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Overview: importing processed fruit or vegetable products

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This document outlines any requirements specific to importing processed fruit or vegetable (PFV) products. In order to ensure that you will also meet the general import requirements for importing food and the preparation of your preventive control plan, please visit the Importing Food: A Step by Step Guide and A guide for preparing a preventive control plan – For importers.

The specific import requirements for importing PFV can be found in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). AIRS information is updated frequently so prior to importing you should verify AIRS to ensure that the import requirements have not changed.

General information

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates PFV products imported into Canada. The CFIA verifies PFV ensuring it is safe, wholesome and graded according to established standards. The CFIA also verifies a PFV is labelled and packaged according to Canadian regulations and standards to avoid misleading consumers and facilitate orderly marketing. PFV are shelf stable or frozen products and also include refrigerated products which have been processed to extend the shelf life beyond 90 days.

Typically PFV are fruits or vegetables that have under gone processing such as canned, cooked, frozen, concentrated, pickled or otherwise prepared to assure preservation. They include products such as: canned fruit, canned vegetables, frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, pickles, juices, jams & jellies, pie fillings.

Specific requirements for imported processed fruit or vegetable products


Refer to the CFIA web page Food-specific requirements and guidance – Processed fruit or vegetable products to view various guidance documents including:

Preventive controls for food – Processed fruit or vegetable products which provide information on preventive control practices to mitigate food safety risks associated with the preparation of processed fruit or vegetables.

Standards of identity and grades for processed fruit or vegetable products

There are grades and standards referred to in the regulations that apply to specific PFV products. These standards of identity and grades have been combined into a collection of Documents incorporated by reference – Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. PFV must meet the requirements set in the following:

Labelling requirements

Imported PFV products must also meet the labelling and packing requirements outlined in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). The Industry labelling tool is a food labelling reference for industry that outlines the requirement for food labelling and advertising in Canada.

Labelling Requirements for Processed Products outline the labelling requirements specific for processed products.

Organic processed fruit or vegetable products

Imported organic PFV may be certified to the Canadian Organic Standard by a CFIA accredited Certification Body or be certified in accordance with an equivalency arrangement established between Canada and the exporting country. Where an equivalency arrangement is in place, organic products may be certified by a certification body accredited by that country and recognized by Canada. All relevant Canadian legislation would also continue to apply for the imported product.

Any person who imports a product or markets it in Canada as an organic product must be able to demonstrate, at all times, that the product meets one of the requirements set out above and must retain the documents attesting that the product is organic.

For further information about organic products refer to Organic products.

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