The Greenhouse Certification Program (GCP) has been in place since 1996. The program facilitates the export of greenhouse-grown plants between the United States and Canada by allowing authorized facilities to use an Export Certification Label in lieu of a phytosanitary certificate. The program was revised in 2016 to clarify GCP requirements and identify appropriate phytosanitary pest risk management measures to provide consistent program delivery across Canada and the United States.
To clarify the purpose of the GCP, the formal name of the program has been changed from the Greenhouse Certification Program to the Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program. This change was made in response to feedback from stakeholders who were unsure if the program was intended for the certification of plants or of greenhouse facilities. The formal name change makes clear that the plants are being certified. However, the program will retain the GCP acronym because it is well recognized by the facilities that use the program.
The 2016 revision of the Greenhouse Certification Program was a joint effort of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (APHIS) as a pilot project under the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council. The Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) was created by Canadian Prime Minister Harper and U.S. President Obama in February 2011 to promote alignment of regulatory approaches between the United States and Canada. Renewal of the Greenhouse Certification Program was identified as a project intended to improve certification processes under the Perimeter Approach to Plant Protection Workplan in the Agriculture and Food portfolio.
National stakeholder organizations were consulted on an initial draft of the revised GCP. The comments and concerns identified by stakeholders during the 2014 consultation period were taken into account during the revisions to the technical requirements.