Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay has announced the Government of Canada is taking steps to address the concerns of import predictability and effective border controls for supply-managed commodities while ensuring that Canadian processors who use dairy and poultry inputs can remain competitive in export markets. These discussions are part of the Canadian Government's strong support for supply management.

The Duties Relief Program enables qualified companies to import goods without paying duties, as long as they later export the goods. Earlier this year, Canada Border Services Agency verifications found that five participants in the Duties Relief Program were improperly selling supply-managed commodities in the Canadian market without reporting these sales and without paying the required duties. Thus, applicable duties, interest and penalties were assessed, and the importers' Duties Relief Program licenses were suspended.

Program consultations will be launched with industry stakeholders regarding potential changes to the Duties Relief Program and the Import for Re-Export Program. In the interim, the Government of Canada is also exploring measures with dairy and poultry users of the Duties Relief Program regarding inventory reporting in an effort to improve the predictability of these imports.

To ensure appropriate tariff classification of spent fowl, the Government will also look at specific options regarding certification requirement for imports of spent fowl product, while ensuring that any such requirement would be fully consistent with Canada's international trade obligations. At the same time, Government officials are assessing the feasibility of using a DNA test to screen imports of spent fowl at the border.

The Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P., Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, says, "The Government strongly supports supply management. We will continue to work with dairy and poultry stakeholders across the value chain to ensure effective border controls for supply-managed goods, while allowing processors to remain competitive."