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Safe Food for Canadians licence requirement on Food Imports into Canada

As of March 15, 2021, food importers of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, processed eggs, processed fruits or vegetables, honey, maple and fresh fruits or vegetables are required to correctly declare their valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence to CFIA to import food into Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has advised that import transactions will be rejected automatically unless a valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence is entered in the Single Window Integrated Import Declaration (IID). The SFC licence holder may experience delays and have their related food shipment(s) held at the border until the error is addressed and the import transaction is resubmitted.

The following criteria must be met or food import transactions will be rejected:

  1. the importer’s Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence number must be correctly declared, without mistakes or typos
  2. the importer’s SFC licence must cover the activity of “Importing Food”
  3. the importer’s SFC licence must cover the food commodity or commodities you intend to import

Imports of food categorized as manufactured foods such as confectionary, snack foods, beverages, coffee and tea, oils, dried herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, processed grain-based foods such as baked goods, cereals and pasta will NOT be affected.

You must obtain your SFC licence to import before presenting your shipment at the border, as you will not be able to obtain one at the border. If you currently hold a licence, review your licence profile in My CFIA portal to ensure that your licence has been issued for the activity of "Importing" and for the food commodity or commodities you intend to import.

License Validation Message

Useful references for food importers:

Importing food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians license

What to consider before applying for a Safe Food for Canadians license.

Refer to Annex A for more information on food commodities, including examples of the types of food included in each sub-commodity.

Information for Non-resident Importers


SFCR License Requirements_March 15, 2021