Fact sheet - Licensing

The information in this document is based on requirements set out in the proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022 (the "regulations"). The information is intended to help regulated parties understand the requirements within the regulations once they come into force. The proposed requirements are subject to change as the regulatory process advances through its various stages. In the interim, current laws applicable to livestock feed in Canada continue to apply.

The proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022 will impact a variety of stakeholders, including:

  • single ingredient feed manufacturers and suppliers
  • mixed feed manufacturers and suppliers (for example, commercial feed mills, specialty feed manufacturers, etc.)
  • rendering facilities manufacturing livestock feed ingredients
  • feed retail outlets
  • livestock producers (on-farm feed mills)
  • feed importers
  • feed exporters

Under the proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022, many feed establishments will need a licence based on the feed-related activities they conduct. This is a new regulatory requirement.

This fact sheet applies to you if:

  • feed is to be sent or conveyed across provincial boundaries
  • feed is to be exported
  • feed is imported for sale

Licences are not required if feed is being made and sold within the same province. Product registration (for mixed feeds) or approval (for ingredients) is a separate requirement. If a feed is registered, a licence would not be required.

The proposed regulations, including the licensing requirements, do not apply for feeds made on-farm by livestock producers as long as the feed is not sold off the farm and is not medicated. If a feed is being imported by a livestock producer, they should refer to the feed importers fact sheet for additional information.

If a livestock producer has a farm that is located in more than one province they will not require a licence to convey feeds to their own animals. If a livestock producer is making feeds intended for sale or export, the regulatory requirements associated with commercial feed mills would apply. Please refer to the commercial feed mills fact sheet and on-farm feed mills fact sheet for additional information.

In all other cases, whether a licence is required or not, the regulatory requirements outlined in the proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022 would still apply. Feeds must still be manufactured under preventive control plans, be safe and effective for their intended purpose, and be properly labelled.

Interprovincial trade and export

You will need a licence if a feed that you manufacture, store, process, package, label or sell will be exported or sent across provincial borders. Note that processing includes further mixing the feed with another feed, or changing its form.

This applies for all types of feeds.

However, a licence is not required under the following circumstances:

  • the feed is registered
  • the prescribed activities take place in a rendering facility that has a permit under the Health of Animals Regulations, or
  • the prescribed activities take place in a grain elevator

Everyone along the supply chain of a feed intended for export or interprovincial trade may require a license.


Imported feeds that are not intended for further sale once imported will continue to require product registration and will not require a license. See the feed importers fact sheet for more information.

The requirement for a licence is based on conducting prescribed activities with feeds that have been imported for sale. If you store, process, package, label or deliver a feed that has been imported for sale you will require a license. This applies for all types of feeds.

If a licence is not issued for a feed that is imported for sale, you will have to register the imported feed.

The licence process

The CFIA's Feed Program anticipates that the process will be similar to the one currently in place by the CFIA's Food Program. At the time of application for a licence, the licensee will need to determine which feeds and activities they require a licence for. A business may choose to apply for one licence that covers all of its establishments, activities and types of feed, or multiple licences that would cover unique combinations of establishments, activities and types of feed. Licences will be valid for 2 years and it is anticipated that the licensing fee will be similar to that of a food licence, which currently costs $250 every 2 years.

It is also anticipated that most initial licences will be issued upon request. Routine feed inspections will still be conducted and non-compliances could result in suspension or cancellation of the licence. However, based on the information received in the licence application, an inspection prior to the issuance, renewal, or amendment of a licence may be required depending on the risk of the feed and compliance history.

Although, you may not be required to obtain a licence to conduct your daily activities, you will have the option of getting a licence on a voluntary basis.

Benefits of licensing

Licensing will enhance the oversight of feed being imported, exported, and traded inter-provincially, and will align better with other CFIA regulations (for example, licensing requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations). Licensing requirements will provide the CFIA with the type of oversight that foreign countries would like to see when feeds are being imported into their countries. This may result in greater access of Canadian feeds to international markets. In addition, licensing will help to identify feed establishments in Canada, and assist in better identifying feed safety risks. Enforcement actions such as suspending or cancelling a licence could be taken to help control feed safety risks when regulatory requirements are not met. The suspension or cancellation of a licence will only take place if there is a significant non-compliance (that is, serious animal health or food safety concerns) and after following a prescribed process.

Licensing will reduce the number of mixed feeds requiring mandatory product registration. Feed establishments that have been issued a licence, will no longer have to register most imported mixed feeds.