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  • Writer's pictureApex Customs Brokers

Importing Food into Canada - a step by step guide

Food imports require additional licensing and registrations, and can quickly become overwhelming. Let us make it easy for you.


1. Admissibility


Ensure your product is admissible by referencing the CFIA Automated Import Reference System




Once your account is created, you will be able to apply for your license online or access information about the license and regulations through your My CFIA account. When applying for a license, ensure that it covers importing food as well as the food commodity or commodities you are importing.



You are required to create a preventive control plan (PCP) which outlines your import plan, details how your imports meet the requirements of import, and your procedure for recalls. Your imported food must be traceable with regards to where it was sourced and to whom it was distributed.



Your import may be subject to one or more Participating Government Agencies and regulations depending on its ingredients. For example, your product could be subject to Safe Food for Canadians License and Tariff Rate Quota as outlined by Global Affairs Canada. We recommend that you obtain a detailed ingredients list and the use of this guide to determine what government agency requirements are required to be met.


6. Labelling Requirements


Your food imports may be subject to specific labeling requirements.


Importing Produce? You will also need to become a member of the Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) and be issued a DRC#.


More helpful resources:

· A step-by-step guide from CFIA can be found here.

· A helpful tool-kit from CFIA can be found here.


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