Safe Food for Canadians Regulations Are Here January 15, 2019

 In Compliance Updates, Importing Exporting

Wooden table top with a cluster of red grapes and cheese board filled with a variety of soft cheeses.Canada is is home to one of the strongest food safety systems in the world. But food production has produced new risks and challenges. Increased speed, increased volumes and complexity create new threats to food safety. Chief concerns are changing consumer preferences and prevention-focused international standards.  Responding to these challenges is critical to maintaining Canada’s reputation as a world leader in food safety. Essentially, helping Canada’s food businesses remain trusted both at here at home and across the globe.The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations will make our food system even safer by focusing on prevention and faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace. As well, reducing unnecessary burdens on businesses by replacing 14 sets of regulations with one. This will help maintain and grow market access for Canada’s agri-food and agricultural sector.

Food businesses will now require licenses to import or prepare food for export or sent across provincial or territorial borders. In addition to preventive controls that outline steps to address potential risks to food safety. They will also help reduce the time it takes to remove unsafe food from the marketplace by requiring businesses to trace their food back to their supplier and forward to whom they sold their products.

How will this affect my business?

On January 15, 2019, many businesses will require a license when the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) come into force.  Not sure if your business will need a license or other SFCR requirements by January 15, 2019? Please visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) interactive tools and timelines. The  SFCR will generally apply to food businesses that import, export or trade interprovincially. Please note that interprovincial food trade is also subject to specific traceability, labelling and advertisement requirements.

A selection of cured meats including pork, pepperoni and sausage on a butchers block.

Food businesses should enroll now in My CFIA and be prepared to apply for a license once it becomes available. In order to apply for a license, businesses will need to attest that they have preventive controls in place. Applying by email or fax for your license? CFIA will redirect you to apply online using My CFIA portal. The CFIA has proposed a $250 fee for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations license.

Please note that if your business currently has a registration and/or license with the CFIA and it is expiring soon, continue your normal process to renew your registration, as needed. Should the SFCR come into force before your date of expiry, your license will remain valid until it expires.

Meat Products and Food Animals

To help businesses prepare for the new consolidated regulations, new and updated guidance documents will be posted on the SFCR website on a regular basis. The following documents are now available:
To help you navigate through the complex compliance landscape (and avoid the penalties that can come from non-compliance), Community Customs Brokers’s team of professionals can provide answers to these and many other pressing questions related to doing business in Canada as an Importer/Exporter.
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