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Importing food to Canada: general requirements
Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.
Requirements to import food into Canada apply to all importers, regardless of the food imported. These requirements include the need for a licence, preventive control plan, traceability documents and recall procedures.
- Fact sheet: Importing food
Access a general overview of the import requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).
- Infographic: 3 Key principles for importers
Access a visual representative of the key principles to keeping food safe for importers.
- Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A handbook for food businesses
Get a general overview of the SFCR, including the trade requirements.
- Questions and answers: Importing food
Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to importing food.
Know the requirements
- Regulatory requirements: Trade
Learn about the requirements found in Part 2 (Trade) of the SFCR related to the rules around trading food internationally and inter-provincially.
Learn more about the licensing requirements to import food and the tools that are available to you.
- Preventive control plan
Access templates and guides that have been created to help you understand the requirements for a preventive control plan.
- Traceability for food
Find out more about what you need to have in place to meet your traceability requirements.
- Food safety and emergency response
Learn more about how to handle complaints and food recalls for your imported food commodity.
- Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)
Access AIRS and learn more about import requirements for your food commodity
- Importing food: A step-by-step guide
Learn about the steps you follow to import food into Canada.
- Guide for preparing a preventive control plan (PCP) – For importers
A guide for importers that require a PCP under the SFCR.
- Preventive control plan (PCP) templates – for importers
Templates that further illustrate what a PCP includes.
- Importing food for personal use
Find out more about the requirements for people that are travelling or immigrating to Canada and bring in food for personal use.
- Importation of food and plant products for trade shows and exhibitions in Canada
A guide to importing products intended only for sampling or other free distribution during a trade show, exhibition or similar event.
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