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AGM High Risk Period

agm picturesAs the Winter season is coming to an end, we thought it pertinent to provide an update to all interested parties on the entry requirements in regards to AGM reporting. As the definitive authority on the matter, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will resume monitoring the reporting and subsequent inspections of vessel’s entering Canadian waters during the ‘high risk period.’ This period will begin on March 1, 2019 and continue through to September 15, 2019 for ports located in Western Canada (March 15, 2019 – September 15, 2019 for Eastern Canadian ports).

Please note the following reporting procedures –

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The Master of a marine vessel arriving during the AGM risk period for Canada which has visited a port in a regulated areas during the specified risk periods listed in Appendix 1 in the current year or in the year immediately preceding the current year must provide to CFIA, either directly or via the vessel’s Canadian agent:

  • a summary of the ports called upon by the vessel for the past 2 years; and
  • a copy of a Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) (a list of recognized sources of phytosanitary certificates and pre-departure inspection certificates is provided in Appendix 4).

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For vessels that have called on a regulated port during the ‘high risk period,’ inspections by CFIA authorities are likely (although not guaranteed). These inspections typically will take place during a scheduled pre-loading inspection boarding; however, they may also occur unannounced alongside a terminal depending on inspector availability.

Regarding non-compliance, the CFIA has issued the following –

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4.1 Certification

A vessel without the required certification under Section 2.1 may not be permitted entry into Canada unless:

  • an inspection by the CFIA at a designated offshore inspection site is conducted, and
  • the inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated.

If the vessel is permitted entry, the vessel will be considered non-compliant during the entire stay in Canada and vessel movements will be regulated by the CFIA while the vessel is in Canadian waters. The vessel may be subject to additional enforcement action. A vessel calling on a Canadian port for a second time without the required certification may be refused entry to Canada.

4.2 Infestation

Upon inspection, if an inspector is not satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, the vessel will be ordered out of Canadian waters and refused entry for up to two years during the AGM risk period for Canada or until the ship meets the requirements specified in Section 2.1. The vessel may also be subject to additional enforcement action.

At a CFIA inspector’s discretion, a vessel that has been ordered out of Canada or the U.S. due to the presence of AGM may be permitted to conduct a thorough cleaning of all life stages of AGM outside Canadian waters. Once cleaning is complete, the vessel may be allowed to return to Canadian waters for re-inspection at a designated offshore inspection site. If an inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, the vessel may then be allowed to proceed to a Canadian port.

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For more information, please click here.