International Export Update Notices

We have received a number of notices this week regarding Canadian exports to other countries from both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.  The notices refer to amendments to export certificates, exports to Korea and the halting of  import permits for Mexico.   PIJAC Canada has a special email alert group to share these message directly.  If you wish to add a team member to the group, please email



What follows is text from a recent message from the CFIA.  Within this message were attachments that indicated the specific changes.  If you wish to see these documents plesase email,


From: Kafidi, Nacereddine (CFIA/ACIA) <>
Sent: March 27, 2020 10:13 AM
Subject: Pet guidelines updates

The pet food guidelines for export certification have been amended recently.

Nacereddine Kafidi, DVM, M.Sc, Ph. D.
Senior Export Officer | International Programs Directorate | International Affairs Branch | Canadian Food Inspection Agency | Government of Canada


MEXICO – Halting Import Permits

From: MAS / SAM (AAFC/AAC) <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:03 AM
Subject: Mexico Suspends Non-Essential Services + COEFPRIS Halts Import Permits

Dear industry stakeholders,

The purpose of this message is to inform you that due to the Covid-19 emergency, the Mexican government suspended all non-essential services as of March 26, 2020. Some essential public services such as health, security and customs were exempted from the government shutdown. Mexican Customs are expected to continue operating as usual for most agriculture and agri-food products.

However, as a result of this suspension, Mexico’s public health agency (COFEPRIS) has indicated that between now and April 20, 2020, it will only be providing import permits for medical supplies that help address the Covid-19 emergency. COFEPRIS is responsible for issuing sanitary import permits for the food fish/seafood products, milk/dairy products, prepared fruit products/jams, and nutritional supplements including hemp protein. Shipments that already have import permits are still crossing the border, but it is not clear what will happen with new products.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are monitoring this situation carefully and seeking clarification given that the Mexican government has declared the food supply an essential service. We will keep you apprised of any new information as we receive it.

Please advise your membership of this situation and let us know if you are made aware of any issue at the border, in order to address the situation with Mexican authorities.

Thank you.
Market Access Secretariat


KOREA – Clarification

From: Kafidi, Nacereddine (CFIA/ACIA) <>
Sent: March 30, 2020 8:58 AM
Subject: Clarification from Korea

Clarifications received from Korea,:

  1. A)         In case the exported pet food contains Vitamins coated or not with gelatin, there are 2 options on how to complete the box “animal species” on the certificate:
  2. Omit the ingredients of the vitamins (porcine, ovine, etc.), because vitamins are not subject to quarantine.


  1. If the manufacturer or CFIA thinks it’s necessary to state the ingredients of vitamins, please specify to avoid any misinterpretation. For example, “ovine (vitamin D3), porcine (vitamin D3), etc.”


  1. B)         Regarding the packaging, plain packages (e.g. blank white bags) are not allowed. All exported products must be packaged ready for retail showing a proper design, product name, barcode, etc. In other words the products must be packaged in regular packaging that are used for retail in Canada. The repackaging in Korea for smaller portions is allowed only if the imported package is retail-ready.

The pet food guidelines will be updated accordingly.