Vol. 145, No. 26 — December 21, 2011
SOR/2011-300 December 8, 2011
Regulations Amending the Fish Health Protection Regulations
P.C. 2011-1536 December 8, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pursuant to section 43 (see footnote a) of the Fisheries Act (see footnote b), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Fish Health Protection Regulations.
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FISH HEALTH PROTECTION REGULATIONS
1. (1) The definitions “certificate”, “import” and “import permit” in section 2 of the Fish Health Protection Regulations (see footnote 1) are repealed.
(2) The definition “wild fish” in section 2 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
“wild fish” means a fish that is listed in Schedule I and includes the eggs of that fish, but does not include a fish that is propagated by man in a fish culture facility. (poisson sauvage)
(3) The definition “poisson d’élevage” in section 2 of the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
« poisson d’élevage » Poisson visé à l’annexe 1, introduit par l’homme dans une pisciculture, et comprends les œufs de ce poisson; (cultured fish)
2. Subsection 3(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
3. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person must not carry cultured or wild fish from one province to any other province without an interprovincial carrying permit.
3. Section 4 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
4. Subject to section 5, a local fish health officer for a province may issue, to a person who applies for one, an interprovincial carrying permit that authorizes the person to carry cultured or wild fish into that province.
4. (1) The portion of section 5 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
5. An interprovincial carrying permit must not be issued unless the person who applies for the permit has obtained a certificate and
(2) Paragraph 5(b) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
- (b) the local fish health officer for a province is satisfied that none of the detected diseases or disease agents indicated on the certificate will be harmful to the conservation and protection of fish in that province.
COMING INTO FORCE
5. These Regulations come into force on December 10, 2011.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Issue and objectives
Until recently, Canada’s regulatory infrastructure has lagged behind international standards for aquatic animal health control measures. The lack of comprehensive national regulations has meant Canada was unable to meet its international commitments under the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), leaving exporters vulnerable to market closures. In December 2010, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency addressed these regulatory gaps by amending the Health of Animal Regulations and the Reportable Diseases Regulations, both made under the Health of Animals Act. Together, these amendments have created a legal framework to address health risks to aquatic animals, address regulatory gaps, and meet international standards in order to maintain market access for Canadian exports. The regulations were amended in order to support the National Aquatic Animal Health Program, which is implemented and delivered jointly by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Starting in December 2011, without these amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations, there would be a duplication of the foreign import requirements for salmonids. The regulatory duplication would occur between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Health of Animal Regulations, which come into force in December 2011, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Fish Health Protection Regulations, which currently regulate both the interprovincial movement and foreign importation of salmonids. Industry stakeholders would need to comply with the processes and requirements of both departments, which could result in confusion and an undue economic and regulatory compliance burden on industry.
The primary objective of the amendments is to eliminate unnecessary regulatory duplication, overlap and compliance burden on stakeholder groups as the National Aquatic Animal Health Program moves forward. This will be accomplished by making the Fish Health Protection Regulations consistent with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations, which were published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅱ, in December 2010, and will come into force in December 2011. The amendments will allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to be able to effectively manage aquatic animal disease, disease agents, and to implement disease controls for all foreign imports and exports.
Description and rationale
The Fish Health Protection Regulations are amended to remove any reference to the foreign importation of salmonids, the definitions for certificate, import and import permit are repealed, and the term “import permit” is replaced with “interprovincial carrying permit” within the text of the Regulations. The Fish Health Protection Regulations will retain control over the interprovincial movement of salmonids, and continues to be administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Currently, the regulation of aquatic species is disjointed and varied. For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates fish and fish products for human consumption, as well as the import of live fish, molluscs and crustaceans, focusing on aquatic animal health. In addition to the Fish Health Protection Regulations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada also uses the Fishery General Regulations to regulate the release or transfer of live aquatic species, other than salmonids, based on genetic and ecological impacts.
These amendments ensure that Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as a joint partner with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in the National Aquatic Animal Health Program, is able to fulfill its commitment by relinquishing responsibility for the control of the foreign importation of salmonid species to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This, combined with the Canadian Food Inspection’s amendments under the Health of Animal Regulations, enables the Agency to act as the sole regulatory body for foreign import and export of aquatic species. This will allow for the effective management of aquatic animal disease and disease agents, as well as the implementation of disease control for all foreign imports and exports.
Further amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations will make the definition of cultured and wild fish consistent. Currently, the definition of cultured fish includes both fish and their eggs, while the definition of wild fish includes only fish, with all references to wild fish eggs being within the text of the Fish Health Protection Regulations. Therefore, the definition of wild fish is being amended to include eggs and the references to wild fish eggs will be removed from the regulatory provisions. In addition, the term “piscifacture” in the French definitions of cultured and wild fish will be replaced with the term “pisciculture”, so that they are consistent with current terminology. The sole purpose of these amendments is to address the inconsistencies of the definitions in the Regulations.
Costs and benefits to industry
The amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations will benefit industry. They will result in a reduction in regulatory compliance burden by preventing industry stakeholders from being subject to two sets of regulations for the foreign importation of salmonids. The amendments will result in an efficient, streamlined importation process with one department, one process and one permitting regime for all aquatic animals.
Costs and benefits to Fisheries and Oceans Canada
There are no significant anticipated monetary costs or benefits to Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a result of the amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations. Currently, there are no fees for industry stakeholders associated with the fish health certification, diagnostic and testing requirements of salmonids under the Fish Health Protection Regulations. Therefore Fisheries and Oceans Canada will not be forfeiting any incoming funds.
There may be some incremental administrative savings in regards to permitting activities. From 2006 to 2010 an average of 45 permits were issued annually, with no financial costs to industry but a typical processing time of 1.5 hours for departmental staff. During the first quarter of 2011, a total of 29 permits were issued. Therefore there will be a modest administrative cost savings associated with the removal of permitting responsibilities.
Additionally, Fisheries and Oceans Canada laboratories will continue to provide diagnostic testing for salmonids once the import/export permitting requirements are outlined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Therefore, the Department does not anticipate any significant savings or additional costs.
The amendments will ensure that when the Health of Animals Regulations come into force in December 2011, there is no overlap between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regarding the regulatory authority and administration of the foreign importation of salmonids.
Consultation for the amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations occurred as part of the broader consultations undertaken for the National Aquatic Animal Health Program. After the announcement of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program in 2005, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, formed the Aquatic Animal Health Committee to discuss program issues, including possible regulatory requirements. The Committee continues to meet and includes representatives from provincial and territorial governments, veterinarians, aquaculture, fisheries, processors, academia and Aboriginal peoples.
Interdepartmental consultation began in March 2007 with federal departments with an interest in aquatic animals and their diseases, and those that would be affected by the implementation of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program. Information was also provided to affected groups such as the federal/provincial Introduction and Transfers Committees (ITC) which are currently responsible for advising Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the issuance of licences for fish being released into fish habitat or transferred to rearing facilities. These committees are comprised of federal, provincial and territorial governments who agree to work co-operatively and ensure that affected jurisdictions are given a voice when aquatic organisms are introduced or transferred to shared watersheds.
In September 2007, a request to consult was sent to provincial deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers responsible for programs associated with commercial fisheries, aquaculture, recreational fisheries and wildlife. At the same time, stakeholders, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the National Aquatic Animal Health Program provincial contacts were contacted requesting the opportunity to discuss proposed regulatory amendments. In addition, workbooks were distributed to allow an opportunity for more specific comments.
From 2007 to 2009, meetings were held to discuss the impact of the regulatory amendments and the proposed plan for the National Aquatic Animal Health Program with federal, provincial and territorial government staff, industry and other stakeholders holding an interest in aquatic animals and their diseases. Additional meetings were held with fish harvesters and processing groups in Atlantic Canada, national organizations including the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, the Fisheries Council of Canada and the National Seafood Sector Council. Discussions were also held with several Aboriginal groups, including a presentation to the Assembly of First Nations.
In total, more than 225 individuals and organizations participated in the consultation process. The consensus of opinion was that the National Aquatic Animal Health Program, along with the concurrent amendment to the Fish Health Protection Regulations, was acceptable and necessary to ensure the continued health and sustainability of aquatic animals in Canada. The stakeholders and provinces expressed their desire for continued consultation on the development and implementation of the domestic disease control programs including emergency response. Between January and March 2009, follow-up face-to-face meetings were held with the same stakeholders as well as additional representatives from the wild fisheries sectors.
The amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations are minor and administrative in nature; therefore, it was determined that further consultation was not necessary outside of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program process.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
Fisheries and Oceans Canada will continue to issue permits for, and apply the Fish Health Protection Regulations to, the foreign importation of salmonids until the regulatory amendments to the Health of Animal Regulations come into force on December 11, 2011. At this time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will become the competent authority responsible for the foreign importation of salmonid species. Enforcement of the import requirements at the Canadian border will be conducted by the Canada Border Services Agency with the assistance of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
As a partner in the National Aquatic Animal Health Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for providing laboratory services for the competent authority (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), technical laboratory expertise, maintenance of national reference laboratories for the diagnosis of regulated diseases, and the delivery of research.
Biotechnology and Aquatic Animal Health Science Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent Street
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent Street
S.C. 1991, c. 1, s. 12
R.S., c. F-14
C.R.C., c. 812