Changes to Grade Verification Inspections of Onions for Export to the United States


Reminder of the new requirement as of January 1, 2023

The United States (US) Importation of Onions Regulations designate the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as the Canadian government inspection service responsible for certifying the grade, size, the quality and ripeness of onions for export from Canada to the US instead of inspections by the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS). In order to maintain this preferred arrangement with USDA-AMS, CFIA is subject to regular audits of our grade verification systems and practices.

The most recent audit (July 2021-March 2022) indicated that USDA-AMS requires onions to be inspected to US quality standards including tolerances for batch defects and individual sample tolerances.

Beginning January 1, 2023, any grade verification performed by the CFIA for onion exports will be conducted using the tolerances and defect tolerances of the US grading standards. Exported batches will need to meet these requirements in order to be exported to the United States
If you are exporting onions, the CFIA asks you to update your Preventive Control Plan (PCP) to reflect this change and confirm that you have control measures in place that allow you to meet these additional country requirements. foreigner.

Note: There is no change in potato inspections as Canada #1 and Canada #2 grades are deemed to meet the requirements of US#1 and US#2 grades respectively. However, the CFIA continues to use US sizes and maturity when verifying potato grades for export to the US.

You are responsible for ensuring that your exports comply with applicable Canadian requirements and those of the importing country. Please consult the following reference material as needed and contact your local CFIA office if you have any questions:

Regulatory Requirements: Preventive Control Plan

Exporting food: a step-by-step guide

A guide to preparing an Export Certification Control Program (ECCP) plan

American standards for onion grades (other than Bermuda-Granex-Grano and Creole types) [Northern Onions] (effective November 24, 2014)

US Standards for Bermuda-Granex-Grano Type Onion Grades (BGG Onions) (Effective November 24, 2014)

American Standards for Grades of Creole Type Onions (Creole Onions) (Effective November 24, 2014)

USDA Shipping Point and Market Inspection Instructions for Onions (Tolerance Application: pages 11-16, Lot Allocation Application: pages 19-22) (effective September 2016)

· Summary of Onion Import Requirements from the United States (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 18451600)

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