Importing food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians licence
Currently, importers of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, processed eggs, processed fruits or vegetables, honey, maple and fresh fruits or vegetables are required to hold a valid Safe Food for Canadians licence (SFC licence) to import food into Canada.
As of March 15, 2021, food import transactions will automatically be rejected unless a valid SFC licence is entered in the Integrated Import Declaration (IID). If a transaction is rejected, the SFC licence holder may experience delays and have their related food shipment(s) held at the border until the error is addressed and the import transaction is resubmitted. The information regarding the SFC licence must:
- be declared correctly, without mistakes or typos
- cover the activity of "Importing Food"
- cover the food commodity or commodities you intend to import
For more information on transaction rejections, refer to Validation of Safe Food for Canadians licence to import.
Declaring your SFC licence on import declarations
Follow our tips to ensure that you or your customs broker enter the SFC licence number properly on the import declaration.
There is no fee to amend or update your SFC licence profile. Please review and make any necessary amendments to your SFC licence information using the My CFIA portal.
Please be aware that an SFC licence application or amendment request may take up to 15 business days to process, and can take longer if a pre-licence inspection is required.
Information for non-resident importers
If you are a non-resident importer, you must select "Importing Food" on your licence as well as the food commodity or commodities you intend to import. Do not select "Exporting Food".
The term "export" is not specifically defined in the Safe Food for Canadians Act nor in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. In general term, export refers to sending food from Canada to a foreign state.
If you have any questions or issues with your food import declaration, please contact the National Import Service Centre.
For questions or issues with your SFC licence, please refer to our Food licensing page or or use our online tools:
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