Trade Regulation Updates

New Regulations Into Force January 15th 2019 For Safe Foods For Canadians

January 14, 2019


The Safe Foods For Canadians Regulations (SFCR) will come into force on January 15th, 2019.

Starting January 15th, 2019, importers of fish will be required to have an import license issued under the new regulations.

If importers are already licensed under the current regulations and the license includes the following statement, it is valid for use as an Import License under SFCR and the importer will not have to reapply for a new import license until it expires.


“This certificate is issued in accordance with the [name the Regulations]. This registration, licence, permit or authorization is also a licence that is issued under the Safe Food for Canadians Act upon its commencement day.” *

*Note: If you have applied for a license in the last year it should include this statement.


SFCR brings some interesting changes to how Imports of fish are handled as CFIA is adopting a risk-based approach to inspections.

Here are some of the changes Importers of fish and fish products can expect to see:

  1. QMPI and Basic Licence cease to exist. There will be 1 license for import.

  1. Shipments can be distributed immediately. There is no longer a need for existing basic license holders to wait for CFIA to advise they can distribute their imports.

  1. Mandatory Inspection List (MIL) and Enhanced Inspection List (EIL) will cease to exist. Product inspection and sampling by CFIA will continue through the ongoing compliance verification by inspectors of importers Preventative Control Plans.

  1. No more Fish Import Notifications (FIN reports) required to be sent within 48 hours of the shipment releasing through customs.


A complete overview of the changes for Fish Importers can be found on CFIA’s website here. As the Importer of Record, it is your responsibility to stay compliant with Customs by being fully aware of your requirements under the new regulations.