Requesting a Certificate of Free Sale using My CFIA
Applying for an online Certificate of Free Sale via My CFIA is available to licensed food businesses under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) for the following types of commodities at this time:
- manufactured foods
- processed fruits and vegetables
- maple products
- honey products
More information on the eligibility requirements for the online certificate can be found on the Certificate of Free Sale web page.
On this page
- Prerequisites for requesting an online Certificate of Free Sale
- Step-by-step instructions for requesting a Certificate of Free Sale in My CFIA
- Sign into My CFIA
- Create a new service request
- Select application type, provide a name and date of export
- Identify the consignor
- Identify the consignee
- Indicate the destination and transit country(s)
- Indicate business line, commodity and end use
- Identify commodity sub-group; commodity type; and product name
- Country of origin and applicant declarations
- Interview results
- Building the certificate
- Review your application
- Access a copy of your certificate
- Troubleshooting unexpected results
Prerequisites for requesting an online Certificate of Free Sale
In order to request a Certificate of Free Sale, you must meet the following 2 prerequisites:
- have a validated party profile in My CFIA, so you can request services on behalf of a business
- Follow the steps on the Before you sign up for My CFIA page. You can also refer to the Infographic – Get started with My CFIA.
- have a valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) Licence
- Follow the steps in the Requesting a Safe Food for Canadians Licence video.
Step-by-step instructions for requesting a Certificate of Free Sale in My CFIA
Sign into My CFIA
If you've obtained a party profile in My CFIA, along with an SFC licence, you are ready to request a Certificate of Free Sale. To do so, go to the My CFIA home page and click the sign in link. Then choose your secure sign-in method and enter your credentials.
Create a new service request
Once signed in, you will be on the party profile dashboard page. Click on the white drop down box under party administration to select the proper validated party followed by clicking the select button. Scroll down to the service request section and click on the new service request link.
Select application type, provide a name and date of export
On the next screen, you will select the application type. Click on the drop down arrow and select export application, then click on the next step button. You will have to attest that all information you are submitting is complete and accurate and is not false or misleading, by selecting the accept button.
Next, you will be prompted to indicate an application name. Make sure to enter a name that will be easy to search once you've submitted your request.
You will also have to enter the date of export. This is the date that your product will be leaving Canada. The CFIA will aim to complete your export application prior to your date of export but this cannot be guaranteed.
Important notes about the date of export:
- export certificates will not be issued for shipments that have already left Canada
- if you do not have a confirmed date of export, identify the anticipated date
- you can enter a later date of export by modifying your application within the My CFIA portal
- if you need to identify an earlier export date than originally indicated, please contact the CFIA
Once complete, select next step.
Identify the consignor
On the next screen you will identify the consignor. The consignor is the person or organization responsible for the sale and transportation of the goods or products.
First select an operating name from the pre-existing operating name(s) that you identified in your profile. The operating name you select will appear on the certificate as the consignor (that is the name of the exporting company).
Note: you can add a new operating name or edit an existing one by clicking on the manage operating names button.
Next select the consignor address. There are 4 types to choose from; establishment; main office address; billing address; and custom consignor. Selecting the establishment option will result in a drop-down list of your establishments from the pre-existing addresses that you identified in your profile. Select the establishment you want and click the next step button. Alternately, you can identify a custom consignor address and click the next step button to fill in the required information.
Identify the consignee
On the next screen you will provide the consignee information. The consignee (importing company) is the person or organization who is receiving the shipment.
You must fill out all required fields before you can move on (name, country, address lines and city). This is mandatory information required for the export certificate.
Once you are finished click on the next step button to continue with your application.
Indicate the destination and transit country(s)
On the next screen you will select the destination country and any country(s) that your commodity will travel through after leaving Canada and prior to arriving at the importing country. Once you are finished click on the next step button to continue with your application.
Note: it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the shipment meets the requirements of any transit country.
Indicate business line, commodity and end use
On the next screen, you will be asked to enter the:
- business line (select food or plant or animal health)
- commodity group
- end use
Use the available drop-down menus to select the appropriate response for the product you would like to export. Only applications for which all the items have the same business line, commodity group and end use will be accepted.
Please note that the following commodity groups are eligible for a Certificate of Free Sale through My CFIA at this time:
- manufactured foods
- processed fruits and vegetables
- maple products
- honey products
Once you've made the selections, click on the next step button to proceed.
Identify commodity sub-group; commodity type; and product name
On the following screen you will be asked to enter the:
- commodity sub-group
- commodity type
- product name
This screen will allow you to identify all the products in your shipment. Use the white triangles to the left of the checkboxes to reveal all of the next level of choices available. Open the commodity list to the third level before making any choice(s), then you can select the products you need.
To help you locate your product(s) within the tiered set of choices, click on "this link" to open a searchable commodity table. Refer to examples below to see how the searchable commodity table can be used to help you locate your product(s) easily within the tiered set of choices.
Country of origin and applicant declarations
You will now be asked a series of questions that will determine if your export activity is eligible for a Certificate of Free Sale. The topics will include the following:
- gathering information for your export certificate application
- read the information statements provided then click on the next step button to proceed
- country of origin
- product(s) must be manufactured in Canada to be eligible for a Certificate of Free Sale
- applicant declarations
- read the information statements carefully and attest that you have read, understood and agree to the conditions listed
You will now be at the export application – 40% complete screen. This is the end of the interview portion where you are informed about which export certificates are required and if they can be processed online through My CFIA.
If the shipment is eligible you should see a screen that looks like this:
If you do not see a screen like the one above, please refer to the Troubleshooting unexpected results section further below.
Building the certificate
Indicate number of product rows
On the next screen you will indicate the number of product rows required on the export certificate. You will see a table showing the commodity sub-group, commodity type, and product for each product you have identified to be exported.
Under the column heading number (#) of rows, enter the number that you need for each product. The certificate will be created with the correct number of product rows for each type of product.
Next, you will complete the manufacturer selection.
To start, click the add manufacturer button. This will display a new screen showing the licensed facilities associated with your party and it will allow you to search for other parties with establishments. Scroll down to the second table and click on add to successfully add a manufacturer.
The page will then automatically refresh to indicate added with no underline.
If a mistake was made and you need to remove the manufacturer, scroll down the page and click on remove. To finish, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the save button. This will return you to the 55% complete screen where you will click on the next step button to proceed.
Note: for the Certificate of Free Sale only 1 manufacturer may be selected per application. Only 1 manufacturer name, address and licence number will be displayed on the certificate.
Upload supporting documents (optional)
You will then be given the option to upload supporting documents. Supporting documents are not required for the Certificate of Free Sale, so you can skip this step by selecting the next step button.
Modify transportation information
The next screen will ask you to enter transportation details. There are no specific requirements for entering information in the conveyance information field for this certificate. However, you can choose to enter flight reference numbers, seal numbers, container numbers, licence plates of vehicles, or any identifying conveyance information here.
The conveyance type is a required field and must be filled out before you can proceed. The selections to choose from are maritime transport; rail transport; road transport; and air transport. Once complete, select next step.
Note: if you need to leave before you are finished, click on the save and return later button to continue with your application another time.
Enter certificate information
You will now be at the 80% complete screen where you will fill out your Certificate of Free Sale with required information. Click on the edit link to display a new screen with a blank Certificate of Free Sale form.
You must fill out any mandatory information in order to proceed. In order to determine what is mandatory, click the save button to display the required fields in dark gray.
Once finished, select the save button again.
Review your application
The next screen will display a summary of all information you have provided for your certificate. Review the information to ensure that it is accurate and submit the application by scrolling down and selecting the submit button.
Access a copy of your certificate
You have completed your Certificate of Free Sale application. Select the return to dashboard button to return to your My CFIA dashboard where you can monitor the status of your application and print a copy of your official certificate.
You can find your Certificate of Free Sale under the issued export certificates tab.
To access your certificate, click on the certificate number (#).
This will open a screen with a summary of your export application. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on view documents to access a copy of your certificate.
Your Certificate of Free Sale will now open in a new window. To print the signed certificate, select the print button. You can only print the original document once. You can print an unlimited amount of certified copies by following the same steps as you did to print the original document.
Note: make sure that you print your Certificate of Free Sale in colour and ensure that the original certificate accompanies your shipment.
You have now completed the application and accessed your Certificate of Free Sale.
Troubleshooting unexpected results
Depending on the information you provide, your application may not result in a Certificate of Free Sale being issued. There are 3 main reasons why you would receive a failure message on the 40% complete page:
- ineligible destination country
- country of origin not eligible for online certificate issuance
- invalid or inadequate SFC licence
Below is an example highlighting these failure messages in red font.
- Date modified: