Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

October 05, 2010 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Partners to Protect Plant, Food and Animal Resources

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2010) -

Editors note: A video and a photo are included with this press release on Marketwire's website.

- The newest public service announcement (PSA) installment of the Government of Canada's multimedia "Be Aware and Declare!" campaign is designed to be shared online. It will also appear in some major Canadian airports and on incoming international flights on partner airlines from many parts of the world.

- The campaign spreads the message to Canadian international travellers and visitors that travellers are obligated by law to declare all food, plants, animals and related products upon entering Canada.

- Travellers bringing in food, plants, animals and related products in their carry-on or stored luggage must declare each item to a Canada Border Services Officer upon arrival.

- A $400 fine may be applied for each undeclared item.

- Travellers who have food, plants, and animal products when they arrive in Canada may choose to throw away these items (with the exception of live animals), without penalty, in conveniently located disposal bins (photo). These bins are in airports in the area travellers must walk through before they enter the Border Services areas.

Around the world in 30 seconds

- The high-impact 30-second "Be Aware and Declare!" PSA shows a Canadian tourist being talked into buying food at a foreign market, only to find herself in possession of a prohibited food item when entering Canada. The PSA underscores the important role that travellers play in protecting Canada's agricultural industry, environment and food supply.

Multilingual, multichannel distribution

- The video is being released today in French, English, and 10 other languages to help inform visitors and Canadians alike.

- Other outreach products include brochures. These are available in 24 languages. They are distributed through international airlines, travel agencies and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) offices across the country.

- Materials are also available on the campaign website


- Every traveller entering Canada has a key role to play in protecting Canada's food supply, human, animal and plant health as well as the environment.

- All undeclared food, plants, animals, and related products brought into Canada by travellers are potential threats to the health of Canadians, and to Canada's environment and economy. Travellers can unknowingly carry these threats into Canada.

- Many different kinds of items can introduce foreign biosecurity threats into Canada. These include items as diverse as:

  • apples
  • fashion accessories, such as feather boas
  • live birds
  • plant cuttings from family gardens
  • potatoes
  • sausages
  • seeds
  • sea shells
  • wooden carvings

- Food can serve as a vehicle and be the source of animal or plant diseases.

- Animals and animal products can carry diseases such as avian influenza or foot-and-mouth disease. An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease could close export markets for Canadian cattle, swine, sheep and other livestock species. Border closures could last for months and the economic losses could exceed $35 billion.

- The economic impact can be enormous. The damage caused by just 16 invasive species of plants and insects—together with the cost of trying to control their spread—is estimated to be a minimum of $16.6 billion a year in Canada alone.

- Even a single incident can pose a serious risk to our plant and animal health. This in turn can endanger our food supply, the agricultural sector, the economy, the environment—and even human health.

Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)

- Travellers and importers can use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) as a first step to help determine import requirements. AIRS is an extensive database designed for commercial importers but it does include helpful import information for individuals who are familiar with product classification systems or by searching by key words or the name of the commodity.

This campaign is a collaboration between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

About the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy.

About the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) contributes to the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada.

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information

  • For more information about this campaign:
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations