Dec 16, 2016
USDA Creates Certification Program with Canada

The USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has finalized a revised greenhouse-grown plant certification program with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The United States‒Canada Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program (GCP) is a bilateral export certification program for greenhouse-grown plants shipped between Canada and the continental United States.

The revised program continues to facilitate the movement of greenhouse-grown plants between the United States and Canada and allow authorized facilities to ship plants using a GCP certification label (GCP sticker) in place of a phytosanitary certificate. The revised GCP strengthens oversight of plant movement, ensures consistent implementation of the program, and reflects current business practices.

There will be a two-year period for participants in the current greenhouse certification program to transition to the GCP. Greenhouses will be permitted to continue shipping under their existing greenhouse program until the end of the transition period.

Some key changes to the program include the following:

  • The current lists of excluded plants are replaced by a requirement for plants to meet both countries’ phytosanitary requirements;
  • Authorized facilities will prepare and use a written Pest Management Plan;
  • There is a mechanism for items like bamboo stakes which currently require a separate phytosanitary certificate to be included under the GCP sticker.

APHIS and CFIA believe that the improvements made through the GCP revisions strengthen our ability to meet our shared mission of protecting North American agriculture and natural resources. The revised GCP also streamlines the shipping process improving efficiency and providing cost savings to all parties.

For more information about the revised GCP or to view the Technical Requirements document, visit the U.S.‒Canada Greenhouse Certification Program page on the APHIS website.