The amendments take effect on July 1 as part of CUSMA
By Diego Flammini
The Canadian Grain Commission will implement three amendments to the Canada Grain Act on July 1 as part of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) the three countries signed in November 2018.
The first change to take effect is grain grown in the United States can receive an official Canadian grade if it’s a variety that’s registered in Canada.
Prior to CUSMA, any U.S. grain produced with a Canadian variety was automatically graded as feed.
The second amendment will remove the requirement of a country of origin statement on inspection certificates for U.S. grain.
Statements of origin for phytosanitary or customs requirements are unaffected.
The United States had considered the lack of an official grade and the country of origin requirements as trade irritants.
If Canada is a country that prides itself on fair and open trade, it should act accordingly, said Erin Gowriluk, executive director of Grain Growers of Canada.
“Our members are export dependent and we see about 80 per cent of our crops go to other countries,” she told Farms.com. “We are all about open, free and fair trade, so we need to walk the talk. We know the U.S., as our most important trading partner, wanted these issues addressed and we thought they should be addressed to honour that relationship.”
The third change coming to the Canada Grain Act has to do with declarations of eligibility.
Starting on July 1, it will be mandatory for people, including licensed grain companies, who sell grain to a Canadian Grain Commission licensee to complete a declaration of eligibility.
This system is already used in much of Western Canada. The CUSMA-related amendments will see that system be made mandatory across the entire country.
American producers who deliver grain to Canada will be required to fill out the same declarations as Canadian farmers.
By signing the declaration, the signee is confirming that the grain is a variety eligible for a wheat class or another regulated grain grade.
If the declaration form isn’t signed, a grain company may refuse the delivery. Selling grain without a signed declaration is also an offence under the Canada Grain Act and the signee could be subject to penalties.