As an importer, you must keep current with the new and upcoming changes in regulatory requirements for all government departments. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), for example, with regard to food and plant product imports, will have some changes. The upcoming changes in regulations include:The Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) is a five year initiative that aims to modernize and strengthen Canada's food safety system and increase collaboration and information sharing among government partners, industry, and consumers in the Imported Food Sector (IFS), as well as provide the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with an enhanced ability to communicate important information to importers to assist in mitigating food safety risks.Imported Food Sector (IFS) products represent approximately 70% of food products sold in Canada. An IFS product is any imported food or food ingredient for human consumption.If you are an importer of IFS products, then becoming prepared for the full implementation of the Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) is a MUST. In the next two (2) years, the FSAP regulatory requirements will be enforced and if you are not in full compliance, you will be unable to import IFS products.New regulations and informed compliance for solid wood packaging materials such as pallets, crates and dunnage. If you are an importer of machinery or other non-CFIA regulated products, your imports will still fall under the aegis of the CFIA due the packaging materials used. Are you and your vendors aware of the upcoming changes for all solid wood packaging materials exported from the United States?To assist importers in becoming aware of the implications and requirements of the upcoming CFIA regulations, Pacific Customs Brokers is hosting a CFIA Seminar on Thursday February 24, 2011. Carol Brown, LCB, CCS, the instructor of the CFIA session, will be providing an update on the latest food licensing and wood packaging materials requirements as well as outlining basic documentation and tips to avoiding Administrative Monetary Penalty System fines. We strongly urge all persons involved in the transportation or importing of wood packaging materials and the importing of food products to attend the CFIA Seminar.For more information on registering for the CFIA Seminar, please email seminars@pcb.ca or contact Yvette Fox at 888.538.1566.

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While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.