast and accurate documentation turnaround times
To learn more, visit our Managed Services for Meat Exports page or contact us today!
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