Recent Amendments to the Canada Grain Act and Canada Grain Regulations

Changes are coming to the Canadian grain system as a result of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) which is set to come into effect on July 1, 2020.

On June 23, 2020, the Canadian Grain Commission announced forthcoming changes to the Canada Grain Act and Canada Grain Regulations. The changes will take effect on July 1, 2020 and will enable certain varieties of grain grown in the United States to receive an official Canadian grade. In order for this grading to be applicable, the variety grown must be registered in Canada.

In addition, the requirement to include a country of origin statement on inspection certificates for United States-grown grain will be removed. Statements of origin for phytosanitary or customs requirements will not be affected by this change.

It will become mandatory for all grain sellers who sell to a Canadian Grain Commission licensee to complete a declaration of eligibility for delivery of grain – whether such grain is grown in Canada or the United States. This requirement builds upon the existing industry-standard declaration process used across the Western Canadian grain sector and requires the declaration of certain information regarding delivered grain by the seller at least once every crop year for each licensee that a seller may deliver grain to, prior to first delivery of grain to that licensee. The use of declarations will be phased in with Eastern Canadian producers during the 2020-2021 crop year.

The result of these changes is that United States grain exports will receive the same treatment and price as equivalent Canadian grain, while still taking steps to protect and maintain the grain quality assurance system used in Canada. American producers will be subject to the same obligations with respect to the sale of grain in Canada as apply to Canadian producers.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, or with respect to the regulation of grain pursuant to the Canada Grain Act or Canada Grain Regulations, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of our Agriculture & Food group. We have extensive expertise regarding Canada’s grain system needed to provide comprehensive assistance, and would be pleased to work with your organization.

Authors: Tristan Culham, Calen Nixon