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Complaint types

The Complaints and Appeals Office (CAO) does not have the legislative authority to reconsider, confirm, vary or cancel a regulatory decision

The CAO continues to review service-related complaints and may assist in clarifying applicable regulatory requirements and CFIA policies. Regulated parties that disagree with a regulatory decision should continue to discuss their concerns with a CFIA inspector.

Regulatory complaints

CFIA decision challenge
These complaints are lodged primarily by regulated parties because they disagree with a decision taken by CFIA staff. Often these relate to specific operational decisions.
Policy challenge
Unlike decision-specific challenges, these complaints relate to industry dissatisfaction with the overall impact of a CFIA program, policy or regulation.

Service complaints

An external stakeholder alleges the CFIA did not provide a service or a response in a timely manner.
Behaviour/attitude of staff
An external stakeholder alleges inappropriate treatment received from CFIA staff, such as rude or demeaning treatment, the use of inappropriate language, wrongdoing, or poor attitude.
CFIA errors
An external stakeholder alleges CFIA staff has made an administrative mistake (for example, paperwork).
Lack of service orientation (including provision of information)
An external stakeholder alleges a CFIA process, program or employee is not sufficiently focused on providing an efficient service. This includes the provision of information to stakeholders.

Classification of outcomes

Outcomes are determined when a file is closed. The determination is based on the root cause of the issue.

Regulatory outcomes

Based on information gathered during the CAO review, the CAO agrees with the CFIA's original decision or ruling.
Based on information gathered during the CAO review, the CFIA chooses to reconsider its original decision or ruling, usually because new information has surfaced which may impact the original decision taken by the CFIA. A determination of Reconsidered/Amended is also issued when the CAO facilitates a new path forward.


Based on information gathered during the CAO review, the CAO determines that the available facts do not support the complaint.
Based on information gathered during the CAO review, the CAO determines that the facts support the complaint.
The CAO's review of available facts cannot determine whether a complaint is justified.

Regulatory and service

No review/withdrawn
This category is used for requests that do not fall within the scope of CAO, or when the complainant withdraws or abandons their submission at one point during the course of a review.

Note: These definitions do not constitute legal definitions (there are no legal actions associated with these terms). They are based on a CFIA administrative redress policy.

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