Law:Fish Inspection Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. F-12

An Act respecting the inspection of fish and marine plants


Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Fish Inspection Act.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 1.



2. In this Act,


« contenant »

“container” means any type of receptacle, package, wrapper or confining band used in packing or marketing fish;


« établissement »

“establishment” means any place where fish are processed for export or stored for export;


« poisson »

“fish” means any fish, including shellfish and crustaceans, and marine animals, and any parts, products or by-products thereof;

“inspection certificate”

« certificat d’inspection »

“inspection certificate” means a certificate of inspection issued under this Act;


« inspecteur »

“inspector” means a person designated as an inspector pursuant to section 17;

“marine plant”

« plante marine »

“marine plant” includes Irish moss, kelp and other salt water plants, and any products or by-products thereof;


« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food;


« transformation »

“processing” includes cleaning, filleting, icing, packing, canning, freezing, smoking, salting, cooking, pickling, drying or preparing fish for market in any other manner.

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 2; 1997, c. 6, s. 52.

Part I. Fish And Fish Containers


3. The Governor in Council may, for the purpose of regulating the export or import of fish and containers, make regulations

(a) prescribing grades, quality and standards of fish;

(b) defining, for the purposes of section 10, the expressions "tainted", "decomposed" and "unwholesome";

(c) respecting the processing, storing, grading, packaging, marking, transporting and inspection of fish;

(d) respecting the quality and specifications for containers and the marking and inspection of containers;

(e) requiring the registration of establishments and the licensing of persons engaged as principals or agents in the export or import of fish or containers;

(f) prescribing the requirements for the equipment and sanitary operation of establishments, of premises operated by an importer for the purpose of importing fish, and of any boats, vehicles or other equipment used in connection with an establishment or in connection with fishing or the import or export of fish;

(g) prescribing fees for registration of establishments, issue of licences and grading and inspection services;

(h) prohibiting the sale or offering for sale or holding in possession for sale of any fish or containers under any grade name or standard prescribed by regulations made under this Part unless all the requirements of this Part and the regulations thereunder with respect thereto have been complied with, or under any name calculated to mislead or deceive;

(i) prescribing the manner in which samples of any fish may be taken;

(j) prohibiting or restricting any export or import of, or any attempt or offer to export or import, any fish or containers unless all the requirements of this Part and the regulations thereunder with respect thereto have been complied with; and

(k) establishing requirements governing the seizure and detention of fish and containers.

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 3; 1997, c. 6, s. 53.

Powers of inspectors

4. (1) Subject to subsection (1.1), an inspector may at any time

(a) enter any place or premises, or any steamship, vessel or boat, or any railway car, truck, carriage, car, aircraft or other vehicle used for the carriage or storage of fish and may open any container that he has reason to believe contains fish;

(b) require to be produced for inspection or for the purpose of obtaining copies thereof or extracts therefrom any books, shipping bills, bills of lading or other documents or papers; and

(c) take any samples for inspection.

Warrant required to enter dwelling-house

(1.1) Where any place or premises referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is a dwelling-house, an inspector may not enter that dwelling-house without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (1.2).

Authority to issue warrant

(1.2) Where on ex parte application a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath

(a) that the conditions for entry described in paragraph (1)(a) exist in relation to a dwelling-house,

(b) that entry to the dwelling-house is necessary for any purpose relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act, and

(c) that entry to the dwelling-house has been refused or that there are reasonable grounds for believing that entry thereto will be refused,

the justice of the peace may issue a warrant under his hand authorizing the inspector named therein to enter that dwelling-house subject to such conditions as may be specified in the warrant.

Use of force

(1.3) In executing a warrant issued under subsection (1.2), the inspector named therein shall not use force unless the inspector is accompanied by a peace officer and the use of force has been specifically authorized in the warrant.

Interference with inspector

(2) No person shall obstruct, impede or refuse to admit an inspector or other person acting in execution of this Part or any regulation made thereunder and no person shall aid or assist any person in obstructing, impeding or refusing to admit such an inspector or other person.

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 4; R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 10.

5. (Repealed, 1997, c. 6, s. 54)

Administering oaths

6. For the purposes of this Part, inspectors may administer oaths and take and receive affidavits, declarations and solemn affirmations.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 6.

Seizure of fish and containers

7. (1) An inspector may seize all fish, containers and other things by means of or in relation to which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that an offence against this Part or any regulation made under it has been committed.

Detention of seized fish and containers

(2) A thing seized under this Act, or the proceeds realized from its disposition, shall not be detained after

(a) an inspector determines that this Act and the regulations have been complied with in relation to the thing, or

(b) the expiration of one hundred and eighty days after the day of its seizure, or such longer period as may be prescribed,

unless before that time proceedings are instituted in relation to the thing seized, in which case it may be detained until the proceedings are finally concluded.


(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence against this Part or any regulation made thereunder, in addition to any punishment imposed, the fish and containers by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed are, on the conviction, forfeited to Her Majesty and may be disposed of as the Minister may direct.

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 7; 1997, c. 6, s. 55.

Arrest without warrant

8. (1) An inspector or constable may arrest without a warrant any person found committing an offence against this Part and shall forthwith take any person so arrested before a justice of the peace to be examined and dealt with according to law.

Limited detention

(2) A person arrested pursuant to subsection (1) shall not be detained in custody for longer than twenty-four hours without an order of a justice of the peace.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 8.

Unlawful alteration of documents

9. (1) No person shall falsify or unlawfully alter, destroy, erase or obliterate any declaration, inspection certificate or other document made or issued under this Part or the regulations made thereunder or any marks placed on any containers pursuant to this Part or those regulations.

(2)�(Repealed, 1997, c. 6, s. 56)

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 9; 1997, c. 6, s. 56.

Tainted fish

10. (1) No person shall import, export, sell for export or have in his possession for export any fish intended for human consumption that is tainted, decomposed or unwholesome.

(2)�(Repealed, 1997, c. 6, s. 57)

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 10; 1997, c. 6, s. 57.

11. (Repealed, 1997, c. 6, s. 58)

Part Ii. Marine Plants


12. The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing standards of grade, class or quality for marine plants and the names or marks that may be used to designate any such grade, class or quality;

(b) providing for inspection, grading and labelling of marine plants, the form, issue and use of inspection certificates, and prescribing inspection fees; and

(c) generally for carrying any of the purposes or provisions of this Part into effect.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 13.

Marine plants

13. No person shall export any marine plant in respect of which regulations have been made under this Part, unless it is inspected, graded, marked or designated, and labelled in accordance with the regulations.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 12.

Certificate to be proof

14. (1) Every inspection certificate is evidence of the facts stated therein and is admissible in evidence without proof of any signature or the official character of any person appearing to have signed it.

Certificate to be attached

(2) No person shall attach or apply any inspection certificate to any marine plant unless the inspection certificate was issued with respect to that marine plant.

Alteration or falsification

(3) No person shall alter or falsify any inspection certificate.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 14.

15. (Repealed, 1997, c. 6, s. 59)

Part Iii. General


16. This Act applies to the shipment of fish or marine plants from one province to another as though the shipment from a province were an export and the shipment into a province were an import.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 16.

Designation of inspectors

17. (1) The President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may designate under section 13 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act the inspectors necessary for the administration and enforcement of this Act.


(1.1) The President of the Canada Border Services Agency may designate inspectors under paragraph 9(2)(b) of the Canada Border Services Agency Act for the purposes of enforcing this Act.

Certificate to be produced

(2) Inspectors shall be given certificates in a form established by the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or the President of the Canada Border Services Agency, as the case may be, attesting to their designation and, on entering any place under subsection 4(1), an inspector shall, if so required, produce the certificate to the person in charge of that place.

R.S., 1985, c. F-12, s. 17; 1992, c. 1, s. 145(F); 1995, c. 1, s. 62; 1997, c. 6, s. 60; 2005, c. 38, s. 116.

Previous VersionOffence

17.1 Every person who contravenes a provision of this Act or a regulation made under it is guilty of an offence and liable

(a) on summary conviction

(i) to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both, or

(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both; or

(b) on conviction by indictment

(i) in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding $250,000, and

(ii) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

1997, c. 6, s. 61.

Limitation period

17.2 (1) A prosecution for a summary conviction offence under this Act may be instituted at any time within two years after the time the subject-matter of the prosecution becomes known to the Minister.

Minister’s certificate

(2) A document purporting to have been issued by the Minister, certifying the day on which the subject-matter of any prosecution became known to the Minister, is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the document and is evidence of the matters asserted in it.

1997, c. 6, s. 61.

Where offence committed

18. Every offence against this Act or the regulations shall, for the purposes of any prosecution, be deemed to have been committed, and every cause of complaint under this Act or the regulations shall be deemed to have arisen, in the place where the offence was actually committed, the place where it was first discovered by an inspector or the place where the defendant resides or is found.

R.S., c. F-12, s. 18.

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