04/03/2012 10:16 EDT | Updated 06/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Auditor General's Report: Health Canada Should Help Canada Border Services Agency

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OTTAWA - The Canada Border Services Agency generally does a good job of controlling potentially risky imports of consumer goods, but needs more help from Health Canada to pinpoint some problematic shipments, the auditor general said Tuesday.

In his spring report, Michael Ferguson said the border agency is doing a good job of targeting high-risk shipments.

But it has no formal agreement with Health Canada on how to keep an eye on imports of goods that fall under the department's responsibility, including medical devices and pest-control products.

"Until there is a formal agreement, border services officers do not have consistent instructions on procedures to follow for these products," Ferguson wrote in his report to Parliament.

The agency and the department said they will work together to come up with an agreement to define who is responsible for what in handling imports.

Ferguson also said the border guards do a poor job of documenting their examinations of imports, with 40 per cent of reports either incorrect or incomplete.

The agency said it will tighten its procedures.

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