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Japan Regulation Amendments

The following is provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

On October 3, 2019 Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) issued a World Trade Organization (WTO) notification of a regulatory amendment under its Plant Protection Act to exempt certain plants and plant products from requiring phytosanitary certificates. At the same time, Japan is proposing to enforce its requirement for phytosanitary certificates for certain other plants and plant products, including lumber with bark and logs with bark, for which the requirement for phytosanitary certificates has not been enforced historically. MAFF will be implementing the requirement for phytosanitary certificates as of June 2020.

Processed wood products will not be subject to the requirement for a phytosanitary certificate. MAFF interprets “processed” wood as bark free, whether sawn or not, or whether treated or not. The  CFIA seeks to clarify if bark free will allow a tolerance for bark and to seek alternatives to phytosanitary certificates (i.e., treatment marks, industry-issued certificates for those products that aren’t bark free).

Japan is Canada’s third largest market for the export of forest products and the Market Access Secretariat (MAS) under AAFC/CFIA and the CFIA have started consulting with CFIA operations and the forestry sector on the impact of Japan’s proposed regulatory amendment. Once comments are collected from all sectors, Canada will be submitting consolidated official comments through the WTO inquiry points before the comment period deadline, December 18, 2019.

Jacqueline Van Acker
Act/ Senior Specialist
International phytosanitary standards, Plant Import-Export Division/International Affair Branch
Canadian Food Inspection Agency/Government of Canada
Email / Tel. : 438.843.9876