The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which regulates imports into Canada, has banned all commercial imports of Lulavim, hadassim and Aravos, making it difficult for Jews to observe the customs of Sukkos this year.
Dovid Leib Silverstein, owner of Rodal’s Judaica in Montreal, told residents that the only way for thousands of Canadian Jews to be able to observe the Mitzvah of Lulav is to travel to the United States within three days of Sukkot and bring it back into the country for personal use.
The CFIA website states that Lulavs are allowed to be imported “For ceremonial or religious use during the holiday of Sukkot. Lulavs are for personal use only and must accompany the traveler at the time of entry into Canada. Commercial imports are not permitted.”
The site also states: “A Permit to Import is not required. A Phytosanitary Certificate is not required.
“The authorized period for import is three days prior to the beginning of Sukkot through to eight days following the end of the holiday.
“Lulavs must be free from insect and disease pests. If insect pests or diseases are found on any of the items that make up the lulav, the lulav will be prohibited from entering Canada.
Travelers must state the origin of the willow.”
The Advocacy Division of Vaad Hair – Jewish Community Council of Montreal is “currently addressing the issue of commercial imports of Arba Minim,” they said in a statement. “We will advise once this issue is resolved.”
Update: The ban has since been rescinded.
This report first appeared on the COLlive.com website.