On January 15, 2019, the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) will come into force. The SFCR will consolidate 14 sets of regulations into one, including the Fish Inspection Regulations and the food related provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations.
As a food business that imports fish or shellfish into Canada, you need to be aware of certain changes that will affect your business as of January 15, 2019.
What will stay the same for you when SFCR comes into force on January 15, 2019:
- You will continue to be responsible for the food that you import, ensuring that it meets all applicable Canadian regulatory requirements, as well as import licence requirements.
- Your current fish import licence will remain valid after SFCR comes into force, until its date of expiry.
What will change for you on January 15, 2019:
- You will no longer be required to submit a Fish Import Notification (FIN) to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), however, you will need to submit import information, as part of the paper or electronic declaration to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) prior to or at time of import.
- You will be able to distribute a shipment that has been released to commerce by the CBSA. You will no longer need to wait for CFIA notification or approval.
- You will be required to have a written Preventive Control Plan (PCP), which includes a procedure for recall and complaints, and traceability records.
- All fish importers will continue to be licensed, however the two levels of fish import licences (QMPI and basic) will no longer exist. These will be replaced with a 2-year licence with a proposed cost of $250.
- Sampling and product inspections will continue as part of the CFIA’s inspection of your PCP.
What you should do before January 15, 2019:
- Enrol in My CFIA by visiting www.inspection.gc.ca/MyCFIA . This will allow you to request a licence, permit, registration and export certificate. It will also allow you to manage and track your service requests, and pay for CFIA services online.
- Visit the Overview – Importing fish and shellfish webpage for more information on the changes affecting fish importers, as well as more details on how to prepare a PCP, including recall and complaints procedures, and traceability records.
The CFIA has developed resources to help your business build a Preventive Control Plan:
- Please refer to A Guide to Preparing a Preventive Control Plan for Importers and Regulatory Requirements: Preventive Controls.
- To develop a procedure for recall and complaints, please refer to Investigation and Notification, Complaints and Recalls and Recall procedure: A guide for food businesses.
- To develop and maintain traceability records, please refer to Regulatory Requirements: Traceability.
- To learn more about the requirements to import food into Canada, please see Importing Food: A Step-by-Step Guide.
For further information please visit, www.inspection.gc.ca/safefood. If you have additional questions, please contact us at 1-800-442-2342.
From Canada Society of Customs brokers