Trade Regulation Updates

CFIA Updates Requirements for Cheese Imports

March 5, 2018

It is hard to find a food more beloved than cheese. It’s on pizza, pasta, sandwiches, wraps, or enjoyed on its own with a nice bottle of red. With the popularity of cheese and competitive dairy regulations there is constant change in the rules associated with importing the cheese we love.

You already know importing cheese into Canada is not a slice. For personal use there is dairy restrictions. Commercially you need a cheese import license. Tariff Rate Quotas can be placed on dairy. A special import declaration form is needed, and if you miss any of these regulations it is possible to have your goods seized, destroyed, or sent back to the originating country.

The latest Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) change has updated the information required to import certain types of cheese into Canada. Beginning April 3rd, 2018, at the time of import you will be required to declare to CFIA if your imported cheese is manufactured from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk.

The HS Tariff numbers affected by this update are:

0406.10 - Fresh (unripened or uncured) cheese, including whey cheese, and curd

0406.20 - Grated or powdered cheese, of all kinds

0406.40 - Blue-veined cheese and other cheese containing veins produced by Penicillium roqueforti

0406.90 - Other cheese

April 3rd is approaching quickly. If you import cheese and you want to avoid delays at the border, ensure your customs documents include whether your cheese is pasteurized or unpasteurized. This information will be a newly added requirement and all previous import requirements will still be needed.

Next time you are importing cheese into Canada, here is a convenient checklist that will help you with your shipment:

  • Do you have a cheese licence issued by the CFIA?
  • Have you completed the CFIA Import Declaration (Form 4560)?
  • Is your cheese made from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk?
  • Have you provided your Commercial, Proforma or Canada Customs Invoice?
  • If you have quota, have you received your Tariff Rate Quota from Global Affairs Canada to reduce the duty rate?

These requirements can change without notice as Canada Border Services Agency and other government departments update their requirements. If you check with your customs broker or subscribe to our helpful email updates you will always stay privy to the latest in the world of trade. You can also check with the applicable government agency, such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or Global Affairs Canada to stay on top of the import requirements before importing your products.

It’s all gouda, but it could brie better with Pacific Customs Brokers. Contact us for any of your import needs. I know it’s cheesy, but you’ll be in grate hands.