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Canada Announces New Import Prohibitions, Requirements for Importers of Aquatic Species

The Canada Border Services Agency issued on 19 June a notice advising importers, travellers, customs brokers and service providers that new Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations are in effect. The AISR provide regulatory tools to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species into Canadian waters and to control and manage their establishment and spread once introduced.

The CBSA enforces the import prohibitions in the AISR, which will initially prohibit imports into Canada of live specimens of four species of Asian carp (grass carp, bighead carp, silver carp and black carp) and two species of mussels (zebra mussels and quagga mussels) for any use (e.g., food, aquarium, aquaculture, bait). The four species of Asian carp may be imported if they are dead and eviscerated, but the importer must ensure that Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirements are met. Exemptions to these prohibitions and permit requirements include imports for scientific and educational purposes with the applicable permits.

Commercial boat haulers and importers are responsible for ensuring that the boats, trailers, vessels, vehicles and conveyances being imported are free of zebra and quagga mussels, whether alive or dead. Exemptions are provided with respect to ballast water and sediment for persons referred to in the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations.

To facilitate trade and admissibility decisions, the CBSA advises importers to report scientific names of all imported aquatic species in the commodity description field of Form CI1, Canada Customs Invoice or commercial invoice, either electronic or paper.

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