ARCHIVED — Vol. 148, No. 27 — December 31, 2014

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Registration

SOR/2014-297 December 12, 2014

CANADA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS ACT

Regulations Amending the Maple Products Regulations

P.C. 2014-1452 December 12, 2014

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, pursuant to section 32 (see footnote a) of the Canada Agricultural Products Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Maple Products Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MAPLE PRODUCTS REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) The heading before section 2 of the French version of the Maple Products Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

DÉFINITIONS

(2) The definitions “Executive Director” and “grade” in section 2 of the Regulations are repealed.

(3) The definition “maple syrup” in section 2 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

“maple syrup” means the syrup obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the dilution or solution of a maple product, other than maple sap, in potable water; (sirop d’érable)

2. Section 4 of the Regulations and the heading “GRADES AND GRADING” before it are replaced by the following:

MAPLE SYRUP GRADE NAMES

CANADIAN MAPLE SYRUP

4. The grade names “Canada Grade A” and “Canada Processing Grade” are prescribed for Canadian maple syrup and may be used only if the maple syrup meets the requirements set out in Schedule I.

IMPORTED MAPLE SYRUP

4.1 The grade names “Grade A” and “Processing Grade” are prescribed for imported maple syrup and may be used only if the imported maple syrup meets the applicable requirements for the equivalent maple syrup “Canada Grade A” and “Canada Processing Grade”, respectively.

EXCEPTION

4.2 (1) The grade names set out in section 4 for Canadian maple syrup may be used for any imported maple syrup that has been prepared in a registered establishment other than a sugar bush establishment.

(2) For greater certainty, this provision does not limit the application of section 19.

3. Paragraphs 5(1)(c) to ( f) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (e) it has a minimum soluble solids content of 66 per cent and has a maximum soluble solids content of 68.9 per cent as determined by a refractometer or hydrometer at 20°C; and
  • (f) in the case of maple syrup that is graded as “Canada Grade A”, its colour class has been determined in accordance with Schedule III.

4. Section 5.1 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

5.1 Maple syrup may be graded by a grader or the operator. It may also be graded by a person designated by the operator or an employee of a registered establishment under the supervision of a grader or the operator.

5. The portion of subsection 10(6) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

(6) Every container of maple syrup marked with a grade name or every container of maple sugar shall

6. (1) Subsection 12(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

12. (1) Every container of maple syrup that is graded under these Regulations shall bear a label marked

  • (a) with the words “maple syrup”;
  • (b) with the grade name on the same panel as the name of the product and in letters of a size set out in Schedule IV;
  • (c) in the case of maple syrup that is “Canada Grade A”, with the name of the colour class in English and French;
  • (d) with the net quantity expressed in litres or, if less than one litre, in millilitres;
  • (e) with
    • (i) the name and address of the sugar bush establishment, the packing establishment or the maple syrup shipper establishment, or
    • (ii) the name and address of the first dealer and the registration number of the packing establishment; and
  • (f) with the lot number or the production code.

(2) Paragraph 12(3)(b) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) with the net quantity expressed in kilograms or, if less than one kilogram, in grams; and

7. Section 19 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

19. (1) Only maple syrup meeting the following requirements may be imported into Canada:

  • (a) its container is marked with one of the grade names “Grade A” or “Processing Grade” on the same panel of the label as the name of the product and in letters of a size set out in Schedule IV;
  • (b) in the case of “Grade A” maple syrup, its container is marked, in English and French, with the name of the colour class that would have been applicable if it had been graded as “Canada Grade A”;
  • (c) in the case of “Grade A” maple syrup, the percentage of light transmission of the maple syrup is as required by Schedule III for the colour class with which it is marked;
  • (d) it is packed in the manner set out in section 10; and
  • (e) its container bears a label marked with
    • (i) the words “maple syrup”,
    • (ii) the net quantity expressed in litres or, if less than a litre, in millilitres,
    • (iii) the name and address of the packer or importer,
    • (iv) the name of the country of origin, and
    • (v) the lot number or the production code.

(2) Only a maple product, other than maple syrup, meeting the following requirements may be imported into Canada:

  • (a) it complies with one of the standards set out in Schedule II;
  • (b) it is packed in the manner set out in section 10; and
  • (c) its container bears a label marked with
    • (i) the name of the maple product,
    • (ii) the net quantity expressed in kilograms or, if less than a kilogram, in grams,
    • (iii) the name and address of the packer or importer, and
    • (iv) the name of the country of origin.

(3) Maple syrup or a maple product other than maple syrup that is packed in a container that has a capacity exceeding 5 L or 5 kg, respectively, need not meet the requirements of subsections (1) or (2) to be imported into Canada if

  • (a) before entry into Canada, written authorization is obtained from the President of the Agency in respect of the shipment; and
  • (b) on entry into Canada, the shipment is subjected to any inspection or analysis that under these Regulations is necessary to determine whether the product otherwise complies with these Regulations.

8. Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the Schedule I set out in the Schedule 1 to these Regulations.

9. Schedule III to the Regulations is replaced by the Schedule III set out in the Schedule 2 to these Regulations.

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

10. (1) Nothing in these Regulations prohibits the marketing of maple products in accordance with the Maple Products Regulations, as they read immediately before the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(2) This section ceases to have effect two years after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

COMING INTO FORCE

11. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

SCHEDULE 1
(Section 8)

SCHEDULE I
(Section 4 and subsection 15(1))

GRADE NAME REQUIREMENTS FOR MAPLE SYRUP

1. Maple syrup may be graded as “Canada Grade A” if, in addition to meeting the requirements set out in section 5 of these Regulations,

  • (a) it is free from fermentation;
  • (b) it is uniform in colour and free from sediment and free from any cloudiness or turbidity;
  • (c) its colour class is
    • (i) Golden, Delicate Taste,
    • (ii) Amber, Rich Taste,
    • (iii) Dark, Robust Taste, or
    • (iv) Very Dark, Strong Taste; and
  • (d) it has a maple flavour characteristic of its colour class and is free from any objectionable odour or taste.

2. Maple syrup, other than that graded as “Canada Grade A”, may be graded as “Canada Processing Grade” if it meets the requirements set out in section 5 of these Regulations.

SCHEDULE 2
(Section 9)

SCHEDULE III
(Section 2 and paragraphs 5(1)(f) and 19(1)(c))

COLOUR CLASSES OF “CANADA GRADE A” MAPLE SYRUP

1. The determination of the light transmission of “Canada Grade A” maple syrup shall be made optically by means of

  • (a) a spectrophotometer using matched square optical cells having a 10 mm light path at a wavelength of 560 nm, the colour values being expressed in per cent of light transmission as compared to A.R. Glycerol fixed at 100 per cent transmission; or
  • (b) a visual glass comparator, the optical specifications of which correspond as closely as possible to the method described in paragraph (a).

2. “Canada Grade A” maple syrup shall be regarded as in a colour class set out in Column I of the table if its percentage of light transmission is that set out in Column II.

TABLE

Item Column I


Colour Class
Column II

Percentage of Light Transmission
1 Golden, Delicate Taste (Doré, goût délicat) not less than 75.0
2 Amber, Rich Taste (Ambré, goût riche) less than
but not less than
75.0
50.0
3 Dark, Robust Taste (Foncé, goût robuste) less than
but not less than
50.0
25.0
4 Very Dark, Strong Taste (Très foncé, goût prononcé) less than 25.0

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: The current standards within the Maple Products Regulations (MPR) are potentially misleading and could cause consumer confusion regarding the quality of dark and stronger tasting maple syrups. Under the current standards, dark and stronger tasting maple syrups are graded as Canada No. 2, while lighter coloured and less robust tasting maple syrups are graded as Canada No. 1. As a result of this grade nomenclature, it is possible that consumers could consider these darker and robust flavoured syrups as lower quality in comparison to the lighter coloured syrups, when this is not the case. In addition to these colour and grading issues that may inadvertently impact consumer buying decisions and the industry’s ability to market quality syrups, the current MPR standards for colour and grading do not align with those in Ontario, Quebec or the United States (U.S.). Moreover, consumers expect maple syrup to be solely produced from maple sap. These amendments contribute to clarifying and reinforcing the requirement that maple syrup be produced exclusively from maple sap. Furthermore, industry has expressed a concern with maple syrup crystallization and requested modifications to the MPR in a manner that assists in preventing it. Finally, to assist the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the industry in verifying food safety and facilitating traceability of products in the event of a food recall, these amendments add the requirement for the assignment of production codes and/or lot numbers to maple syrup.

Description: To address potential consumer confusion with regard to the grading of dark and stronger tasting maple syrups, as well as the alignment of Canadian and U.S. colour and grading standards, these amendments replace the current grading system with two new grade names and standards, Canada Grade A and Canada Processing Grade, as well as four new colour classes for Canada Grade A maple syrup, namely: Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust and Very Dark Strong. Two grade names, namely Grade A and Processing Grade, are introduced, with the same four colour descriptors applicable to Grade A as applicable to Canada Grade A, for imported maple syrup not processed in a federally registered establishment. The prevention of crystallization of maple syrup is addressed by the introduction of a maximum soluble solid content of maple syrup into the MPR maple syrup grading requirements section, while the introduction of the term “exclusively” is added into the definition of “maple syrup” to clarify the understanding, as expressed in other provisions, that maple syrup is to be produced solely from maple sap. Traceability is enhanced by the introduction of requirements to assign production codes and/or lot numbers for maple syrup.

To provide time for industry to adjust to these changes, there is a two-year implementation period.

Cost-benefit statement: The costs associated with these MPR amendments are based on industry and government estimates. The value results reported below are in 2012 dollars and the coming into force year is 2015. The present value (PV) of total industry costs from the preferred regulatory option (flexible option) is estimated at a present value of $1.14 million and $162,587 annualized average for all sizes of business. The PV of total industry costs for the flexible option is estimated at PV $0.81 million and annualized average $115,710 for small businesses. The industry costs (compliance and administrative) would be PV of $3,980 and $570 annualized average per small business. The total compliance costs to the industry are estimated at a present value of $0.78 million and $111,754 annualized average for all size business. The costs mainly result from the need to purchase new equipment or to upgrade existing equipment and conduct training on new regulatory requirements. Compliance costs estimates have been revised since prepublication of the proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I. At the time of prepublication, compliance cost estimates were prepared based on the assumption businesses would have to purchase a specific brand and type of grading kit. Based on comments received during the public comment period and the regulation’s design, the CFIA adjusted the preferred option to include a further flexibility — the purchase and use of temporary grading kits. This additional flexibility will result in federally registered establishments being able to use temporary grading kits that are considerably less expensive than the equipment included in the earlier cost estimate, thus resulting in a decrease in compliance costs. The total administrative costs to industry are estimated at a present value of $0.36 million and $50,833 annualized average. These costs include labour costs to review the new or revised requirements in order to learn them as well as additional internal approval processes and record keeping. The overall cost to the CFIA associated with the implementation of these amendments to the MPR is estimated to be a PV of $19,671 and a $2,801 annualized average. The potential quantifiable benefits derived from these amendments include better export market access, a fair and efficient domestic marketplace and higher consumer confidence in maple products.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: The “One-for-One” Rule applies because the amendments to the MPR impose new administrative costs on the industry and are considered an “IN” under the “One-for-One” Rule. A total of 207 businesses (all sizes federally registered) in the maple industry are affected by these amendments. Additional administrative costs arise solely from labour costs related to the time spent by employees on activities related to record keeping.

Estimated administrative burden costs are based on information provided by industry. The annualized average of incremental administrative costs potentially imposed on all sizes of maple businesses under the “One-for-One” Rule is $41,495 (in constant 2012 dollars and base year of 2012) and the annualized average administrative cost per business is $200 (in constant 2012 dollars and base year of 2012).

The small business lens applies to these amendments because they impose additional costs to small businesses in the industry. These amendments likely impact the 204 small federally registered businesses. The value results reported below are in 2012 dollars and the coming into force year is 2015. The estimated annualized increase in total industry costs (compliance and administrative) is $115,710 (in 2012 dollars) for all affected small businesses and the average cost per small business is $570 (in 2012 dollars). The estimated present value of total industry costs over the 10-year period was valued at $0.81 million (in 2012 dollars) for the 204 affected small businesses and PV for each affected small business is estimated at $3,980 over the 10-year period. There are three affected federally registered medium-sized maple businesses.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: The International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI), composed of state and provincial maple associations in the U.S. and Canada, maple packers, maple equipment manufacturers and other maple businesses and individuals, developed and submitted a proposal to revise the grading and classification systems and labelling requirements for maple syrup to facilitate product marketing. The IMSI has been working for the past nine years to develop common grading standards for the United States and Canada — the only two commercial maple-producing countries. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as several maple producing states, are currently developing similar amendments for regulated maple syrup producers.

Background

In Canada, grade and quality standards for maple syrup prepared in federally registered establishments are subject to the Maple Products Regulations (MPR), which are administered and enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Intraprovincial marketing of maple syrup is regulated by maple syrup-producing provinces, namely Quebec and Ontario. Although other provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island also produce maple syrup, these provinces do not regulate this industry and, therefore, such trade is only subject to the purview of the Food and Drugs Act and regulations.

Apart from Canada, only one other jurisdiction worldwide produces maple syrup products, the U.S. The federal U.S. government and various U.S. maple product producing states regulate maple syrup standards. These standards currently differ from Canadian regulatory requirements, yet Canada exports significant amounts of maple syrup to the United States.

There are approximately 7 500 maple syrup establishments in Canada. Approximately 7 000 of those establishments are located in the province of Quebec. Nationally, only 207 (3%) of the 7 500 establishments are federally registered and market maple syrup in interprovincial or international trade. Of the 207, 204 are considered to be small businesses, while three are considered to be medium-sized businesses. Most small businesses are not subject to the MPR as they do not ship inter-provincially or internationally. Although 3% of establishments being federally registered appears to represent a very small proportion of maple operators, these federally registered establishments collectively contribute to 90% of total sales value for the industry.

In Quebec, the maple industry is organized differently than in other parts of Canada. While only 147 producers are federally registered out of the approximate 7 000 maple syrup producers, many of the remaining small producers sell their product to the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FQMSP). The FQMSP is federally registered and consolidates product from small producers and acts as a central sales agency for producers. Syrup sold to the FQMSP does not need to be graded under the federal system as the FQMSP uses a separate grading system linked to payment. The FQMSP then sells to packers who are mostly larger establishments (federally registered). So, although there are approximately 7 000 maple syrup producers in Quebec, much of these small businesses’ product is marketed through the FQMSP or other federally registered establishments in Quebec.

In Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, most businesses take on the responsibility of marketing their own maple products within their provinces. Collectively within these provinces there are 60 federally registered establishments operating. Some smaller producers may sell product within their respective province to federally registered establishments, who can then market it in interprovincial or international trade. Non-registered establishments can also sell their products, packed in containers with a volume greater than 5 L to packers in other provinces without being registered, as long as the product is shipped to a federally registered maple packer.

For federally registered establishments, the CFIA verifies compliance with the MPR including that maple syrup and maple products (e.g. maple sugar, maple candy, maple butter, maple toffee) are safe and are properly prepared, packaged and labelled, according to the MPR.

The MPR currently set out three grade names (Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2, Canada No. 3) with associated colour classes (Extra Light, Light, Medium, Amber, Dark).

In 2011, the Canadian maple syrup industry produced 8.6 million gallons of maple syrup, valued at $349.5 million, up 20.1% from 2010. Export shipments at the time totalled $242 million (approximately 5.6 million gallons), of which $151 million (62%) went to the United States. Canada also has two other large export markets, the European Union (approximately 17% of exports valued at $42.5 million) and Japan (approximately 10% of exports valued at $26.5 million). Quebec establishments at the time accounted for approximately 90% of the production and 92% of exports, while the other provinces combined accounted for about 10% of total Canadian production and 8% of exports, with New Brunswick accounting for one-half of the 8%.

The Canadian and U.S. maple product industry has raised some concerns regarding the MPR. To address these concerns, the IMSI (comprised of state and provincial maple associations in Canada and the U.S., maple packers, maple equipment manufacturers, and other maple businesses and individuals), developed and submitted a proposal to modify grading, classification systems and labelling requirements under the MPR in order to facilitate marketing of maple syrup products. The proposal indicated that the MPR currently do not allow for industry to market maple syrup products as they would like to and there exists some difficulties with current descriptive terms. For trade purposes, there is also the desire to align with U.S. regulatory requirements. Following submission of this proposal by the IMSI to Senator Nancy Greene Raine in 2012, the Senator called upon the Government of Canada (GC) to modify the MPR to address the concerns of the IMSI.

Issues

Issues and concerns raised with the MPR by industry are not related to the actual quality of maple syrup and maple products. Rather, they are related to market (descriptive term usage) and trade.

According to the IMSI, consumers have indicated that purchase decisions related to maple syrup are based on its colour and taste. This poses a marketing challenge for the maple syrup industry, since the MPR currently requires that dark and stronger tasting syrups be graded as Canada No. 2 rather than Canada No. 1. The IMSI believes that this misleads consumers into thinking that these syrups are of inferior quality to the lighter coloured ones graded as Canada No. 1, when such is not the case.

In addition to these concerns about descriptive colour and grading term, the IMSI outlined two other concerns with the current MPR definition for maple syrup. First, the IMSI indicated that consumers expect maple syrup to be produced solely from maple sap. Although the current MPR definition of maple syrup is not erroneous in this regard, the IMSI requested that the definition be clarified to be consistent with other provisions in the MPR. The IMSI also outlined concerns with the crystallization of maple syrup and suggested modification of the MPR in a manner that would assist in preventing crystallization by adding a maximum soluble solid content to the grading requirements for maple syrup.

A further industry issue addressed by this regulatory initiative relates to Canada–United States alignment of standards regarding maple syrup and maple products. Under the MPR, standards differed from U.S. regulatory requirements, yet Canada exports significant amounts of maple syrup to the United States. The main differences in regulatory requirements lie in the use and application of grade names and colour classes. In Canada, three grade names are used (Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2, Canada No. 3) and four colour classes are applied (Extra Light, Light and Medium for Canada No. 1, Amber for Canada No. 2, Dark for Canada No. 3). Conversely, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) applies three grade names (U.S. Grade A, U.S. Grade B for reprocessing, Substandard) with different colour classes (Light Amber, Medium Amber or Dark Amber for Grade A, no colour class for Grade B, no colour class for substandard).

In addition, to assist the CFIA and the industry in verifying food safety and facilitating the traceability of products in the event of a food recall, these amendments also add the requirement for the assignment of production codes or lot numbers to maple syrup.

Objectives

These amendments

  • Support industry in marketing and selling maple syrup;
  • Facilitate the adoption of harmonized North American maple syrup standards by both U.S. and Canadian maple syrup producers, packers and shippers;
  • Facilitate the traceability of maple products when food safety concerns arise; and
  • Prevent the crystallization of maple syrup by incorporating “a maximum soluble solids content” into the definition of maple syrup.

Description

Grading and colour

These amendments replace the current grading system with two new grade names and standards, Canada Grade A and Canada Processing Grade, as well as four new colour classes for Canada Grade A maple syrup, namely Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust and Very Dark Strong. No colour descriptors are proposed for the Canada Processing Grade. Two grade names, namely Grade A and Processing Grade, are being introduced, with the same four colour descriptors applicable to Grade A as applicable to Canada Grade A, for imported maple syrup not processed in a federally registered establishment.

Grading requirements are also amended to add a maximum soluble solids content of maple syrup.

Definition of maple syrup

These amendments modify the current MPR definition of “maple syrup” by adding the word “exclusively,” which is consistent with the definitions of “maple product,” “maple sap” and the grading requirement for maple syrup [currently found in paragraph 5(1)(a) of the MPR]. This clarifies that syrup would be obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the solution or dilution of a maple product, other than maple sap, in potable water.

Traceability

These amendments add the requirement to assign production codes and/or lot numbers to maple syrup to facilitate traceability when food safety concerns arise.

Miscellaneous consequential housekeeping amendments

Some miscellaneous consequential housekeeping amendments to the MPR are also introduced to maintain coherency in the Regulations and are in keeping with current drafting practice, for example the removal of the definition of “grade” as a result of changes to section 4 specifically prescribing grade names, and the revision to subsection 10(6) to clarify that grade names only apply to maple syrup.

These consequential amendments do not impose any new regulatory requirements nor place additional burden on industry government or consumers as they are miscellaneous in nature.

Corrections

Upon further review of the proposed amendments, the CFIA has noted that the term “Executive Director” appearing in subsection 19(3) is no longer relevant based on a recent organizational change within the CFIA. This provision provides the authority to grant authorizations for products over certain container sizes that are not otherwise in compliance. The term “Executive Director” has been replaced with the term “President of the Agency” in subsection 19(3) and has also been removed from the Interpretation section of the MPR.

In addition, the CFIA is correcting an oversight to subsection 19(3) to correct an omission of text. The words “do not meet the above subsections 19(1) and 19(2) respectively” are being replaced in the amendments to maintain the intent of the provision. There are a few additional housekeeping items, such as grammatical and administrative errors, that are also being corrected in the amendments.

Transitional provisions

A two-year transition implementation period following the coming into force of these amendments allows federally registered establishments to adjust to the new requirements. These establishments are allowed to follow either the current grading system or the new grading system during the transition period. This allows the establishments to gradually implement the requirements in order to comply with these amendments, including buying and installing new equipment, changing labels, and record keeping.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Deregulation was considered, but representatives of the industry indicated a desire to maintain a regulatory system that would adequately enforce the grading and labelling of products. They were of the opinion that voluntary and self-regulatory approaches would be applied inconsistently, thereby leading to inferior quality maple syrups entering the market. Deregulation was therefore not viewed as a viable option.

The status quo was also considered. However, several regulatory amendments to the MPR are required to address industry concerns as well as permit Canada to align maple syrup grade names and colour standards for maple syrup with U.S. grade names and colour standards. The status quo was therefore not viewed as a viable option.

Updating the standards was also considered and is the preferred option. The harmonization of grade names and standards as intended by these regulatory amendments will facilitate trade between Canada and the United States and provide consumers with clearer label information. The introduction of requirements for the assignment of production codes and/or lot numbers also assists the CFIA and industry in confirming the removal of potentially unsafe maple syrup from the market.

The amendments present minimal risk while responding to the expectations of industry and stakeholders to improve maple syrup standards, grading and labelling. The potential benefits of these amendments for the maple industry in Canada outweigh the costs.

Benefits and costs

Benefits

These amendments benefit consumers by providing them clearer information on labels (grade name and colour), likely improving their confidence in maple syrup and assisting in their choice of products. They also benefit industry stakeholders by enhancing export market access.

Consumers

The current grade names and colour classes may unintentionally mislead consumers in their choice of maple syrup by the unclear differentiation relating to grade names and colour variation. A 1994 U.S. Journal of Food Distribution Research article, “Consumer Preferences for Maple Syrup Grade Names,” indicated that consumers know practically nothing about syrup grades and that this lack of understanding can cause loyal repeat customers to be disappointed in the product simply because they have purchased an unfamiliar grade (Randall E. James and Barbara H. James). Canadians are at the same risk of confusion due to the descriptive terms for grade and colour under the current MPR. Other misunderstandings are occurring with the current use of terminology. For example, a February 2014 Food in Canada article entitled “U.S. maple syrup industry wants one grading standard” indicates that Canadian consumers believe that the colour “light” indicated on labels means the product is fat-free without calories. This type of confusion or lack of understanding could result in a loss of confidence in maple products and/or disappointment in a purchase. Ultimately, this could mean unsatisfied customers and potential loss of future sales.

These regulatory amendments address this potential for confusion and limit the potential loss of future sales by providing for grade names, including colour classes, which are more informative and reflective of currently marketed maple syrup products. Label information reflects the new grade names and colour classes, thereby better informing Canadians.

Industry

The amendments to the grading and colour classes promote a level playing field between the Canadian and U.S. industries by forming the basis for a fair and efficient marketplace once U.S. jurisdictions adopt the same standards. The amendments respond to industry’s request for modernization of the standards to meet industry’s marketing challenges, and contribute to supporting innovation in responding to consumer preferences and market access.

International markets

Canada and the United States are the only two countries producing maple syrup in the world. Canada exports to the United States more than 59% of its production. These amendments pave the way for the eventual harmonization of North American maple syrup standards. This should result in a positive impact on free trade as trade will be facilitated between the two countries with the move toward harmonized federal and state grading systems. Moreover, the integrity of pure maple syrup products will be protected in the marketplace.

Costs

The costs associated with the amendments to the MPR are based on industry and government estimates.

Government costs

Government costs are solely related to costs to the CFIA. Administrative costs for the CFIA are expected to be $5,436 (present value in 2012 dollars) to develop and translate operational guidance and communication tools, and deliver training to inspection staff. Additional costs are expected to be incurred when inspection employees attend the said training ($587) and for an upgrade to the CFIA’s inspection colour transmission and reflectance measurement instrument (Lovibond) [$2,289]. Enforcement of the amendments to the MPR will be conducted through the CFIA’s current inspection program system of label verification and in response to complaints or inquiries received from consumers and industry.

Any increase in the number of consumer and industry inquiries and complaints to the CFIA as a result of the introduction of these amendments is difficult to predict. However, based on the CFIA’s knowledge of the industry and maple product consumers, as well as the number of complaints normally received in a given year (15 to 30) concerning maple products, the fact that more consumers will be noticing the new grade, colour classes and taste descriptions, and visible changes to the labels, it is estimated that the CFIA will incur less than $11,359 in increased compliance verification costs during the first two years.

The overall cost to the CFIA associated with the implementation of these amendments to the MPR is estimated to be $19,671 ($2,801 annualized average).

Industry costs

A consultation on the proposed amendments to the MPR was conducted in December 2012 via the CFIA’s Web site. A costs and benefits questionnaire, intended to gather information on the potential incremental costs and benefits to the maple industry, was included with the consultation document. Responses received from the maple industry (federally registered and non-federally registered) were evaluated and a subsequent validation questionnaire was sent to the industry in November 2013 to confirm assumptions and calculations that the CFIA applied to the small business lens (SBL) and the “One-for-One” Rule based on the industry’s responses. Assumptions and calculations for both administrative and compliance costs were confirmed.

Costs to the industry are constituted mainly of compliance costs arising from the need to purchase new equipment or upgrade existing colour measurement equipment, as well as costs to train employees on the modified regulatory requirements.

Compliance cost estimates have been revised since prepublication of the proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I. At the time of prepublication, compliance cost estimates were prepared based on the assumption that businesses would have to purchase a specific brand and type of permanent grading kit. Further to prepublication and based on comments received during the public comment period, the CFIA determined that federally registered establishments will be able to use temporary grading kits that are considerably less expensive than the equipment included in the earlier cost estimate. Through the public consultation period, the CFIA discovered a further flexibility in respect of the purchase and use of temporary grading kits. The CFIA confirmed that many small businesses currently rely on the use of temporary maple syrup grading kits and replace them as a matter of routine business, often annually. The resulting recalculation of the compliance costs based on this new information results in a reduction of the regulatory burden associated with the amendments.

Based on 2012 dollars, the amendments will result in a revised total compliance cost of $111,754 (annualized average) over a 10-year period.

Administrative costs arise from the effort required by industry for record-keeping activities. Administrative costs are estimated at $50,833 (annualized average), based in 2012 dollars and a coming-into-force year of 2015, over a 10-year period.

The overall annualized average cost to the industry will then be $162,587 over a 10-year period. The estimated present value of total industry costs over the 10-year period is valued at $1.14 million (in 2012 dollars) for the 207 affected establishments.

Cost-benefit statement
Costs and benefits
Base Year 2015 (2012$) First Year 2017 (2012$) Final Year 2025 (2012$) Total PV (Constant 2012$) Annualized Average (Constant 2012$)
A. Quantified impacts (in dollars)
Administrative costs — programs Government $7,125 $0 $0 $5,436 $774
Training costs — operations Government $770 $0 $0 $587 $84
Equipment costs — operations Government $3,000 $0 $0 $2,289 $326
Program delivery — enforcement costs Government $7,697 $7,697 $7,697 $11,359 $1,617
TOTAL GOVERNMENT COSTS (see note 1)   $18,591 $7,697 $7,697 $19,671 $2,801
Compliance costs Medium-large business $325,371 $27 $27 $325,371 $46,326
Compliance costs Small business $459,540 $1,866 $1,866 $459,540 $65,428
Administrative costs Medium-large business $552 $552 $552 $3,875 $552
Administrative costs Small business $50,281 $50,281 $50,281 $353,153 $50,281
TOTAL INDUSTRY COSTS (see note 2)   $835,744 $52,726 $52,726 $1,141,939 $162,587
TOTAL COSTS $854,335 $60,423 $60,423 $1,335,257 $190,120
B. Quantified impacts in non-$ (not applicable to this analysis)
C. Qualitative impacts
Positive impacts (see note 3) Stakeholders impacted
Consumer confidence in domestic products Retailers, federally registered processors, packers, distributors
Promotion of level playing field Retailers, federally registered processors, packers, distributors and importers
Market share expansion Retailers, federally registered processors, packers, distributors
Eventual adoption of North American standards Exporters

Notes:

Note 1 All government costs are estimated to be one-time costs in the year the amendments are effective, except for the program delivery enforcement costs, which are expected to cover a two-year period (2016–2017). It is assumed there would be an extra 10 complaints per year (an increase from 25 to 35). Operational costs are based on feedback from 12 sub-districts while program costs are based on expert opinions. The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate, and the time period used was 10 years beginning in the year of implementation of the amendments.

Note 2 Industry costs were estimated using the Standard Cost Calculator. The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate. The time period used was 10 years beginning in the year of implementation of the amendments. All results are expressed in 2012 dollar value.

Note 3 Based on a literature review: A: James, Randall E. and Barbara H. Drake. “Consumer Perceptions of Maple Syrup Grades,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the Food Distribution Research Society, Danvers, Massachusetts, November 4, 1992. B: Michael Farrell. “Assessing the growth potential and future outlook for the U.S. maple syrup industry” In Gold, M. A. and M. M. Hall, eds. “Agroforestry Comes of Age: Putting Science into Practice.” Proceedings, 11th North American Agroforestry Conference, Columbia, Mo., May 31–June 3, 2009. C: Mintel Food and Drink Reports (December 2010). Table Sauces, Seasonings and Sweeteners D: Thomas, M. G.; Schumann, D. R. “Chapter 14 — Syrup: Income Opportunities in Special Forest Products — Self-Help Suggestions for Rural Entrepreneurs” (1996) Publication: “AIB-666: Income Opportunities in Special Forest Products.” E: Maclver, D. C., M. Karsh, N. Comer, J. Klaassen, H. Auld, and A. Fenech. 2006. “Atmospheric influences on the sugar maple industry in North America.” Adaptation and Impacts Research Division (AIRD): Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada. 23 p. F: Rock, B. N. and S. Spencer. “The Maple Sugar Industry,” pp. 39–42 in Rock, B. N. (Editor). 2001. “Preparing for a Changing Climate: New England Regional Overview of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change.” USGCRP Publication, 88 pp. G: Chabot, B. and Childs, S. (2006). “Guidelines for Visual Color Grading of Maple Syrups.” Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Cooperative Extension.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule is applicable because these amendments impose new administrative costs on the industry of $41,495 (annualized average based in 2012 dollars over a 10-year period) and, a result, is considered an “IN.” Calculations of the administrative burden costs are based on information provided by industry. Industry indicated that additional administrative costs will arise from the additional efforts required to perform activities related to record keeping, such as the creation, retention and scheduled destruction of companies’ documents in order to retain records deemed important to establishments.

Based on the above and the results of the regulatory cost calculator, the annualized average incremental administrative costs imposed on all sizes of businesses is $41,495 (in 2012 constant dollars) and, per business, the annualized average administrative cost is $200 (in 2012 constant dollars).

Small business lens

The small business lens is applicable since these amendments impose additional costs on small businesses. These amendments impact 204 small businesses.

Additional costs to small businesses largely arise from direct compliance costs, such as the need to buy or adjust equipment in order to comply with these amendments, expenses related to any required training regarding the new grading system, and costs incurred to modify labels.

With the recalculation of the equipment costs element, the incremental compliance and administrative costs for small businesses are reduced from those projected during prepublication. The unit costs of temporary kits for grading are significantly less than those used in preparing the earlier cost estimates. All businesses impacted by the amendments, including small businesses, will be able to use temporary kits. With the additional flexibility provided through the two-year implementation period, the regulatory burden associated with these amendments is reduced.

In addition to compliance costs, there are administrative costs that will be incurred to meet the amended regulatory requirements. Administrative costs arise from the additional efforts related to record keeping, such as the creation, retention and scheduled destruction of companies’ documents in order to retain records deemed important to establishments.

Cost calculations are based on industry estimates obtained via consultation. The following assumptions were made:

  • The number of employees applied to classify business by size, in accordance with Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) specifications.
  • Establishments were grouped into two categories according to the TBS classifications of small and medium/large establishments per number of employees. Small establishments were considered establishments having fewer than 100 employees, while medium/large size establishments were considered those having over 100 employees.
  • Two small establishments were classified differently than the rest since they provided extremely high cost information — sometimes 10 to 100 times more than the responses of the average small business. A closer look at the data indicated that both establishments had annual revenues ranging from $3 million to $50 million, which, along with the nature of their business, explained this discrepancy with other small businesses. On the basis of this revenue and according to TBS classification, these two businesses could be considered either small or medium/large businesses. For the purpose of regulatory amendments, they were classified as medium/large. However, this classification did not impact responses provided by these two businesses.
  • Values of zero entered by respondents in the questionnaire were not considered in order to more realistically capture costs for administrative labour cost calculations and costs to modify labels.

Based on these assumptions and this information, the estimated annualized increase in total industry costs (compliance and administrative) is $115,710 (in 2012 dollars) for all affected small businesses and the average cost per small business is $570 (in 2012 dollars). The estimated present value of total industry costs over the 10-year period will be valued at $0.81 million (in 2012 dollars) for the 204 affected small businesses.

Regulatory flexibility analysis statement

  • Initial option: Amendments to the MPR to take effect in 2015

The amendments to the MPR would be effective in 2015.

  • Flexible option: Amendments to the MPR to take effect in 2017 — Preferred option

The CFIA is moving forward with the flexible regulatory option that provides a transition implementation period following the coming into force of these amendments to allow federally registered establishments time to adjust to the new requirements. These establishments can follow either the current grading system or the new grading system during the transition period. This allows establishments to gradually implement the requirements in order to comply with these amendments, including buying and installing new equipment, and changing labels.

Upon implementation of the amendments, the registered establishments have the flexibility to select the grading equipment of their choice. Small businesses will be able to continue using temporary grading kits, which is consistent with current business practices, to prepare their products according to the new grading system.

This option is preferred as it meets industry’s request for such a delay, and, most importantly, lessens the burden on small businesses.

These amendments have no impact on small businesses marketing and selling maple products within their own province.

  Initial option Flexible option
Short description MPR effective in 2015 MPR effective in 2017
Number of small businesses impacted 204 204
  Annualized average ($) Present value ($) Annualized average ($) Present value ($)
Compliance costs (itemize if appropriate) $80,380 $564,550 $65,430 $459,540
Administrative costs (itemize if appropriate) $67,710 $475,580 $50,280 $353,150
Total costs (all small businesses) $148,090 $1,040,130 $115,710 $812,690
Total cost per small business $730 $5,100 $570 $3,980
Risk considerations    

Notes:

  1. Costs have been estimated using the TBS Cost Calculator.
  2. The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate.
  3. The time period applied was 10 years, beginning in the year of implementation of the proposed amendments.
  4. All the results were expressed in 2012 dollar value.

Consultation

In November 2012, the CFIA consulted the public as well as industry, both federally registered and non-federally registered establishments, on proposed amendments to the MPR, including modernizing the grading and colour classes and some corresponding label requirements, which would impact federally registered establishments only. Seventeen federally registered establishments responded while nine non-federally registered establishments responded.

The maple industry representative members of the IMSI, who represent the majority of the maple sector in both Canada and the United States, had previously developed and submitted a proposed approach for modifying the MPR. Members of the IMSI include the Nova Scotia Maple Producers Association, the New Brunswick Maple Producers Association, the Federation of Quebec Maple Producers, and the Ontario Maple Producers Association. In 2002, a committee was formed to review regulatory requirements for maple syrup. The IMSI proposal was submitted to provincial, federal and state governments in September 2011.

The proposed amendments were provided to provincial governments responsible for the intra-provincial marketing of maple syrup. These amendments were also submitted to the state and federal governments in the United States for action. Regulatory amendment proposals are also being advanced in the United States, while the Ontario and Quebec provincial governments await the implementation of the amendments to the MPR to determine what, if any, amendments may be made to their respective regulations for these products.

Participants in the consultation included the maple industry (26), federations or associations (5), the food processing industry (other than maple), government entities (10), consumers and members of the general public (13), 1 academic/researcher, and 31 blank responses for a total of 55 responses.

The 30-day CFIA online consultation began on November 8, 2012, and ended on December 7, 2012. The consultation was advertised through a news release on November 8, 2012. The CFIA used an online survey tool. However, participants were also able to complete and submit consultation responses via email, mail or fax. In addition, a memo was sent to registered maple establishments, industry and associations. Participants were asked to answer questions and comment on the following elements pertaining to the proposed MPR amendments:

  1. Elements of the proposed amendments and their implementation; and
  2. The costs and benefits.
General public and consumers

Eighty-five percent of the members of the general public who participated in the consultation generally agreed to all elements of the changes. Respondents indicated 92% support for one international definition for maple syrup. Seventy-seven percent support was received in terms of the requirement to assign a batch or lot code or code of production. Overall, the written comments received from consumers were supportive and positive.

Only 54%, approximately half of the consumers, approved the new grades, colours and taste descriptors. Approximately 20% were uncertain of the changes. Although most consumers had no major concerns, some were either uncertain or not in agreement with the subjectivity of the taste descriptors. These consumers felt that the current grading and classification systems are clear and that the new systems would overly simplify grading and classification.

In response to these concerns, the proposed amendments were adjusted for prepublication in the Canada Gazette, Part I. For prepublication, the CFIA combined the colour and taste descriptors into a single “colour class” whereby a taste descriptor is now associated with a particular colour class. A communication strategy during implementation will also address these concerns by educating consumers on the changes.

Maple industry

Data obtained from the maple industry at this time indicate a very high agreement (> 80%) with the proposed amendments to the MPR including clarification of the definition of “maple syrup,” the addition of a requirement for a code of production and/or lot number. Only 8% of federally registered establishments responded to this consultation (17 of 207). A lower percentage of agreement (< 54%) was expressed with respect to the grade names, new colour classes and the four taste descriptors. The maple packing establishment group indicated that they did not agree with the grades and the colour classes in the amendments under consultation. As for the taste descriptors, all groups were ambivalent (50%/50%).

Many of the industry stakeholder objections pertained to the additional requirement of taste descriptors for the different colours of maple syrup. Many industry respondents felt, as the majority of consumers did, that a taste descriptor would be subjective.

These objections and above-noted concerns were taken into consideration in moving forward with these amendments to the MPR. In response, the proposed amendments were modified to include a colour class measurable by light transmittance. The proposed taste descriptors would not be measured separately but rather would be linked to a specific colour class. Consumer research has confirmed that colour is the first selection criteria for consumers.

From 2002 to 2011, the IMSI developed a proposed approach to standardize the grade names and nomenclature for maple syrup in North America, including holding their own industry consultations. As previously noted, this Institute is composed of the majority of the American states and Canadian provincial maple associations, maple equipment manufacturers and other maple businesses and individuals. IMSI supports these grade amendments to the MPR. Therefore, the representation by IMSI increases the overall support for these amendments to the MPR.

Provincial government

Sixty-three percent of provincial government representatives from maple syrup producing provinces agreed with the proposed amendments. Most government respondents (62–88%) also supported the changes to the definition and the additional requirement for a code of production and/or lot number.

As with consumers and the maple industry, a lower percentage of agreement (< 44%) was expressed with respect to the thenproposed grade names, colour classes and taste descriptors due to subjectivity. The subjectivity of the taste descriptors was also raised by both the Quebec and Ontario governments. However, these amendments address these concerns by providing for colour classes to be a measurable factor associated with taste descriptors.

Concerns were also raised regarding the proposed processing grade standard including the allowance of off-flavours. Despite the allowance of off-flavours for this proposed grade, there is no change to the health and safety requirements for maple syrup.

Prepublication in the Canada Gazette, Part I

The proposed amendments to the MPR were prepublished in Part I of the Canada Gazette on June 28, 2014, with a 75-day public comment period. The CFIA received a total of 14 responses from industry and stakeholders; 12 of the 14 respondents expressed support for the proposed amendments.

The responses were generally supportive of the proposed amendments, and are summarized as follows:

  • Five comments suggested that a definition be included for off flavours and typical objectionable tastes. It is the CFIA’s position that such definitions are better placed in guidance materials that support the Regulations. This guidance would include a list of objectionable flavours such as “sappy,” “woody,” “buddy” and “burnt.”
  • Nine comments suggested that “processing grade” maple syrup not be permitted to be sold at retail. There is no clause in the current MPR that presents any compliant maple syrup from being sold at retail. Moreover, the CFIA does not have jurisdiction to restrict compliant food products from being sold at retail, unless there is a safety concern. The CFIA will inform retailers and consumers about “processing grade” maple syrup. Registered establishments marketing this grade of syrup will have to mark the “processing grade” name on the product’s label in order to be in compliance with the MPR. With consumer education and labelling of the product, consumers will be able to make informed choices about whether “processing grade” maple syrup would meet their needs.
  • One comment suggested that “processing grade” maple syrup only be sold in 20 L or larger container sizes to avoid this product appearing on retail shelves. It is the CFIA’s position that adding new container sizes is not consistent with the Government of Canada’s proposed approach to deregulating container sizes, as per Budget 2012 commitments.
  • One non-federally registered maple producer suggested that the CFIA maintain the current five colour classifications as opposed to the four new classifications. Consumer research, conducted by IMSI, has indicated that the new classifications may be better understood by the consumer. Therefore, the CFIA continues to recommend that the modifications be made.
  • One non-federally registered maple packer suggested that the current grade system is fine, consumers understand it well and the change would cause confusion. The CFIA believes that the new system will make it easier for consumers and industry to choose maple syrup based on colour and taste. The consumer will be provided with additional choice and the bias of the current standards against darker syrups with more robust flavours will be removed.

Regulatory cooperation

These amendments only impact federally registered establishments. Non-federally registered maple establishments are subject to provincial regulations where they exist. The IMSI as well as national and provincial maple associations continue to strongly encourage provincial governments to align their maple syrup standards with these amendments.

Officials from the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) are currently discussing the IMSI’s proposed approach. They continue to monitor the Government of Canada’s amendments to the MPR and the ongoing developments under the Safe Food for Canadians Act. OMAF has indicated no objection to these amendments with support for the two-year phase-in to help address the concerns of small business, while MAPAQ confirmed agreement with the harmonization of the grading standards.

New Brunswick Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries (NBAAF) supports ways to facilitate the marketing and sale of maple syrup, and also supports the betterment of trade by harmonizing standards between Canada and the United States. NBAAF is in support of the amendments.

The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture reviewed the changes and had no issues with the amendments.

The USDA has developed a revised draft of its U.S. Maple Grades Standard. It is anticipated that the USDA will be publishing it’s regulatory proposal in early 2015. The states of Vermont and Maine have already made changes to their respective State regulations in line with these amendments to the MPR. The State of New York intends to implement maple grade changes into law on January 1, 2015. The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture completed public consultations and is scheduled to present the proposed changes for their Standard Grades administrative rules to their Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules in November 2014 for phased implementation beginning in January 2015. The State of Ohio is waiting for the USDA draft regulations before proceeding. The status of progress in incorporating these amendments into federal regulations is similar in Canada and the United States. Consistent regulatory progress in Canada and the United States would facilitate the adoption of a new grading system for the maple industry and provide clarity for consumers.

Rationale

These regulatory amendments present minimal risk and respond to industry’s marketing challenges and its wish to improve maple syrup standards. Furthermore, consistency in standards across North America benefits domestic and international trade. Once the U.S. jurisdictions adopt the same standards for grading and colour classes, the changes will contribute to establishing a level playing field between Canada and the U.S. by forming the basis for a fair and efficient marketplace. There will be slight differences between the Canadian and American definitions of maple syrup; however, the end product will have to meet similar general requirements (minimum and maximum solids content). This will result in a positive impact on free trade as Canada and the United States will be trading maple products based on the same standards for purity, grading and colour classes.

These amendments revise the grading system in a manner that allows all colours of maple syrup to be perceived as equally pure and valuable, provided they meet the taste and quality standards.

The move towards a harmonized system will also improve consumer comprehension of maple syrup grades on a North American scale. These changes provide consumers with additional choice and remove the bias of the current grading system against darker, robust-flavoured syrups. The amendments also provide protection to consumers in that they facilitate the traceability of maple syrup and the early removal of potentially unsafe maple syrup from the marketplace in the event of a food recall by introducing production codes and/or lot numbers.

These amendments protect the integrity of pure maple syrup on the international market by requiring that maple syrup be obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the solution or dilution of a maple product, other than maple sap, in potable water.

A maximum requirement of soluble solid content of maple syrup will contribute to preventing crystallization of maple syrup, thereby increasing its quality. Most importantly, this addition provides that products derived from pure maple syrup that significantly differ from general industry accepted norms are excluded from the standard.

The establishment of a single processing grade for off-flavoured, and otherwise defective syrups, maintains high quality standards for Grade A syrup while allowing other uses for processing grade such as further food processing or other non-food uses. The potential for off-flavours in the different colour classes of Grade A maple syrup available at the consumer level should be reduced as a result of these amendments.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

These Regulations come into force upon registration. However, these amendments provide for a two-year implementation transition period whereby registered establishments are allowed to adjust to the new requirements.

The implementation plan for these amendments to the MPR includes guidelines for CFIA inspectors that detail the new assessment criteria for the revised standards for grades and colour classes. Some minimal additional resource efforts may be required for the CFIA inspection program and inspection officers to learn and apply the revised grading system based on program guidance.

Routine inspection activities will remain the same with the incorporation of the revised assessment criteria. Compliance with the grade standard as a regulatory requirement will be verified through CFIA inspection and sampling activities. There could be an increase in grade/labelling verifications in response to an increase of consumer inquiries when new grade names are introduced and available in the marketplace. However, this increase in inquiries will be mitigated through consumer education campaigns.

The CFIA Enforcement and Compliance Policy and the Agri-food Enforcement Policy will be followed to reflect the CFIA’s current practices and protocols with respect to enforcing its legislation, and enhancing and improving compliance through enforcement activities consistent with the Government of Canada’s priorities.

Performance measurement and evaluation

These amendments will be implemented through outreach to ensure awareness of the new requirements by the regulated community and consumers, and appropriate training of relevant CFIA officers. Inspectors will conduct inspections, compliance verification and investigations, and carry out enforcement actions. Results of the amendments could be measured by examining the number of inspections that verify the grade as well as those that verify labels, and the number of non-compliance enforcement actions taken.

These regulatory amendments contribute to the strategic outcome of the Agency: “a safe and accessible food supply and plant and animal resource base.” These amendments also contribute to the Government of Canada’s strategic objectives:

  • A fair and secure marketplace;
  • Healthy Canadians;
  • A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government; and
  • A prosperous Canada through global commerce.

Contact

Luc Rivard
Director
Consumer Protection and Market Fairness Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9
Telephone: 613-773-5487
Fax: 613-773-5795
Email: CFIA-ACIA_maple-erable@inspection.gc.ca

Small Business Lens Checklist

1. Name of the sponsoring regulatory organization:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

2. Title of the regulatory proposal:

Regulations Amending the Maple Products Regulations

3. Is the checklist submitted with a RIAS for the Canada Gazette, Part I or Part II?

Unchecked check box Canada Gazette, Part I     Checked check box Canada Gazette, Part II

A. Small business regulatory design

I Communication and transparency Yes No N/A
1. Are the proposed Regulations or requirements easily understandable in everyday language? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
2. Is there a clear connection between the requirements and the purpose (or intent) of the proposed Regulations? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
3. Will there be an implementation plan that includes communications and compliance promotion activities, that informs small business of a regulatory change and guides them on how to comply with it (e.g. information sessions, sample assessments, toolkits, Web sites)? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
4. If new forms, reports or processes are introduced, are they consistent in appearance and format with other relevant government forms, reports or processes? Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
No specific forms are required by these amendments.
II Simplification and streamlining Yes No N/A
1. Will streamlined processes be put in place (e.g. through BizPaL, Canada Border Services Agency single window) to collect information from small businesses where possible? Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
The amendments do not modify the collection of information.
2. Have opportunities to align with other obligations imposed on business by federal, provincial, municipal or international or multinational regulatory bodies been assessed? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
3. Has the impact of the proposed Regulations on international or interprovincial trade been assessed? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
4. If the data or information, other than personal information, required to comply with the proposed Regulations is already collected by another department or jurisdiction, will this information be obtained from that department or jurisdiction instead of requesting the same information from small businesses or other stakeholders? (The collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information are all subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act. Any questions with respect to compliance with the Privacy Act should be referred to the department’s or agency’s ATIP office or legal services unit.) Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
See previous justifications.
5. Will forms be pre-populated with information or data already available to the department to reduce the time and cost necessary to complete them? (Example: When a business completes an online application for a licence, upon entering an identifier or a name, the system pre-populates the application with the applicant’s personal particulars such as contact information, date, etc., when that information is already available to the department.) Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
See previous justifications.
6. Will electronic reporting and data collection be used, including electronic validation and confirmation of receipt of reports where appropriate? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
7. Will reporting, if required by the proposed Regulations, be aligned with generally used business processes or international standards if possible? Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
See previous justifications.
8. If additional forms are required, can they be streamlined with existing forms that must be completed for other government information requirements? Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
See previous justifications.
III Implementation, compliance and service standards Yes No N/A
1. Has consideration been given to small businesses in remote areas, with special consideration to those that do not have access to high-speed (broadband) Internet? Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
These amendments do not impact this type of small business.
2. If regulatory authorizations (e.g. licences, permits or certifications) are introduced, will service standards addressing timeliness of decision making be developed that are inclusive of complaints about poor service? Unchecked check box Unchecked check box Checked check box
Authorizations are not being introduced by these amendments.
3. Is there a clearly identified contact point or help desk for small businesses and other stakeholders? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box

B. Regulatory flexibility analysis and reverse onus

IV Regulatory flexibility analysis Yes No N/A
1. Does the RIAS identify at least one flexible option that has lower compliance or administrative costs for small businesses in the small business lens section?

Examples of flexible options to minimize costs are as follows:

  • Longer time periods to comply with the requirements, longer transition periods or temporary exemptions;
  • Performance-based standards;
  • Partial or complete exemptions from compliance, especially for firms that have good track records (legal advice should be sought when considering such an option);
  • Reduced compliance costs;
  • Reduced fees or other charges or penalties;
  • Use of market incentives;
  • A range of options to comply with requirements, including lower-cost options;
  • Simplified and less frequent reporting obligations and inspections; and
  • Licences granted on a permanent basis or renewed less frequently.
Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
2. Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, quantified and monetized compliance and administrative costs for small businesses associated with the initial option assessed, as well as the flexible, lower-cost option?
  • Use the Regulatory Cost Calculator to quantify and monetize administrative and compliance costs and include the completed calculator in your submission to TBS-RAS.
Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
3. Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, a consideration of the risks associated with the flexible option? (Minimizing administrative or compliance costs for small business cannot be at the expense of greater health, security or safety or create environmental risks for Canadians.) Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
4. Does the RIAS include a summary of feedback provided by small business during consultations? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box
V Reverse onus Yes No N/A
1. If the recommended option is not the lower-cost option for small business in terms of administrative or compliance costs, is a reasonable justification provided in the RIAS? Checked check box Unchecked check box Unchecked check box