Food product imports from the European Union to the USA and Canada

Food product imports from the European Union to the USA and Canada

Are you interested in importing organic food products from the European Union? We offer high-quality, safe products with organic production certificates, including meat – beef, pork and poultry, dairy products, as well as fruit and vegetables. With this article, we want to show you that the formal aspect of importing food products from the EU and the associated procedures are clear, transparent and simple! Read more to learn about trade agreements, procedures and all the paperwork required, as well as tariffs and rules of origin. We hope you’ll enjoy it!


Trade agreements

United States (USA)

Trade between the US and the European Union is based on bilateral trade agreements, as well as bilateral agreements within the WTO. Negotiations with the US on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which envisaged the creation of a free trade area between the US and Europe, have been suspended. The EU is negotiating specific agreements with the US on tariffs on products and goods and on conformity assessment.

As recently as in 2019, the United States were the most important export partner for the European Union – meaning that the US imported the largest amount of European goods in the world.



Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA) – as of 21 September 2017, CETA has eliminated 98 percent of all tariffs on trade between the EU and Canada. As a result, the European Union is gradually gaining more access to the Canadian market, which is now open to European food products and beverages.

What is more, distributors and domestic processors, as well as large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises have an equal number oflicenses for importing food products from the EU.


Procedures and paperwork


United States (USA)

The list of the authorities responsible for matters pertaining to importing food – including meat – into the US market includes the U.S. Food& Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service(FSIS) – a body of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Below, you may find a link to the FSIS website where you can read the relevant legislation in detail:


Conditions for exporting pork and beef to the US from the EU

The lists of entities authorised to export these products to the US market are available on the relevant websites of the veterinary authorities ofthe EU Member States and on the FSIS website at:


Upon declaring import of meat or meat products into the United States, the shipment must be declared by the importer to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the point of customs clearance by filing an import notification and providing a customs bonded warehouse. Once the goods have passed through customs, they are subject to an inspection carried out by theFSIS; however, in order for the FSIS to carry out the inspection, the importeris required to submit the appropriate application to FSIS either on paper orthrough a special electronic system that is part of the Public Health Information System (PHIS). The application should be submitted as early as possible.

The FSIS inspection is going to be carried out in one of the official import inspection facilities designated by the importer in the application. The inspection includes a visual examination, a review of the documents associated with the shipment, as well as – where necessary – collecting samples for laboratory tests, depending on the inspection type.




The detailed information about the conditions concerning importing food products from the European Union to Canada are available on the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)


The basic requirements for importers before importing their productsinto Canada are:

- obtaining an import license from the CFIA; the license remains valid for a period of 2 years The search engine for entities with a license can befound at

- obtaining an import permit from the CFIA. You should check the necessary documentation for the products you want to import in AIRS at:

Importing pork, beef and poultry products into Canada is subject to the laws in the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations, the Health of Animals Act and Regulations the implementation of which is overseen by the CFIA. Before importing products into Canada, the exporting country must be assessed by the CFIA to verify that its national meat inspection system, including its residue monitoring program, is equivalent to their counterparts in place in Canada.Foreign facilities must also be approved by the CFIA before they are permitted to export products to Canada.

Importers of fresh fruit and vegetables must be the members of the Fruitand Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) in addition to holding an import license. Information regarding the DRC membership can be found on the DRC website. The conditions for importand export of the above-mentioned products can be found on the Canadian FoodInspection website: Fresh fruits and Vegetables and Processed Products - fruits, vegetables and maple products

Import of dairy products is covered by the Dairy Products Regulations under the Canada Agricultural Products Act. Each consignment of dairy products must be accompanied by an import declaration. Information on the regulations concerning dairy products can also be found onthe website of the General Veterinary Inspectorate



Tariffs and Rules of Origin


United States (USA)

In order to determine the duty owed, the importer must determine the classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States

The responsibility for the proper classification of goods and calculating the right amount of duties lies on the importer.

Meat exported to the US is subject to customs duties. The current duties are available on the website of the European Commission:







Customs duties vary depending on the product type and category. The Canadian Border Services Agency notifies importers of applicable customs duties and tax rates. Each product has a 10-digit customs classification number.

The current tariff schedule for imports into Canada is available on the Canada Border Services Agency website under the "Import and Export - Import Commercial Goods" tab.


For additional information concerning the rules and procedures related to the customs clearance of goods imported into Canada, please refer to the Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Commercial Goods into Canada


Each consignment imported into Canada must be accompanied by an 'official meat inspection certificate for exporting fresh pork meat and pork meat products to Canada' issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. A template of this document can be found on the website of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate






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