How To Import Meat Into Canada

Your how to guide on meat imports into Canada

When importing meat such as beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or food containing meat such as sausage into Canada, you must know what government parties are involved, what regulations must be followed, and the fundamental aspects of meat imports.

Be careful though! There are certain areas of the world where the animals are more susceptible to illnesses that spoil their meat and in turn can contaminate the food supply. Types of meat products that are highly susceptible to contamination are banned from being imported into Canada.

Parties Involved:

  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Customs Broker
  • Carrier

Main Regulations:

  • Safe Foods for Canadian Act and Regulations
  • Tariff Rate Quota permits are needed for some meat to import at reduced duty

Import Fundamentals:

  • You will be acting as the Importer of Record. Therefore, you are the party ultimately responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the import declaration; as well as, the payment of applicable duties and taxes into Canada
  • Duty and tax must be paid upon importation into Canada.
  • The rate of duty is determined by the tariff of the commodity being imported, the value of the goods and, the origin of the goods.
  • Certain import documentation is required to be presented to the border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Your import may be subject to a customs review, inspection or audit prior to, or after the importation. Additional fees may be levied by the Government of Canada for these services.
  • You are required to keep your import records for six years following the date of import and can be audited by Customs at any point during this time.

FAQ: Meat Imports

What Is An Original Meat Inspection Certificate?
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An Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC) is a document that is completed by the competent authority in the exporting country. It certifies that the meat entering Canada has been processed in an approved facility and that the animals involved were handled humanely as well as ensuring the products meet the required health and safety standards of Canada.
Does All Meat Entering Canada Need An OMIC?
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No, products that contain what is considered an “insignificant quantity of meat” do not require an OMIC. An insignificant quantity is less than 2% meat content. These products require an attestation which states the product has less than 2% meat content and a calculation sheet which shows the percentage of each ingredient that comprises the shipment.

Do All Meat Imports Need Tariff Rate Quota Permits?
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No, some meat, depending on the type of animal, country of origin and how it is processed does not need Tariff Rate Quota permits in order to be eligible for reduced duty rates.

Do I Need An OMIC For An Ingredient Or Broth?
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Yes, if the meat content within the ingredient or broth is greater than 2%. This goes for all products that contain meat or are made from meat such as: soups, chocolate bars, salad kits, flavorings etc. No, if the meat content within the ingredient or broth is less than 2%.

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