NEWS: Update on Access of Canadian Beef and Pork to Guatemala – free content

The Federal Market Access Team (FMAT) would like to bring you up to date on recent developments relating to beef and pork market access to Guatemala.

Introduction:

On December 22, 2020, CFIA wrote to Guatemala’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) to re-establish market access for beef and pork meat and meat products from Canada to Guatemala, which has been suspended since 2013.  The CFIA letter raised two outstanding issues:  1) the process for re-approving Canadian meat establishments for export to Guatemala; 2) to reconfirm that Guatemala now approves all Canadian beef (as a major improvement over previous limited access of UTM boneless only).

1)      Pork and Beef Establishment Approvals

Background

  • In December 2012, Guatemala informed Canada of the requirement to inspect establishments and that as of December 31, 2013, any establishment not on the list of approved establishments would not be allowed to export.
  • In 2019, MAGA reviewed Canada’s OIE Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) report in-lieu of the Guatemalan technical questionnaire initially provided to address the request to approve the Canadian system.
  • In December 2019, MAGA advised our Embassy that MAGA still required an inspection visit which would be on a systems approval basis whereby they would accept imports from any establishments certified by CFIA.
  • In late 2020, MAGA indicated their willingness to approve all Canadian federally licensed meat establishments through a paper review or virtual audit.
  • On December 22, 2020, CFIA wrote to MAGA to initiate the process, offering to provide the necessary documentation to demonstrate that Canadian federally registered establishments are meeting the requirements for export of meat and meat products to Guatemala, to allow Guatemala to perform a paper review for re-opening of the market.

Recent Developments

  • On February 5, 2021, MAGA wrote to the Canadian Embassy to request relevant documentation.

Current Status

  • CFIA is preparing a response to MAGA on Canada’s Safe Food Canadian Regulation requirements and federal meat inspection system, advocating for systems approval for Canadian meat establishments.  CFIA is aiming for submission in early April 2021.

2)      Beef Product Coverage

Background

  • In January 2006, Guatemala approved a previous CFIA certificate for boneless UTM beef only.
  • Subsequently, in October 2018, as part of CFIA’s process of implementing Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations, Guatemala/MAGA approved a new CFIA export certificate for meat and meat products.
  • In its December 22, 2020 letter, CFIA asked MAGA for reconfirmation that MAGA’s October 2018 approval of the new CFIA certificate constituted approval for full beef access.

Recent Developments:

  • In their February 5, 2021 message to the Canadian Embassy, Guatemala/MAGA said that with respect to the certificate of inspection for meat products, MAGA has no problem.

Current Status

  • Guatemala has now confirmed approval of a CFIA health export certificate that includes all beef which is a significant improvement over the previous approved certificate which included only boneless UTM beef.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Market Access Secretariat (aafc.mas-sam.aac@canada.ca).