Reducing red tape

Food safety and the protection of plant and animal resources are central priorities guiding Canada's food safety regulations. However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also recognizes that we can support innovation and productivity by streamlining regulations and cutting red tape.

As such, the CFIA is working to address the recommendations of the Red Tape Reduction Commission's Action Plan, released in October 2012. In doing so, the CFIA is reducing burden on business and improving service to stakeholders.

The passage of the Safe Food for Canadians Act makes our food safety system stronger and reduces inconsistencies for Canadian food producers. The Act provides industry with clear, consistent and straight forward requirements so they can best meet their responsibility to put safe food on shelves for consumers. A single set of rules will clarify expectations, and make compliance easier to achieve. The CFIA will also maintain a focus on small business and take into full account the impact of regulations on this important sector.

In addition, the CFIA is undertaking a series of initiatives focused on inspection, regulatory and program modernization. These initiatives will

  • reduce regulatory burden on industry
  • streamline the inspection process
  • make compliance expectations easier to understand, and
  • foster a level playing field for industry.

The CFIA continues its important work as part of the Canada-US Regulatory Co-operation Council to streamline regulatory practices. This work is wide-ranging, and includes pilot projects, scientific and technical collaborations, harmonized testing procedures, joint standards, and common approaches to regulations. Efforts to date have generated concrete deliverables and short-term results, and have introduced a new level of dialogue about regulatory cooperation between our countries and our regulators. The RCC will continue to focus on how to secure alignment into the future, and build a closer, mutually-beneficial relationship between our regulators.

The CFIA has also taken steps to strengthen communication and interaction with its stakeholders with a Statement of Rights and Service for Producers, Consumers and Other Stakeholders and six guides to inspection. The statement and guides give consumers, producers and businesses an important tool in their interactions with the CFIA by outlining what the CFIA does, its service standards and what the sector can expect when dealing with the CFIA. The CFIA also launched the Office of Complaints and Appeals to provide stakeholders with a more accessible and transparent way to register complaints, appeals, comments or compliments related to service delivery, administrative errors, and regulatory decisions.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also working on a number of initiatives to reduce red tape. For more information visit Acts and Regulations.