Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ)
Centralization of Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations

What are Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations?

Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations are types of administrative authorizations issued by the CFIA. These authorizations can be issued by the CFIA to a food processor, packer, or broker for the purpose of further processing, re-packing and/or (re)labelling in Canada.

Ministerial Exemptions are issued to exempt products regulated under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations and the Processed Products Regulations from requirements related to container sizes, grades and/or labelling in order to alleviate a domestic shortage.

Permissions to Move are issued to allow unlabelled or mislabelled products regulated under the Processed Products Regulations to be imported or moved from one province to another for labelling or relabelling at destination. Permissions to Move can also be issued to allow unlabelled or mislabelled products to move within Canada for remanufacturing purposes.

Maple Authorizations are issued to permit the importation into Canada of maple products, regulated under the Maple Products Regulations, in containers exceeding five litres or five kilograms, and not compliant with requirements related to grades, standards and/or labelling.

How is the service for these administrative authorizations changing?

In the past, applicants submitted requests for Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations to local CFIA offices across the country. As of October 31, 2016, the processing and issuance of these administrative authorizations have been centralized. Applicants will now submit their completed applications, including required documentation, to the National Service Centre by one of the following methods:

  1. Email: Permission@inspection.gc.ca (preferred method)
  2. Fax: 289-247-4068
  3. Mail:
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Centre of Administration, Permits, Licence and Registration
    1050 Courtneypark Drive East
    Mississauga, ON L5T 2R4

Why is the CFIA changing the service for these administrative authorizations?

The move to consolidate the issuance of Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations is consistent with the Agency's approach to centralize administrative functions. This centralized approach will make more efficient use of the CFIA's inspection resources, and provide stakeholders with predictable and consistent service through electronic channels.

Will this change have other impacts on how affected businesses operate?

There should be minimal impact on the day-to-day operations of industry. Rather than industry sending an application for a Ministerial Exemption, Permission to Move or Maple Authorization to the local CFIA office, applications will now be sent to the National Service Centre. Time frames for issuing Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations are expected to remain the same (in most cases) when working from a complete application. Stakeholders should proactively inform staff responsible for requesting these permissions of the change.

Applicants must still ensure the required documentation is included in their application packages as outlined in the existing guidelines.

Ministerial Exemption Guidelines – Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Ministerial Exemption Guidelines – Apples

Ministerial Exemption Guidelines – Potatoes

Processed Product Inspection Manual Chapter 14 – Ministerial Exemptions

Processed Product Inspection Manual Chapter 3, Section 3.4.3, Movement of Unlabelled or Mislabelled Products

Will these changes impact processing times?

Service standards for issuing Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations will be respected, when working with a complete application, as follows:

  • Two (2) working days for fresh fruits and vegetables; and
  • Five (5) working days for processed fruit / vegetable products and maple products.

What is a Proof of Shortage?

A statement from a reputable source indicating the unavailability of supply for a product regulated under Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations or Processed Products Regulations for a specified period of time.

What are reputable sources?

Reputable sources may provide proof of shortage and can include any entity listed below:

  • known suppliers;
  • producer organizations, marketing boards, commodity commissions; and
  • commercial storage operators (apples).

You may contact provincial departments of agriculture to determine appropriate organizations or marketing boards to contact to request proof of shortage.

How do I send a Proof of Shortage?

To prevent delays, a proof of shortage should be included in your application package. A proof of shortage may be sent directly from the reputable source to the CFIA's National Service Centre. If the latter occurs, we encourage applicants to advise the National Service Centre that this documentation has been sent separately in order to avoid processing delays.

When did these changes take place?

As of October 31, 2016, all applications for Ministerial Exemptions, Permissions to Move and Maple Authorizations must be submitted to the National Service Centre.

Who do I contact for application updates or questions?

Applicants can contact the National Service Centre by telephone at 613-773-5131 or 1-855-212-7695 or by email at Permission@inspection.gc.ca

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