Ahead of the holiday season, the Canada Food Inspection Agency has issued a Notice to Industry reminding businesses and consumers of the requirements when bringing gift baskets into Canada.
Imported gift baskets containing CFIA-regulated commodities such as foods, plants, animal products and by-products are subject to CFIA requirements and must meet commercial shipment requirements as found in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS), such as Safe Food for Canadians licences for importers and applicable import documentation and/or certification.
Goods imported for personal or commercial use may not be admissible for importation by mail or the Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) Program. Goods that do not qualify for the CLVS Program must be imported through the Canadian Border Services Agency’s regular commercial stream.
Whether gift baskets are purchased online or accompanying a traveler, the amount of food they contain must not exceed the maximum quantity limits for personal use exemption.
• Online Purchases for Personal Use
Gift baskets containing food may be purchased online by an individual and imported into Canada from the United States provided they do not contain meat, or they will be refused entry into Canada.
Gift baskets from countries other than U.S. cannot contain meat, dairy products (other than cheese) or eggs, or they will be refused entry into Canada.
In certain cases, imported gift baskets containing plants, fresh fruit and/or vegetables may require additional certification and/or permits for entry into Canada.
• Accompanying a Traveler for Personal Use
Gift baskets containing meat, dairy products (other than cheese), eggs, plants, fresh fruit and vegetables may accompany a traveler into Canada under specific conditions (click here for more details).