Food importers: You need a Safe Food for Canadians licence

Importing manufactured foods into Canada? Then you need a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence.

Starting February 12, 2024, SFC licences will be automatically checked for imports of manufactured foods.

Without a valid SFC licence your shipment will be denied entry into Canada.

What you need to do

Step 1 Get a Safe Food for Canadians licence

Do not wait.

It may take 15 business days or more to process your application, depending on how complex it is.

Licences will not be issued manually at the border

Get a licence

Step 2 If you have a licence, make sure it's valid

Follow these steps to make sure your licence is:

  • active
  • issued for "Importing food"
  • issued for the commodities being imported

Licences are valid for 2 years. You must renew your licence before it expires or you will need to apply for a new one.

Step 3 Your import declaration needs a valid licence number

Make sure your licence number is entered correctly on your import declaration and submit it early to avoid delays at the border. You can submit a declaration up to 90 days in advance.

For customs brokers

Ask the commercial food importers you work with to provide their SFC licence number and make sure it is entered correctly on the import declaration.

For non-resident importers

If you qualify as a non-resident importer, your SFC licence must be issued for the activity "Importing food" and for the commodities you intend to import.

Additional information

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