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Notice to Importers

Turkey and Turkey Products (Items 105 to 113 on the Import Control List)

Serial No. 824
Date:  October 19, 2012

This Notice replaces Notice to Importers No. 800 dated October 14, 2011, and will remain in effect until further notice.

This Notice is provided pursuant to the authority of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) and its corresponding regulations.

In Brief

Imports of turkey and turkey products into Canada are subject to import controls under Canada’s Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA).  Accordingly, an import permit is required for shipments of turkey and turkey products to enter Canada.  Import permits for shipments of turkey and turkey products destined to the Canadian market under Canada’s tariff rate quota (TRQ) for turkey and turkey products, which is administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), are issued to allocation holders under the TRQ.

The access quantity for the turkey and turkey products TRQ is 5,588,000 kilograms or 3.5% of the current year's production quota, whichever is greater. The allocation period for the turkey and turkey products TRQ extends from January 1 to December 31, inclusive. 

This Notice to Importers sets out the policies and practices pertaining to the administration of the TRQ, including the allocation, underutilization, return, and transfer policies.  This Notice also explains how to apply for import permits.

Table of Contents


1. Purpose

1.1. The purpose of this Notice is:

  1. to set out the policies and practices pertaining to the administration of Canada’s TRQ for turkey and turkey products ;
  2. to invite applications for allocations under the TRQ for the next quota year; and
  3. to explain how to apply for import permits for imports of turkey and turkey products.

2. General Information

2.1. Background

2.1.1. In accordance with its commitments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), Canada has in place a TRQ for imports of turkey and turkey products.

2.1.2. Under Canadian TRQs, in any given year, a predetermined quantity of imports of a good controlled under the EIPA can enter Canada at a lower rate of duty, while imports over this quantity are subject to higher rates of duty. The TRQs therefore have three components: an import access quantity negotiated with Canada’s international trade partners; a within access commitment rate of duty that applies to imports up to the access quantity; and a higher, over access commitment rate of duty for imports over the access quantity.

2.1.3. The within and over access rates of duty that apply to imports of turkey and turkey products can be found in Canada’s Customs Tariff.

2.1.4. Pursuant to the EIPA and its corresponding regulations, when deciding whether to issue an import allocation or whether to consent to a transfer, the Minister shall take into account whether the import allocation holder has furnished false or misleading information in connection with any reports required by the Act or the regulations made under the Act or by any condition of an import allocation or import permit during the 12-month period preceding the period in respect of which the import allocation or transfer is to apply. Furthermore, the Minister may attach conditions to import allocations and/or to import permits, and may amend, suspend, cancel or re-instate import permits and allocations.

2.1.5. Failure by an applicant to provide any information requested by DFAIT, or failure to comply with any condition of an allocation or permit issued pursuant to the EIPA may result in the rejection of the application for an allocation under the turkey and turkey products TRQ, the reduction or cancellation of an allocation issued pursuant to the EIPA, or the cancellation of associated permits.

2.2. Access Quantity

2.2.1. The access quantity for the turkey and turkey products TRQ negotiated under NAFTA is 3.5% of the current year's production quota (which includes commercial quota, multiplier breeder quota, and primary quota) as estimated by the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC).

2.2.2. The access quantity for the turkey and turkey products TRQ negotiated under the WTO is 5,588,000 Kilograms.

2.2.3. The access quantity for the turkey and turkey products TRQ that applies in a given quota year is the greater of the NAFTA or WTO quantity.  DFAIT’s website will always present the TRQ access quantity that applies in a given year.

2.3. Allocation Period

2.3.1. The quota allocation year for the turkey and turkey products TRQ extends from January 1st to December 31st, inclusive.

2.3.2. Eligibility for an allocation, and the size of that allocation, will be assessed on the basis of each applicant’s activities in the turkey industry during the reference period of September 1 to August 31 immediately preceding the new quota year. Applicants must be active in the turkey industry at the time of application, and must remain active throughout the quota year for which they are seeking an allocation.

3. Products Covered

3.1. This Notice pertains to items 105 to 113 of the Import Control List (ICL), namely turkey and turkey products falling under heading Nos. 01.05, 02.07, 02.09, 02.10, 16.01 and 16.02 in the list of tariff provisions set out in the Schedule to the Customs Tariff.  It also covers specially defined mixtures of turkey products falling under tariff item Nos. 1602.31.11 and 1602.31.92, and other non-ICL turkey products (see section 6 of this Notice).

3.2. Chapter 16 of the Customs Tariff contains the following supplementary note concerning specially defined mixtures: Specially defined mixtures of tariff item Nos. 1602.31.11, 1602.31.92, 1602.32.11 and 1602.32.92 means chicken or turkey or a product containing chicken or turkey, wherein 13% or more of the total weight of the product is comprised of goods other than the following: chicken, turkey, bread or breading, batter, oil, glazing, other coatings and bastes, and any added water (including that used in marination, glazing, other coatings, bastes, breading and batter). For the purposes of this definition, the weight of all ingredients shall be taken from the product specification sheets for that product required under the Meat Inspection Act for product labelling purposes.

3.3. Importers who require a determination as to whether the product they intend to import is eligible under the turkey and turkey products TRQ are encouraged to obtain an advanced tariff classification ruling from the appropriate regional client service office of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

4. Allocation Policy

4.1. The turkey and turkey products TRQ is allocated to two groups:

  1. the traditional group; and
  2. processors of turkey products not on the Import Control List (the non-ICL group).

4.2. The allocation to the traditional group is calculated first. The quantity allocated to this group is equal to the quantity that was allocated to this group in the previous quota year, as adjusted since (e.g., for under-utilization).  The eligibility criteria for applicants in this group, and the method for allocating the quantity reserved for this group, are set out in section 5.

4.3. The quantity allocated to the non-ICL group is equal to the total of the quantities used in the production of non-ICL turkey products by eligible applicants under that group during the reference period, up to the quantity of TRQ that is available once the allocation to the first group has been completed.  The intent of this policy is to support the competitiveness of Canadian processors of eligible non-ICL turkey products that are competing directly with turkey products that may enter Canada quota free and at low or zero rates of duty.

4.4. The eligibility criteria for applicants in the non-ICL group, and the method for allocating the quantity reserved for this group, are set out in section 6.

4.5. If a portion of the TRQ remains unallocated after the allocations to the traditional and non-ICL groups have been completed, it will first be used to meet supplemental import needs, including Import-to-Compete and imports to accommodate shortages (detailed further in Notice to Importers Turkey and Turkey Products - Supplemental Imports), in the first half of the quota year (up to June 30).  Any balance remaining on June 30 of each quota year will be allocated to traditional allocation holders on a pro-rata basis (based on traditional importers’ respective proportion of the sum of all traditional allocations).

4.6. All import allocations expire at the end of each allocation year and all applicants interested in receiving an import allocation must reapply each year.

4.7. To ensure an orderly transition between allocation years, eligible traditional allocation holders may receive advances of up to 30% of their traditional import allocation for the first quarter of the new quota year. An eligible company without a traditional import allocation will normally be issued, upon DFAIT’s receipt of an application, an advance on the new quota year’s import allocation of up to a maximum of 30% of its previous quota year imports. Requests for advances from firms likely to be subject to an under-utilization penalty (pursuant to section 9.1) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

5. Allocation to the Traditional Group

5.1. The quantity allocated to the traditional group is allocated to eligible applicants who were allocation holders under this group in the previous year. Eligible applicants will normally receive their full allocation from the previous year, as adjusted since (e.g., for under-utilization).

5.2. Traditional allocation holders may obtain an import allocation subject to demonstrating their active involvement in the turkey or food industry. An activity test will be administered annually for traditional allocation holders.

5.3. Applicants in this group that fail to apply for an allocation, or that do not meet the eligibility criteria, will not be eligible for an allocation and will not be eligible for a traditional allocation in subsequent quota years. These applicants may, however, apply under the non-ICL group in future years if they qualify.

6. Allocation to processors of turkey products not on the Import Control List (non-ICL Group)

6.1. For purposes of this Notice, a processor of turkey products not on the ICL is a processor that:

  1. carries on activities in eligible Canadian Federally-registered meat and poultry establishments in good standing that have received Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) recognition or acknowledgment, which are owned and operated by the applicant;
  2. manufactures non-ICL products (such as, but not limited to, TV dinners) using ICL products as input; and
  3. sells such products to wholesalers.

6.2.Processors considered to be related to foodservice companies are not normally eligible for an allocation under the non-ICL portion of the turkey TRQ.

6.3. Applicants for an allocation under the non-ICL portion of the turkey TRQ must follow the instructions given in section 3.3 to ensure that their products are eligible for a non-ICL chicken import allocation.

6.4. Subject to section 4.3, eligible processors of non-ICL turkey products may receive up to one kilogram of import allocation for each kilogram of turkey inputs used in their production of non-ICL products in the reference period. Only products that have been processed in Canada in federally-registered, HACCP-approved plants owned and operated by the applicant may be included.

6.5. If non-ICL demand exceeds the quantity available to the non-ICL group within the TRQ, the allocation will be done on a pro-rata basis.

6.6. Eligible processors of non-ICL turkey products may apply for supplemental authorisations under Import-to-Compete, on a like for like basis, for production needs beyond their allocation for a given quota year. (Detailed further in Notice to Importers Turkey and Turkey Products - Supplemental Imports)

6.7. Processors of eligible non-ICL turkey products must continue to produce non-ICL products throughout the quota year for which they are seeking an allocation in order to maintain their eligibility under this group.

6.8. Applicants are advised that section (v) in section 2(b) of Appendix 4 requires applicants to provide information concerning the total amount of ground meat, finely textured meat and trim meat used in the production of non-ICL turkey products. For purposes of this Notice, trim meat is defined as any turkey meat, excluding mechanically separated meat and tenders, which (1) is the by-product of a trimming, boning, cutting or advanced meat recovery operation; (2) is used in a formulation; and (3) has been purchased or valued at a cost less than random (e.g., line run) whole muscle breast meat.

6.9. Eligible Products and Ingredients

  1. Generally, turkey products that are identified as specially defined mixtures of tariff Nos. 1602.31.11 and 1602.31.92 are exempted from the ICL. Examples of such products include: turkey cordon bleu, breaded breast of turkey cordon bleu, turkey Kiev, breaded breast of turkey Kiev, boneless turkey with apples and almonds, turkey Romanoff Regell, turkey Neptune breast, boneless turkey Panache and turkey TV dinners.
  2. Mechanically separated meat (MSM) used in the manufacture of non-ICL products are normally not eligible for non-ICL allocations. In the event MSM is not available domestically at U.S.-competitive prices, the Minister may authorize supplemental imports for MSM.
  3. Turkey products that are simply cooked and/or marinated and/or spiced are on the ICL.
  4. In the case of non-ICL products that include marinated turkey, the weight of the turkey prior to marination must be used.
  5. Added fat and added skin are not eligible to be included as part of the weight of the turkey in non-ICL products.
  6. In addition to specially defined mixtures, turkey products are considered as non-ICL products if they are classified under headings No. 19.02 (Pasta), No. 19.04 (Rice Preparations), No. 19.05 (Pastry), No. 20.04 (Other vegetables prepared or preserved, frozen), No. 20.05 (Other vegetables prepared or preserved, not frozen), No. 20.06 (Fruits and vegetables preserved by sugar) No. 21.03 (Sauces and preparations), No. 21.04 (Soups), and No. 21.06 (Food preparations). Producers of these products may be eligible for an allocation under the non-ICL group.

6.10. It is the responsibility of applicants, not accountants, to state that their products are not on the ICL.  Domestic manufacturers who wish to know whether the product they intend to manufacture using turkey imported under a non-ICL allocation meets the definition of specially defined mixtures should obtain a determination by contacting the CBSA.

6.11. With respect to products for which an applicant is seeking an allocation under the non-ICL group, only information about products for which a CBSA ruling has been received, along with the corresponding CFIA label registration number including the process and composition of the meat (see Appendix 4), may be submitted as part of the application.

6.12. DFAIT will consider the information that the applicant provides along with any other relevant information when allocating the non-ICL portion of the turkey TRQ so as to ensure that the non-ICL portion of the turkey TRQ is allocated in conformity with the underlying policy intent as indicated in section 4.3 of this Notice. Applicants may be required to provide additional information to support their application. Such additional information may include evidence of the actual quantity of turkey used to manufacture products not on the ICL, the number of units produced in the reference period, information concerning supply arrangements, and customer information. Evidence, such as product specifications, original supplier invoices, proofs of payment, and production records, may be requested. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to review the product specification sheets and the accountant's working papers. Moreover, DFAIT retains the right to request laboratory analysis of the non-ICL products and certification by an independent public accountant (or an accountant named by DFAIT) of the information provided on the application form. Should this prove necessary, all costs will be borne by the applicant.

7. Related Applicants

7.1. Except for individual traditional applicants who are eligible for both a share of the traditional pool and a share of the non-ICL portion of the TRQ, where two or more applicants are considered related, they shall normally be eligible for only one allocation. Applicants for an allocation are required to provide a list of related persons. Applicants should consult Appendix 8 for the definition of related persons as it applies for the purpose of this Notice.

8. How to apply for an Allocation

8.1. Applicants who wish to apply for an allocation under the turkey and turkey products TRQ are invited to submit their application form and any other relevant document, if any, no later than the 1st of December immediately preceding the opening of the quota year.

  1. Applicants in the traditional group must submit the form provided in Appendix 1.
  2. Applicants in the non-ICL group must submit the information specified in Appendix 4.

8.2. All quantities of turkey and turkey products reported on the application and supporting documents must be expressed in eviscerated equivalent kilograms using the conversion factors by commodity codes, which are set out in Appendix 7.

8.3. All applicants for an allocation are required to include as part of their application:

  1. a sworn affidavit; and
  2. a letter from an independent qualified professional (normally an accountant) verifying the information included in the application.

8.4. For the purpose of this Notice, an accountant is defined as a member in good standing of one of the three professional accounting bodies in Canada (C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.) who is registered with his/her provincial professional organization to provide accounting services and is independent from the applicant (i.e., is not an owner or a partner of the company applying for an import allocation, and is not in an employee - employer relationship which involves the applicant).

8.5. The affidavit and the letter from the accountant must be in the exact format of the models attached to this Notice (see Appendices 2 and 3 for traditional applicants, and appendices 5 and 6 for non-ICL applicants).  Any changes to the wording of the prescribed affidavit or letter are permitted only if required by professional standards. In the event that changes are made, the applicant or the accountant must discuss these, in advance, with DFAIT.

8.6. Applications sent by MAIL or COURIER should be addressed to the turkey and turkey products quota manager at DFAIT. The name and mailing address of the turkey and turkey products TRQ quota manager can be obtained on the DFAIT website, under Contact Us.

8.7. Applications sent by facsimile will not be accepted. Only original applications will be accepted.

8.8. Applications postmarked after the 1st of December immediately preceding the opening of the quota year, or submitted in a format other than that required, will not be considered. Lost applications will not normally be considered without acceptable proof that they were sent before the deadline (e.g., courier receipt).

8.9. The declaration in the application form allows DFAIT access to any information in the files of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or the CFIA pertaining to the applicant in relation to the application for an import allocation or to subsequent applications for, or concerning the use of, import permits. Applicants will normally be informed of any such requests for information.

9. Under-Utilization and Return Policies

9.1. Under-Utilization Policy

9.1.1. An allocation holder with a utilization rate less than 90% in the previous quota year may have its allocation adjusted downward by an under-utilization penalty for the new quota year.1

9.1.2. For allocation holders that under-utilized in the previous quota year, allocations in the new quota year will be reduced by the percentage of the allocation not utilized in the previous quota year.2

9.1.3. Allocation holders that under-utilized during the previous quota year will be advised of the applicable under-utilization penalty before the allocations are finalized for the new quota year.

9.2. Return Policy

9.2.1. Allocation holders may return any portion of the balance of their allocation no later than October 1st  of the quota year. Any portion of an allocation that is returned by this date will be considered as having been used for purposes of administering the under-utilization policy in 9.1.1.

9.2.2. Quantities returned as per 9.2.1 by traditional allocation holders will be reallocated, for use within the quota year, as follows:

  1. Any returned TRQ is first applied against supplemental imports issued between January 1st and October 1st for market shortages, test marketing and extraordinary or unusual circumstances;
  2. Any remaining returned TRQ is then offered to traditional allocation holders in proportion to their share of the traditional group allocation.

9.2.3. Quantities returned as per 9.2.1 by non-ICL allocation holders will be reallocated, for use within the quota year, as follows:

  • Any returned TRQ is first applied against any supplemental Imports-to-Compete issued between January 1st and October 1st;
  • Any remaining returned TRQ is then offered to traditional allocation holders in proportion to their share of the traditional group allocation.

10. Transfer Policy

10.1. The Minister may allow the transfer of allocations between allocation holders. All requests for transfer of allocations must be referred to DFAIT for consideration.

11. Supplemental Imports

11.1. The Minister may, at his discretion, authorize imports of turkey and turkey products in excess of the import access quantity. The Notice to Importers  Turkey and Turkey Products - Supplemental Imports explains the administration of supplemental imports for turkey and turkey products. The Notice is available on the DFAIT website at Turkey and Turkey Products - Supplemental Imports.

12. Import Permits

12.1. Types of Permits

12.1.1. An import permit issued by DFAIT is required for every shipment of turkey and turkey products covered by this Notice to enter Canada. For a given shipment, importers may either present a shipment-specific import permit or invoke the appropriate General Import Permit (GIP).

12.2. Shipment-Specific Import Permits

12.2.1. Shipment-specific import permits are normally issued on demand to allocation holders up to the amount of their allocation under Canada’s turkey and turkey products  TRQ. Shipments entering Canada under a shipment-specific import permit can normally do so at the within access rate of duty.

12.2.2. To claim the within access rate of duty for a shipment, the importer must present the shipment-specific import permit to CBSA at the time of final accounting.

12.2.3. For a shipment-specific import permit to be considered valid, the name on the permit must match exactly the name of the importer on CBSA’s B3 Customs entry and related documents at time of final accounting. Furthermore, the quantity on the permit must be the same as the net quantity on the Customs invoice. It is incumbent on the recipient of the permit to ensure that a permit application is made in the name of the importer of record and includes the correct quantity. Questions about the proper procedures to fill out customs entry documents should be addressed to local CBSA officials.

12.3. General Import Permits

12.3.1. The GIP that applies for turkey and turkey products  is General Import Permit No. 100 – Eligible Agricultural Goods. There is no limit to the quantities of turkey and turkey products that can enter Canada under the GIP; however, such imports will be subject to the higher over access rate of duty.

12.3.2. Shipment-specific import permits will not be issued for shipments already imported into Canada under the authority of the GIP, regardless of the importer's allocation.

12.4. How to Apply for a Permit

12.4.1. Information about the permit application process, including information about fees, the monthly billing system, and information required from applicants, is available on the DFAIT website: Applying for an Import Permit.

12.4.2. Importers that wish to apply for an import permit are required to submit Form EXT1466, "Application for Permit", which can be obtain on the DFAIT website (a paper copy will be provided upon request): Application for Import/Export Permit (PDF*, 95 KB).

12.5. Quantity to Report on Shipment-Specific Import Permit

12.5.1. Turkey and turkey product quantities reported on a shipment-specific import permit must be declared in eviscerated equivalent. The list of conversion factors by commodity code is available in Appendix 7.

12.5.2. Turkey products that are partially deboned are considered to be boneless for import control purposes and the corresponding boneless EIPA turkey codes must be used when requesting import permits. As an example, fresh turkey breasts that have been partially deboned so that only the keel bone or cartilage remaining will be considered boneless for import control purposes. In this case, the corresponding EIPA code that should be entered into the related application would be 0207.26.10.00.7240. Importers who are unsure as to whether the product they intend to import is considered bone-in or boneless should obtain guidance from DFAIT.

13. Contact Us

13.1.  Names and direct phone numbers for quota manager(s), permit officer(s), and the Help Desk are available on the DFAIT website: Contact Us.

13.2.  For directory assistance, you may call 613-944-0773.


End Notes

1The utilization rate (%) will be calculated for every allocation holder as follows:

Utilization Rate (%) = (Actual Level of Use (kg) / Total Allocation Granted (kg)) X 100%

Where:
Actual Level of Use (kg) = Permits Used (kg) + Returns (kg) + Transfers Out (kg)

And:
Total Allocation Granted (kg) = Initial Allocation (kg) + Transfers In (kg)

2 The under-utilization penalty will be calculated as follows:

Underutilization Penalty (kg) = Pre-Penalty Allocation(kg) × Underutilization Rate (%)

Where:
“Pre-Penalty Allocation (kg)” is the allocation that the allocation holder would have been eligible for in the new quota year, if the allocation holder had not under-utilized in the previous quota year.

And:
Underutilization Rate (%) = 100% - Utilization Rate (%)

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