December 8, 2011
CFIA hosts consultation on NAPPRA regulations
Implementation of CLHB/ALHB regulations will help to mitigate the impacts of new NAPPRA regulations by USDA

It's the regulatory version of the good-news, bad-news scenario:  implementation of import regulations designed to control the spread of both the Asian and the Citrus long horn beetles, along with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's  (CFIA) intent to pursue an equivalent NAPPRA approach should minimize any immediate impact on market access for Canadian exports to the US for Asian and Citrus long horn beetle host plants, and other plant taxa on the US NAPPRA list.

Noted Trent Herman, senior horticulture specialist with the CFIA's Greenhouse and Nursery section, "Through consultation with our stakeholders, we believe the impact of losing market access to the US for exports or re-exports of NAPPRA-listed plants would be more significant than losing off-continent sources of imports for those plants."

The anticipated expansion of Canada's NAPPRA list is in response to the new regulations announced by USDA in June of this year to prohibit the import of a long list of plants deemed as being either a quarantine pest (41 plant taxa) or hosts to quarantine pests (107 plant taxa), as Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis or NAPPRA.  Further, the new NAPPRA regulation provides USDA with the ability to restrict the entry of newly identified high risk plants into the U.S. much more expediently than they were able to do in the past.   

The US NAPPRA regulations are similar to the Canadian approach, which through D-08-04 has been in effect for a number of years.  It does differ, however, in that the Canadian approach has focused on preventing unknown risk of new sources, whereas the US approach focuses on plants which are a known pathway for specific pests.  The end result is that Canada's NAPPRA list is not currently equivalent to the US list. Although there was some expectation from CFIA on exemptions for Canada, based on the special trading relationship between the two countries, those expectations did not materialize, most likely as a result of USDA concerns of Canada becoming a "back door" for prohibited plants from off-continent sources.

Under US regulations, plants that do not meet US import requirements at the time of entry into Canada can not be re-exported to the US.  Additionally, plants that do not meet US import requirements at the time of entry into Canada can never become Canadian origin, and as such can never be exported to the US as Canadian.   Simply stated, the challenge for CFIA and Canadian grower-exporters would be to provide systems and documentation that would be adequate to prove country of origin in order to meet USDA's increasingly complex origin requirements.
Because of comments received through the WTO notification process, CFIA's implementation of their Citrus and Asian long horn beetle regulations was delayed over that of the US, which went into effect in May, 2011.  Having responded to the comments, the CFIA now plans to implement their own D-11-01 in December of this year, a move which will harmonize the Canadian regulatory requirements with the U.S. regulatory requirements. In addition, the CFIA intends to add the Citrus and Asian long horn beetle host taxa to Canada's NAPPRA list, along with a number of other plant taxa of concern to the U.S., which will provide Canada with a more or less similar list of plants to the US NAPPRA list, thereby providing equivalency with the US regulation. These measures should minimize any immediate impact of the US Citrus and Asian long horn beetle requirements, and the US NAPPRA requirements on market access for Canadian exporters.  It is important to note however, that the delay experienced by CFIA in the implementation of the Citrus and Asian long horn beetle requirements means that all host plants brought into Canada between May 11, 2011 and when the D-11-01 is implemented will not meet US import requirements.

A direct result of the implementation of D-11-01 will be the amendment of all import permits for CLHB and ALHB host plants.  If it can be shown by the importer that these plants meet the directive's requirements of being under 10mm in diameter, new import permits will be issued at the request of the importer.

Note:  The above is a condensed summary of a presentation made by CFIA to industry stakeholders.  A copy of their presentation can be downloaded here.