On January 15th, 2019, the Safe Foods For Canadians Regulations took effect.
These regulations require all parties who import, export, manufacture, and trade interprovincially food products to be licenced. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a phased in approach to the licencing requirements, so depending on the commodity you handle, you may be required to be licenced already or you may have until January 15th, 2020, to obtain your licence.
See the CFIA’s website for the timelines for licencing.
Some Importers Provided Transition Period
Although, the regulations are in force and some commodities do require the licence, CFIA has allowed a transition period for importers to apply for and obtain their licences. This transition period has allowed safe and compliant shipments without a valid SFCR licence to enter Canada.
For some commodities such as dairy and meat products, this transition period expired March 31st. Businesses with expired permissions will not be able to import, export or interprovincial trade without a license issued under the SFCR as this contravenes the Safe Food for Canadians Act and its Regulations, and may result in enforcement actions by the CFIA.
Commodities Already Requiring A License
Commodities that require licencing as of January 15th, 2019, are;
- Fresh Fruits
- Vegetables, and
Your Next Step
These licences are required to be reported at the time of importation. So if you have your licence and have not already reported it to your Customs Broker you should do so as soon as possible. If you do not have your licence yet, you must apply for it through the My CFIA Portal.