Delivery eligibility declaration questions and answers
1. What are the requirements for delivery eligibility declarations under the Canada Grain Act and Canada Grain Regulations?
The Canada Grain Act establishes an obligation for every person or licensee who sells grain into the Canadian Grain Commission licensed grain handling system to make and provide a declaration at delivery (section 83.1). It also establishes that it’s an offence to make a false declaration in a grain transaction (section 83.3).
The Canada Grain Regulations defines the requirements for making declarations. Section 65(3) requires that a declaration must be provided to the person who receives the grain delivery. Section 65(4) requires that a declaration be made and provided at least once for every crop year, no later than the date of the first delivery of grain that requires a declaration.
Taken together, these requirements help to preserve the integrity of the Canadian grain quality assurance system, while improving flexibility and facilitating responsiveness to grain sector needs.
2. Why are delivery declarations required?
Declarations provide a practical and relatively low-impact approach to certify the dependability and quality of grain when delivered into the Canadian licensed grain handling system. The regulatory declaration requirements build on the existing declaration process already used across much of the grain sector.
Requiring declarations is a way to meet the requirements of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) by ensuring that reliable information on variety registration is provided at the time of delivery for US-grown grain, while preserving the integrity of the Canadian grain quality system. This type of information is important to reconcile the different regulatory systems in the two countries and make marketing decisions and/or certifications in respect of Canadian and US grain.
The availability of reliable information helps ensure that producers receive the grain grade and payment for which they are eligible.
3. When did the delivery eligibility declaration requirement come into effect?
On November 30, 2018, Canada, the United States, and Mexico signed an agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
All Canadian obligations under CUSMA came into force on July 1, 2020. This included the amendments to the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Grain Regulations with respect to declarations.
As a result, the Canadian Grain Commission implemented the declaration of eligibility form for the 2020-2021 crop year. In western Canada, Canadian Grain Commission-required declarations have been in use since August 1, 2020.
Because delivery declarations had not previously been in use in eastern Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission granted exemptions from the declaration requirement in eastern Canada for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 crop years.
A regulatory amendment was made in 2022 to adjust the grain kinds that require a declaration.
As of July 1, 2022, declarations of eligibility will be a requirement for delivery at all Canadian Grain Commission-licensed facilities in Canada.
4. Do American producers have to fill out a declaration of eligibility form?
Yes. American producers who deliver grain in Canada have the same obligations as Canadian producers.
5. What does incorporation by reference mean?
Incorporation by reference allows a document that is not in the text of regulations to be made a part of the regulations. Documents incorporated by reference have the force of law. The Canada Grain Act was amended to establish the authority for the Canadian Grain Commission to incorporate by reference any document in the same manner as other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada portfolio partners.
To support transparency and ensure any sector feedback is considered prior to making changes, the Canadian Grain Commission will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on proposed changes on its website. Exceptions may be made where a proposal addresses an immediate risk to the grain quality assurance system or is a minor administrative adjustment.
Documents incorporated by reference are available to stakeholders online or by request.
6. Why are the declaration form and list of grain kinds that require a declaration incorporated by reference?
Market access issues, updates to variety information and changes in grain marketing practices can happen quickly. The flexibility and responsiveness of incorporation by reference will help support Canadian grain quality and dependability. Incorporation by reference in the regulations is an important tool that benefits industry and stakeholders by providing a regulatory environment that can respond to emerging needs.
Changes to regulations generally take 12 to 18 months to be approved after scientific, policy and all other reviews are complete. By incorporating a document setting out a list into the Canada Grain Regulations, the time between completion of the review and addition or deletion of an item to the list is substantially reduced.
Documents incorporated by reference reduce the amount of legislative text that is required to be published and are often documents that are already familiar to the regulated sector.
Grains requiring declaration
7. What kinds of grain does the declaration apply to?
The prescribed declaration of eligibility form applies to all grains designated under the Canada Grain Act that are listed in the Kinds of Grain that Require a Declaration of Eligibility for Delivery of Grain document.
This list aligns the requirement for declarations with grains that are subject to variety registration based on quality considerations.
- mustard seed
- wheat (including durum)
No declaration required
- canary seed
- soybeans (food grade)
- soybeans (oilseed)
8. What criteria were used to determine which grains had quality considerations as part of registration?
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Variety Registration Office and the Registrar, Variety Registration are responsible for registering varieties in Canada. The grain kinds that require a declaration are linked to variety registration to protect the quality outcomes of registration. This is a key component of the Canadian grain quality and safety assurance system. More information is available in section 28 of the Canada Grain Act.
9. Why was a change made to only include certain grain kinds?
After the original delivery declarations were implemented in 2020, some stakeholders expressed concerns with enforcing the declaration requirement for all kinds of grain, particularly those that don’t otherwise need to be registered.
After discussions with stakeholders, the Canadian Grain Commission decided to implement an amendment for the 2022-2023 crop year to make declarations more targeted to grains where quality may be an issue without registration status.
There is no quality impact to removing the declaration for corn, soybeans, chickpeas, sunflower and safflower.
This change supports the integrity of Canadian grain quality and safety system while delivering on Canada’s trade commitments.
10. Can I still use farm-saved seed to produce and sell grain?
Yes. However, you must be able to declare that the grain is produced from a variety that is registered and eligible for the class (if applicable) to be eligible for the top grade. The Canada Grain Act and official grain grading framework do not differentiate grain produced from farm-saved seed from certified seed.
Declaration form applicability
11. Who is obligated to provide the declaration?
The requirement to make and provide a declaration applies to all persons, including licensees, selling to Canadian Grain Commission-licensed facilities.
12. Does the declaration requirement extend to grain elevators in eastern Canada not licensed by the Canadian Grain Commission?
No. Declarations are only required for Canadian Grain Commission-licensed facilities.
However, because declarations will be required at licensed grain handling facilities in eastern Canada, including terminal elevators or processing facilities, elevators in eastern Canada not licensed by the Canadian Grain Commission may include a declaration of their own to support the grain quality assurance system.
13. Does the declaration requirement cover deliveries to licensed process elevators such as crushing facilities?
Yes. The requirement applies to all Canadian Grain Commission-licensed facilities.
14. Does the declaration requirement extend to licensed terminals?
Yes. The requirement applies to all Canadian Grain Commission-licensed facilities.
15. Does the declaration requirement extend to licensed grain dealers who do not have facilities?
Yes. The declaration requirement applies to all deliveries of applicable grain kinds into the licensed grain handling system.
16. Does the requirement apply to facilities and operations that are exempted from Canadian Grain Commission licensing such as feed mills?
No. The requirements do not apply to grain handling facilities or operations that are exempted from licensing by the Canadian Grain Commission.
17. Does the declaration requirement apply to producer railway car deliveries?
Yes and no. A declaration is not needed for a delivery to a producer railway car loading facility, as they are not buying the grain. However, a declaration must be provided to the licensed facility that buys the producer car shipment.
Declaration form content and use
18. Has the Canadian Grain Commission published the statutory declaration form?
19. What is the process for ensuring the declaration form remains current?
Before the start of each new crop year, the Canadian Grain Commission reviews the declaration form to ensure that it is still meeting the needs of the sector.
To maintain transparency, the Canadian Grain Commission will share any proposed modifications to the declaration form on its website before they come into effect. Licensed facilities will need to ensure that, if they incorporated the declaration of eligibility into commercial declarations or existing grain delivery contracts, that these reflect any modifications made.
20. What type of information is required on the prescribed declaration form?
The declaration form requires verification that the variety being delivered is eligible for a grain kind and class (if applicable). The information fields included in the declaration of eligibility form are the minimum requirements.
Licensees are free to integrate the prescribed form into an existing commercial declaration or grain delivery contract as long as all the data fields and information in the prescribed form are included. An integrated declaration form must clearly indicate which information fields are Canadian Grain Commission regulatory requirements and which are a commercial requirement.
Licensees can add any additional information needed to facilitate grain marketing and commercial requirements. However, only the information required by the Canadian Grain Commission is subject to regulatory enforcement. As part of the licensing process, the Canadian Grain Commission reviews a sample of a licensee’s declaration documents.
21. Is a separate declaration required for each grain type or class?
No. The Canada Grain Regulations require that one declaration be provided for all grains listed in the Canadian Grain Commission’s Kinds of Grains that Require a Declaration of Eligibility for Delivery of Grain document, and that a declaration must be made at least once per crop year.
This means that a producer only needs to fill out one declaration at each licensee where they deliver, and that the declaration covers all required grain kinds they may be delivering in that crop year.
22. Is the commercial declaration form provided by my local licensed grain company sufficient to be compliant with the new regulatory requirements?
Yes, if certain conditions are met. Licensees’ commercial declaration forms are sufficient as long as all the data fields and information in the Canadian Grain Commission’s prescribed form are included. The integrated form must clearly indicate which information fields are regulatory requirements and which are a commercial requirement.
Licensees may add any additional information needed to facilitate grain marketing and commercial requirements, but these information fields are not subject to regulatory enforcement.
Contact your local licensed grain company to learn more about how they have incorporated the regulatory requirements into their declaration forms.
23. Can licensees simply integrate the prescribed delivery declaration requirements into grain delivery contracts with producers? Will the Canadian Grain Commission consider this compliant?
Yes, as long as all the data fields and information in the prescribed declaration form are included. The integrated grain delivery document or contract must clearly indicate which information fields are statutory declaration requirements and which are a commercial contractual requirement.
24. What are the rules with respect to timing? When must the declaration form be signed?
The declaration must be made and provided at least once per crop year, no later than the date of the first grain delivery in that crop year.
25. Are electronic signatures acceptable?
Yes, electronic signatures on the declaration form are acceptable.
26. What are the Canadian Grain Commission’s plans to support compliance?
The Canadian Grain Commission will continue to work with licensees and producers to ensure awareness of their obligations under the Canada Grain Act.
In terms of the actual use of declaration forms, the Canadian Grain Commission has incorporated declaration compliance measures into its existing processes through the following measures:
- requiring evidence (for example, a sample declaration form) that declarations are in use as part of a licensee’s annual licence renewal process
- obtaining evidence of declaration use as part of regular or risk-based auditing of licensees
- continuing to monitor bulk vessel exports for grain quality and integrity factors
If issues are identified, the Canadian Grain Commission works with licensees, commodity associations, and producers to solve them, relying on existing investigative and compliance authorities within the Canada Grain Act.
The Canadian Grain Commission will respond to enquiries from licensees or producers on a case-by-case basis.
27. What are the consequences of making a false declaration?
Section 83.3 of the Canada Grain Act establishes that no person shall make a false or misleading statement in a declaration. If a person has failed to make a declaration as required or made a false declaration, they may be subject to penalties set out in the Canada Grain Act.
The provisions under the Canada Grain Act are separate and additional to any contractual or other financial actions by licensees.
28. What is the Canadian Grain Commission planning to do to protect producers given the declaration requirements? How can a producer prove they did not knowingly make a false declaration?
If a producer has unknowingly made a false declaration under the statutory declaration requirements, the producer should contact the Canadian Grain Commission. All instances will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, the Canadian Grain Commission may perform varietal testing on a sample of the grain delivery in question to determine its eligibility.
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