Alert: Safe Food for Canadians Import Licence Validation

Trade Update • January 27, 2021

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently advised that effective March 15, 2021, transactions for specified commodities* will be rejected unless the registration number of a valid Safe Food for Canadians licence issued by the agency is entered on the customs import declaration.

SFC Import Licence

The required SFC import license must be valid and declared accurately; involve the activity of “Importing Food”; and cover the food commodity or commodities being imported.

If the SFC licence number is not entered properly on the import declaration, the transaction will be rejected and the shipment could be delayed while corrective action is taken, or even refused entry into Canada altogether.

Note: The SFC licence must be obtained before presenting your shipment at the border; you will not be able to obtain one otherwise.

*Meat; fish; dairy; eggs; processed eggs, fruits or vegetables; honey; maple; and fresh fruits/vegetables.

SFC Licence Declarations

Following a review last year that found the SFC license number being improperly entered on many import declarations, the CFIA prepared a list of dos and don’ts to be followed in this regard, along with an informative handbook for food businesses.

Should your SFC license information need updating, amendments can be made without charge using the MyCFIA portal.

Note: Non-resident importers should ensure that “Importing Food” is selected on their licence rather than “Exporting Food,” which in this context denotes sending food from Canada to a foreign country.

Need More Information?

If you have any questions or concerns about this new CFIA food safety import requirement, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts.

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