Export Alert: New Export Requirements on Cherries

Export Alert: Effective June 1, 2017, fresh cherries grown and harvested in Ontario are banned from moving into or transiting through the United States and British Columbia while the other Provinces restrict the movement of cherries unless they are certified free from the European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi). Our team at ARGO Custom Brokers highlights this Canadian export change.

What is the European Cherry Fruit Fly

The European Cherry Fruit Fly is one of the most devastating insect pests in Europe. The insect lays its larvae on cherries where it feeds on the pulp of the fruit and severely damages the fruit. Although the cherries are safe to eat, they do not pass the “look test” for sale to the wider market. The European Cherry Fruit Fly made its first appearance in North America in 2016, and in response, the United States and Canada imposed strict controls to limit the spread of the population.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA”) first became aware of the possible presence of the European Cherry Fruit Fly in Ontario in February 2016. The alert triggered a CFIA trapping survey which caught the first specimens of the fly in June 2016.

Limitations on Movement of Cherries

The United States and British Columbia both imposed complete bans on the import and transiting of cherries through their territories. The other provinces in Canada limit the transportation and import of cherries unless they are certified free from the European Cherry Fruit Fly.

The movement restrictions apply to the following fresh cherries grown in Ontario:

  • Sweet cherries;
  • Mahaleb cherries;
  • Black cherries; and
  • Sour cherries.

The restrictions do not apply to processed cherries and nursery stock cherries. Cherries grown in any other province in Canada do not need to obtain Movement Certificates.

Movement Certificate: Free from European Cherry Fruit Fly

The CFIA instituted Protection Directive D-17-03 which came into effect June 1, 2017. The producer must submit their deliveries for inspection prior to issue a Movement Certificate. The Movement Certificate enables exporters to move their cherries into other provinces in Canada. Shipments without a Movement Certificate substantiating that the shipment is free from the European Cherry Fruit Fly is returned to Ontario or destroyed, no compensation or restitution to the exporter.

If you want to obtain a Movement Certificate, you can contact your local CFIA office to request an inspection in advance of the cherry harvest. If you need assistance obtaining a Movement Certificate, feel free to contact ARGO Customs Brokers for assistance.

ARGO Can Help

If you need export brokers in Canada, ARGO Customs Brokers provide import/export advice throughout Canada. ARGO Customs Brokers adopt the latest technology to ensure that we provide you the latest updates as soon as possible.