Canadian Import Requirements for Romaine Lettuce Updated by CFIA

blog | Aug 09, 2021

Canadian Import Requirements for Romaine Lettuce Updated by CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued an update regarding imports of romaine lettuce beginning in September 2021 through December 2021. During this period, a comprehensive sampling and testing program will be reinstated by the agency. 

Appropriate licences will be required to import the product during this period. Each importer with an applicable SFC licence to import fresh fruits or vegetables will receive additional information through the MyCFIA portal. As in the previous year, special requirements will be applicable to the import of romaine lettuce and salad mixes container romaine lettuce originating from the Salinas Valley in California. Proof of origin will be required for such products originating from elsewhere in the U.S. 

Sampling and testing of romaine lettuce after all post processing and handling steps are completed will continue to be a means to comply with the requirements. However, this year, CFIA hopes to be able to offer the option of pre-harvest sampling and testing performed under the California-LGMA scheme as another means to comply. Further information will be provided by CFIA in this regard. 

Canadian importers should note that the CFIA’s regulatory and compliance approach under the Safe Food for Canadians Act will include the following elements: 

  • Auto-validation of import licences prior to import (this is a permanent measure that applies to all importers).
  • From August 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021, inspections of all importers of romaine lettuce products to verify compliance with the written preventive control plan (PCP) and traceability requirements.
  • From September 30th, 2021 to December 31st, 2021, verification at the time of import that the documents and attestations required by the licence condition are included.
  • From September 30th, 2021 to December 31st, 2021, post-entry inspections conducted at random at all importers of romaine lettuce to verify compliance with the temporary licence condition. 

The details of the licence condition and other accompanying guidance will be communicated to each applicable licence holder via the MyCFIA portal prior to the September 30, 2021 implementation date. 

For additional information and assistance, please contact CFIA or our Canadian Customs Advisory Services team. 

Additional Information: 

Importerguide: prepare your preventive control plan