Reading inspection certificates Part 2: Temperatures and Defects


This is the second of a three-part series on how to properly read a CFIA inspection certificate. The first article described the importance of reviewing all the information contained in the inspection certificate and we focused on the requested and performed dates, information about the applicant, the shipper, and the consignee as well as the location where the inspection is taking place and the product description.

In this article we will review temperatures and defect sections.

The inspector will record pulp temperatures, warehouse, cooler, and vehicle and outside temperatures. In the defects’ section the inspector will list all defects based on the samples taken from the load and in accordance with the Canadian Grade Standard or the US Grade standard for that commodity as applicable.

Defects found will be described in general terms to provide a mental picture of the damaged product. Inspectors will take pictures to identify the type of defect. The pictures taken by the inspectors are not intended to demonstrate the amount of product damaged by that particular defect.

One question DRC’s Trading Assistance Staff is always asked is what does (P), (C), (C/K) or (P/K) mean? “P” stands for permanent defects, also known as quality or grade defects, which are defects that do not change, such as scarring. “C” stands for condition defects which are defects that change over time, like bruises. “C/K” and “P/K” are included when the product is cut to uncover a condition or permanent defect. When possible, the inspector will take photographs of the product.

The columns next to the named defect indicate the average amount of the defects, the range (lowest percentage of defects and highest percentage of defects found on the sampling), and the defect description.  Different from a USDA Inspection report, the CFIA inspection does not include a checksum line at the end of the average percentage of defects. Therefore, to determine if the total average percentage of defects fails or meets DRC Good Arrival Guidelines, Grade, or contract terms, you must add the average percentage of defects per named defect.

On a CFIA inspection, the defect description, while not always filled out by the inspector, could help determine if the damage to the product is considered serious damage as it normally describes in general terms the percentage of the surface damaged by that defect. It is normally the responsibility of the applicant to request the inspector describes the percentage of the surface affected. Click here to see DRC’s Good Arrival Guidelines.

Stay tuned for part 3, where we will review remarks.

Please remember we are here to support and assist our members. Contact the DRC Help Desk with any questions or concerns at:

DRC Help Desk | 613-234-0982 |

Fun fact: Variant just means range in French