New Aquatic Animal Import Regulation Enforcement Begins April 8

New Aquatic Animal Import Regulation Enforcement Begins April 8

Sweeping changes have been made to the Canadian Import Requirements for Aquatic Animal Imports under the National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP). Effective April 8, 2013, import permits will be required for certain targeted species whether they are live, dead, smoked, etc. Information regarding the import permit requirements as well as the targeted species affected by the import permit requirements can be found on the following website: Canadian Food Inspection Agency. These changes will target the importation of finfish, molluscs and crustaceans entering Canada.

The NAAHP has been developed to help prevent the introduction of aquatic diseases in the targeted species and prevent the spread of any such diseases. It was also developed to help with the requirement for Health Certification for exports from Canada. The program is administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Impact On Seafood Importers:

If you are an importer of seafood products to Canada, it is important that you read the regulations and understand the necessity of import permits and when they are required.

Required Information On Documentation:

As a result of these changes, it is absolutely imperative that the following information be provided on documentation for shipments destined for Canada.

  • the taxonomic (scientific) name or the taxonomic serial number (TSN)
  • the exact description of the product being imported including eviscerated or other for finfish, fresh, chilled or frozen excluding fillets
  • the full name of the Exporter and Importer
  • quantity including number of containers and weight
  • country of origin
Canada Food Import Guide | How To Import Food Into Canada

Examples Of Proper Commodity Description:

The following are two examples of a proper commodity description for imports:

  • Pacific Sockeye Salmon (oncorhynchus nerka) or (TSN 161979), fresh, eviscerated
  • American Lobster (homarus americanus) or (TSN 97314), ready to eat, frozen


Failure to provide proper information on shipments destined for Canada, may result in your shipment being held up at the border pending receipt of required information.

At Pacific Customs Brokers, we understand the urgent nature of perishable products and pride ourselves on our reputation for servicing the seafood industry. We are Always Open 24/7 and look forward to hearing from you with any questions on this matter.

Aquatic Animal Imports | Are Your Permits In Place?
speak to trade advisor
Disclaimer: While reading, kindly note the date of this blog. At PCB we do our due diligence to write on the most relevant topic every week and naturally content may become dated as developments in a certain program/topic occur. For this reason, we greatly appreciate your readership and hope you continue reading with the posting date in mind. For the latest information on this topic please use our website's search function, or better yet, subscribe to our "Trading Post" newsletter to receive these updates directly to your inbox.
Share this post
About the Author
Dave Bucholtz

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.