On September 22, 2016, the Government of Canada announced that the Canadian and Chinese governments had approved a certification program for wild rice producers, warehousers and processing facilities looking to ship to China.

Canadian wild rice (Zizania palustris L. and Z. aquatica L.) intended for export to China must be processed, stored and exported by Canadian companies that are approved under this audit-based compliance program administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CFIA Directive D-15-04: Audit-based Compliance Program for the Export of Canadian Wild Rice to China describes: 1) the process for Canadian companies to apply for approval under this program, and 2) the specific requirements that must be met for the processing, storage and exportation of Canadian wild rice in order to meet the requirements of China.

In September 2015, the CFIA and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), officially signed the Protocol on the Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for Exporting Wild Rice from Canada to China.

In order to facilitate exports and comply with the requirements listed in the Protocol, the CFIA has developed an audit-based compliance program. To export Canadian wild rice to China, the processing, warehousing and exporting facilities must first be approved by the CFIA and recognition of this approval must be obtained from the AQSIQ.

The CFIA will conduct:

  • initial reviews of the application and supporting documentation, and evaluation audits of each company prior to their approval in order to evaluate the systems used in the processing, storage, and exporting of Canadian wild rice to China.
  • annual audits of approved companies to verify compliance with the program.

The CFIA retains the option to visit the company at any time to sample wild rice for visual inspection, to review records and to verify compliance.