Standard Permissions Procedure (SPP) overview


The purpose of this overview is to showcase this Standard Permissions Procedure (SPP) foundational operational guidance document. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is sharing this overview externally in the interest of transparency and CFIA's Openness by Design. The SPP document is intended for CFIA staff use and was developed to outline the roles and responsibilities associated with permission processes. For terminology and references that may be new to some readers, a glossary of terms, acronyms and definitions will be in the full version of the SPP, which is being prepared for posting on the CFIA website. Further information on permissions can be found on the SFCR landing page.


CFIA grants permissions for regulated activities (for example export certification). Permission procedures, both internal and external, have changed with Agency transformation, specifically the development of the online Digital Service Delivery Platform (DSDP). The Standard Permissions Procedure (SPP) provides a common approach and general overview for processing service requests relating to online and offline permissions both with and without Preventive Control Plans (PCPs).

The SPP applies across the three business lines (food, animal health and plant health) under the integrated Agency Inspection Model (iAIM) and identifies the connections, communications and relationships between internal and external users. Complementary documents to the SPP include the Standard Inspection Procedures (SIP) and the Standard Regulatory Response Procedures (SRRP).

The Agency has begun automating the permission process across food, animal health, and plant health business lines. An incremental approach will be used to allow staff and industry time to adjust to the new way of doing business and to minimize any disruption to trade.

How does CFIA process permission service requests

CFIA is working towards a single window approach to permissions. The Digital Service Delivery Platform (DSDP) will support profile users in their requests for services and permissions online. The current offline permissions processes exist in parallel with the DSDP capabilities. Regulated parties seeking permissions for certain commodities can submit requests electronically using their My CFIA profile.

The DSDP will serve as the central system for the Centre of Administration (CoA) in processing import, domestic and export related permissions from My CFIA. The DSDP provides a forum for communication with CFIA personnel to ensure any required technical reviews and inspections are conducted for the approval of permission requests.

How does CFIA receive and verify permission service requests

Permission service requests are processed within DSDP when users enroll and create a profile in My CFIA. Users then have access to permission related information for their use through this portal and will be able to monitor the status of their requests online. CFIA will process permission service requests by alternate means when necessary.

The CoA will respond to administrative queries related to permissions and will verify permission service requests for completeness, accuracy and invoicing/payment.

How does CFIA validate and review profiles

Profile validations will be required for all service requests for individuals, alternate service providers, and organizations who conduct business with CFIA online for the first time. The business' legal name, profile authority name and owner name will be validated.

The CoA service agent will determine whether a technical review or inspection task is required for the approval of a permission service request. Acceptable completion of any required review(s) or task(s) will permit the permission service request to proceed.

How does CFIA invoice for permissions

The CFIA charges fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. CFIA service request application forms generally include the costs for the specific permission services and a method of payment section for the applicant to complete. Payments are either processed upon receipt of the service request or upon issuance of the permission.

How does CFIA enforce permissions

When necessary, an enforcement action may be taken on a permission. Refer to the Standard Regulatory Response Process for more information on the suspension or cancellation/revocation of a permission.