Important SFCR Licensing Information For Importers Of Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Do you have you Safe Foods For Canadians License yet?

These licenses are required to be reported at the time of importation. If you have your license and have not already reported it to your Customs Broker you should do so as soon as possible. If you do not have your license yet, you must apply for it through the My CFIA Portal.

Although, the licensing regulations have been in force since January 15, 2019,  the CFIA has allowed a generous transition period for importers to apply for and obtain their licenses. This transition period has allowed safe and compliant shipments without a valid SFCR license to enter Canada.  However, it appears this transition period is coming to an end.

In the November edition of the CFIA’s Chronicle 360 they have stated:
“As of January 15, 2020, importers who currently require an SFC license and do not have one may experience delays or refusal of entry of their shipment at the border, and may be subject to other SFCR enforcement actions.”

This means that if you do not have your SFCR License you may not be able to import fresh fruits and vegetables after January 15, 2020.   

If you do have your license and it has not been reported to your customs broker to include in the customs entry, your importations maybe delayed as CFIA may reject the customs entry requesting the licensing information be included. 

Background:

On January 15th, 2019, the Safe Foods For Canadians Regulations took effect. 

These regulations require all parties who import, export, manufacture, and trade inter-provincially food products to be licensed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a phased in approach to the licensing requirements, so depending on the commodity you handle, you may be required to be licensed already or you may have until January 15th, 2020, to obtain your license.

See the CFIA’s website for the timelines for licensing.

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About Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS, CTCS, CBSA Professional Designate

Gloria Terhaar has over 17 years of Canadian customs brokerage experience. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadain produce industry.

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.