Delivery declaration questions and answers
1. What are the requirements for delivery declarations as a result of the CUSMA-related changes to the Canada Grain Act and Canada Grain Regulations?
The amendments to the Canada Grain Act
- establish an obligation for every person or licensee who sells grain into the licensed grain handling system to make and provide a declaration at delivery (section 83.1)
- provide the Commission authority to make regulations, subject to Governor in Council approval, specifying the process related to the declarations, including form, content and timing (section 83.2)
- establish that it is an offence to make a false declaration in a grain transaction (section 83.3)
- establish the authority for the Commission to incorporate documents by reference (section 118.1)
Amendments were made to the Canada Grain Regulations to define the requirements for making declarations and incorporate by reference a prescribed delivery declaration form.
Section 65(1) has been added to incorporate by reference a “Declaration of Eligibility for Delivery of Grain” form and prescribe when the declaration must be made.
Except where permission of the Commission is given under section 28 of the Canada Grain Act, every producer or licensee must make and provide a delivery declaration
- no later than the date of first delivery of grain
- no earlier than the start of the crop year of harvest of that delivery
- at least once for every crop year for every type and/or class of grain delivered
Taken together, these changes help to preserve the integrity of the Canadian grain quality assurance system, while improving flexibility and facilitating responsiveness to grain sector needs.
2. 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.
Once a document is incorporated by reference, the Canadian Grain Commission can modify it without needing to change the regulations. To support transparency, the Canadian Grain Commission will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the proposal prior to making any changes, unless the proposal addresses an immediate risk to the grain quality assurance system or a minor administrative adjustment.
Documents incorporated by reference will be easily understood and available to stakeholders online or by request.
3. Why is the declaration form being 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.
4. Why are delivery declarations required?
The delivery declaration regulations build on the existing declaration process already used across much of the grain sector. Declarations represent a practical and relatively low-impact approach to certifying the dependability and quality of grain at entry into the Canadian licensed grain handling system.
Requiring declarations will help accommodate US grain by ensuring that reliable information on seed registration is provided at the time of delivery. This type of information is vital 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 will ensure that producers receive the grain grade and payment for which they are eligible and improve the application of Canadian Grain Commission enforcement provisions.
5. What grain types does the declaration apply to?
The prescribed declaration form applies to all deliveries of grains regulated under the Canada Grain Act, including those that are not subject to variety registration in Canada.
Crop kinds subject to variety registration in Canada are listed in Schedule III of the Seeds Regulations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Variety Registration Office and the Registrar, Variety Registration are responsible for registering varieties in Canada. The list of varieties of crop kinds registered in Canada can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.
Some crop types that are official grains under the Canada Grain Act are not subject to variety registration in Canada (e.g. corn, chickpeas, food-type soybeans). The Canadian Seed Growers Association has implemented a system for determining eligibility for seed crop certification of new plant varieties for these crops. For example, corn is not registered under the Seeds Act, but the seed of field corn must be of pedigreed status in order to be sold in Canada.
6. When does the declaration requirement come into effect?
All Canadian obligations under CUSMA came into force on July 1, 2020. This included the amendments to Canada Grain Act and the Canada Grain Regulations. As a result, the Canadian Grain Commission implemented the prescribed declaration form for the 2020-2021 crop year. In western Canada, declarations had to be in place by the beginning of the 2020-2021 crop year on August 1, 2020. Because delivery declarations have not previously been in use in eastern Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission will continue to work with grain sector stakeholders to phase in the declaration during the 2021-2022 crop year.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Does the declaration requirement extend to licensed terminals?
Yes. The requirement applies to all Canadian Grain Commission-licensed facilities.
10. Does the declaration requirement extend to licensed grain dealers who do not have facilities?
Yes. The declaration requirement applies to all grain deliveries into the licensed grain handling system.
11. 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 by the Canadian Grain Commission.
12. Does the declaration requirement apply to producer railway car deliveries?
Yes and no. Producer railway car loading facilities are exempted from licensing and therefore the requirement does not explicitly apply. However, a declaration must be provided for producer car shipments destined for licensed facilities. The vast majority of producer car shipments are administered by Canadian Grain Commission licensees.
13. Has the Canadian Grain Commission prescribed the form and content of the statutory declaration form?
14. What will be the process for ensuring the declaration form remains current?
Before the start of each new crop year, the Canadian Grain Commission will review the declaration form to ensure that it is still meeting the needs of the sector.
To maintain transparency, the Canadian Grain Commission will notify stakeholders of any proposed modifications to the declaration form. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal before any changes are made, unless the proposal addresses an immediate risk to the grain quality assurance system or a minor administrative adjustment.
15. What type of information is required on the prescribed declaration form?
The declaration form requires only the information necessary to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets. The information fields included denote the minimum requirements for declarations going forward.
The statutory requirements will be implemented as seamlessly and efficiently as possible. Licensees are free to integrate the prescribed form into an existing commercial declaration as long as all the data fields and information in the prescribed form are included.
Licensees can add any additional information needed to facilitate grain marketing and commercial requirements. However, only the information required by the Canadian Grain Commission will be subject to regulatory enforcement.
16. Is a separate declaration required for each grain type and or class?
No. The Canada Grain Regulations require that a declaration be made and provided for all grains, and where applicable all classes, 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 they deliver to, that covers all grain types they may be delivering in that crop year.
Wheat is the largest volume grain for which classes are applicable. Other grains that have specified classes are barley, beans, chickpeas, mustard, lentils, and peas. The Canadian Grain Commission maintains variety designation lists for Canadian wheat, barley and flaxseed.
17. 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.
18. 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/contract must clearly indicate which information fields are statutory declaration requirements and which are a commercial contractual requirement.
19. 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 delivery in that crop year.
20. Are electronic signatures acceptable?
Yes, electronic signatures on the declaration form are acceptable. A declaration that is signed electronically will be considered compliant provided that the declaration clearly indicates the crop year to which it is applicable.
21. What are the Canadian Grain Commission’s plans to support compliance?
The Canadian Grain Commission has been working, and 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 will incorporate declaration compliance measures into its existing processes through the following measures:
- requiring evidence (i.e. 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 safety, quality, and integrity factors
If issues are identified, the Canadian Grain Commission will work with licensees, commodity associations, and producers to solve them, relying on existing investigative and compliance authorities within the Act.
The Canadian Grain Commission will respond to enquiries from licensees or producers on a case-by-case basis.
22. 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 Act are separate and additional to any contractual or other financial actions by licensees.
23. What is the Canadian Grain Commission planning to do to protect producers given these new requirements? How can a producer prove he or she did not knowingly make a false declaration?
In the event that a producer may have unknowingly made a false declaration under the new 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.
Declaration form applicability
Declaration form content and use
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