Importing Products under the GROU Program

When to apply?

Import Certificate applications are typically processed between January and October for that year's growing season. Some exceptions are made depending on the product, the crop or the location of use. For example, applications for greenhouse products may be submitted throughout the year.

It is recommended that growers apply at least 30 days before the requested date of import.

Who may apply?

Residents of Canada may apply for a certificate to import, for own-use only, products accepted in the GROU program.

How to apply?

Did you know...

Due to processing times in issuing GROU Import Certificates, it is recommended that growers apply at least 30 days before the requested date of import.

An application for a GROU Import Certificate, with proof of participation in an acceptable container disposal program, must first be submitted to the PMRA for review and approval before a grower can import a GROU product.

Applications for a GROU Import Certificate must include:

  1. a completed, signed and dated application form for a GROU Import Certificate (PMRA/ARLA 6200-01/2011). Application forms are available through the above link, PMRA regional offices or from the Pest Management Information Service
  2. a copy of the GROU approved container label
  3. proof of participation in an acceptable container disposal program
  4. if applicable, the additional requirements for Pursuit 240

Before applying for a GROU Import Certificate and paying container disposal fees, growers should ensure that:

  1. the requested product is an approved GROU products;
  2. the import and use of the product will occur before the product's Equivalency Certificate expiration date;
  3. a supply of any product considered for importation is available; and
  4. that all foreign certifications required to buy the product are obtained (some products may require a United States state license prior to purchase).

Send completed applications to:

The PMRA GROU Program
2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
A.L. 6602C
Fax: 613-736-3540

If approved, the completed GROU Import Certificate will be returned to you.

Expedited Delivery

Should you wish to shorten actual delivery times of your application and GROU Import Certificate, you may send your application to PMRA via courier or expedited mail and include a prepaid, expedited return shipping mailer with your application. The PMRA will use the expedited mailer to return your GROU Import Certificate.

Please contact a courier service or Canada Post for expedited delivery options.

GROU Import Certificate Expiration Dates

GROU Import Certificates will expire as follows:

  • For agricultural products: the end of the current growing season, or November 30.
  • For greenhouse products: one calendar year after the date of issue.

All GROU Import Certificates cease to be valid if the applicable Equivalency Certificate is no longer valid.

Did you know...

Label directions take precedence over expiration dates. The use of the product must cease in regions where the growing season has ended, for example where a killing or damaging frost has occurred.

Purchasing and Importing the Product 

The GROU program is based on the premise that imported product is solely for the importer's own use and that a GROU Import Certificate is issued to one importer and cannot be transferred to another person.

Once you receive the GROU Import Certificate, you may purchase and import the specified foreign product. A GROU Import Certificate may only be used once. Should additional product be required, the importer must apply for another GROU Import Certificate.

Transportation

There are three options for the transportation of goods from the foreign country:

  1. on your own
  2. a small group of growers working together with a designated agent
  3. hiring a customs broker or carrier

For each option, specific documentation is required and explained below. In all cases, the GROU Import Certificate and bill of sale must correspond to the product being declared at a Canadian point of entry. The GROU approved container label must also be affixed to each container.

GROU Import Certificate holders who choose to have assistance with the importation of a GROU approved product must note that all of their responsibilities remain in effect. Please refer to the covering letter. 

At a Canadian Point of Entry

At the Canadian point of entry, all containers must have both the GROU approved container label and, if available, the Directions for Use Booklet attached. Permanently affix the GROU approved container label to each container in such a way that the United States (U.S.) use directions are covered but the product name, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) registration number, establishment number and net contents are not covered. This will avoid confusion between the Canadian and U.S. use directions.

Enter the following information clearly in the space provided on the corresponding part of the GROU approved container label:

  • importer's name, address and telephone number
  • GROU Import Certificate number
  • metric net contents
  • signature and date of signature

The properly labelled containers of foreign product must be brought to the queue for commercial traffic and presented to the Customs Border Services Officer with the original approved GROU Import Certificate. Photocopies will not be accepted.  They may also ask for the original bill of sale corresponding to the GROU Import Certificate.

It is suggested that photocopies of all your documentation be kept for your records should CBSA retain the originals.

On your own

When you drive to the queue for commercial traffic at a  Canadian point of entry, you must have on hand:

  • your original approved GROU Import Certificate;
  • your original bill of sale corresponding to your GROU Import Certificate; and
  • any other documentation required by the CBSA (this may include two copies of CBSA's FormB3-3). Step-by-step instructions on how to complete Form B3-3 is available on the CBSA website.

A small group of growers working together with a designated agent

A small group of growers who hold approved GROU Import Certificates may work together and designate one person to act as their agent at the border. In this situation, the agent will declare all the approved GROU products on behalf of the group.

When the agent drives to the queue for commercial traffic at a  Canadian point of entry, he must have on hand:

  • original approved GROU Import Certificate in the agent's name pertaining to that importation (agent's GROU Import Certificate);
  • original approved GROU Import Certificates corresponding to the products being declared (for the rest of the group);
  • original bills of sale corresponding to all of the GROU Import Certificates;
  • written authorization in compliance with CBSA's Memorandum D1-6-1 that indicates the agent has been authorized to transact business on behalf of another person (usually the importer or owner), provided that it meets the following seven requirements:
    • the names of the person and agent including their business numbers and addresses;
    • a description of the type of business transactions being authorized, e.g. accounting and payment of duties under section 32 of Customs Act;
    • whether the authority is continuous or for a specified period;
    • whether the agent is authorized to appoint a sub-agent;
    • the name, title and signature of the agent;
    • the name, title and signature of the person on whose behalf the agent is acting; and
    • the effective date.
  • any other documentation required by the CBSA (this may include two copies of CBSA's FormB3-3). Step-by-step instructions on how to complete Form B3-3 is available on the CBSA website.

Note

As per Section 32 of the Customs Act, a person may only account for goods and pay duties as an agent of the importer or owner of the goods where the person does so on a casual basis and without benefit of any compensation, fee or charge.

Hiring a customs broker or carrier

If you choose to hire a customs broker or carrier, you are responsible to ensure that:

  • product(s) being declared on your behalf correspond to the original approved GROU Import Certificate(s) and original bill(s) of sale; and
  • GROU approved container labels are affixed to the product container.

Subsequent Importations

GROU Import Certificates may only be used once. Should additional quantities of the product be required, the importer must apply for another GROU Import Certificate.

Importer's Liability

The liability for the importation and use of the foreign-registered product rests solely with the GROU Import Certificate holder. GROU Import Certificate holders are also responsible for the proper storage and disposal of pesticide containers.

GROU Import Certificate holders who choose to have assistance with the importation of a GROU approved product must note that all of their responsibilities remain in effect. Please refer to the covering letter.

Using the product

As with other pesticide products, the GROU approved container label and Directions for Use Booklet provide important information regarding the directions for proper use and application. Note that growers must have the Directions for Use Booklet on hand during mixing, loading and application.

Container Disposal

GROU Import Certificate holders are responsible for proper disposal of containers and unwanted product. See product label directions for product disposal.

Empty containers of products imported under GROU must be disposed of in a manner consistent with existing container recycling programs for registered pest control products. At the time of application, growers will be required to demonstrate their participation in an acceptable  container disposal program. CropLife Canada's Stewardship First industry container recycling program has been identified as an acceptable program for GROU.

Grower groups have finalized the arrangements under which farmers may gain access to CropLife Canada's Stewardship First program for their imported GROU containers.

The web-based system, developed by the Nomination Committee, allows farmers to prepay for the proper disposal of their imported GROU products. Growers must submit this receipt to the PMRA along with their application for a GROU Import Certificate.

General Inquiries

For general inquiries, please contact the Pest Management Information Service.

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