Canada to remove certification requirements for U.S. onions
U.S. onion growers will soon have less red tape when shipping to their northern neighbors in Canada, with the country's inspection agency set to start a three-month "onion pilot" that will slash certification requirements around grade verification.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said revised import requirements would come into effect on Jan. 20 and last until April 30, with no need for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FV-205 inspection certificates or custom clearance inspections from the CFIA.
"Onions will still be required to meet the minimum grade, labelling and packaging requirements according to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations," the CFIA said in a release.
The new rules will only apply to U.S. onions and cannot be used for re-exporting onions from other origins.
"Onions grown in a country other than the US and imported from a US distributor (not in bond) to Canada will still require an FV-205 or a Conditional Release Form (followed by Custom Clearance Inspection) to be considered compliant with Canadian import requirements," the CFIA said.
Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) vice president for policy and issue management, Jane Proctor, said her organization met with the CFIA as it prepared to respond to its obligations under the Beyond the Border agreement.
"This included the agreed-to pilot on inspection changes for onions entering Canada from the U.S.," Proctor said in a statement.
"Although CPMA had no direct input on the agreement between the Canadian and U.S. governments, we continue to work with CFIA to explore potential reciprocity on the particulars of the pilot."