With few exceptions, those importing food into Canada now or soon (July 15, 2020) will require an import license issued pursuant to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations:

    • The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations issued pursuant to the Safe Food for Canadians Act (“SFCA”) came into force on January 15, 2019.
    • These regulations and the SFCA  prohibit any person from importing food into Canada unless that person holds an import license issued by the Canada Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA“) in accordance with and when required by the regulations.
    • While there are a few exceptions, this requirement applies to most food importers and the food they import.
    • For some foods (e.g. meat, fish, dairy, eggs,), a license was required for imports made on and after January 15, 2019.   For certain other foods (e.g. manufactured foods), the license is not required until July 15, 2020. It is important to review the requirements set out in the SFCR to confirm the timing.
    • Before an importer may apply for an import license, several requirements must be met.  The imported food must be safe, and meet a number of product specific requirements.  The importer must establish a preventive control plan, implement tracing and recall procedures, and in many instances, establish a fixed place of business in Canada.

For more information, or for assistance securing your import license, please contact Heather Innes at 416-350-1234 or heather@lexsage.com.