The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has taken steps to help Canadian businesses use the EU's digital system of export certificate issuance called Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT).

Effective January 15, 2022, the EU will require industry to use updated export certificates to maintain market access due to the Animal Health Law (AHL) that came into force in the spring 2021. All regulated commercial animal and food products exported to the EU must be accompanied by import documents that will now be prepared in TRACES NT, serving as pre-notification of the arrival of a consignment. This means that control authorities at EU borders or at destination points can plan their controls and secure inspection times.

Export certificates will be accessed and certified by the CFIA online through TRACES NT. The use of TRACES NT for certification will expedite the preparation of the clearance documentation package and clearance times for Canadian exports, resulting in a more efficient process. Canadian agricultural and food businesses will have a more secure and streamlined process to access to the European Union (EU) markets.

Canada is recognized as having strong animal health and food safety systems. The changes associated with the AHL in combination with the adoption of TRACES NT will benefit the agricultural and food businesses by ensuring more efficient service while continuing to safeguard food and animal products.

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Quick facts

  • A European Commission Animal Health Law (AHL) came into force on April 21, 2021. The coming into force of the EU AHL means updated export certificates are required.
  • The AHL contains detailed requirements on the registration and approval of establishments, traceability of animals and animal health requirements for movements of animals and their products and entry into the Union and specific measures for animal disease prevention and control.
  • Current export certificates will be accepted by the EU until March 15, 2022, provided they are signed before January 15, 2022.
  • Estimated number of exporters per year to the EU
    • Food: 1065 exporters (845 fish and seafood / 220 non-fish and seafood)
    • Animal: 230 exporters

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