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Mandatory Requirement To Hold Safe Food Licence for Importation

March 3, 2021


As of March 15, 2021, food import transactions into Canada will automatically be rejected unless a valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence is entered in the Integrated Import Declaration (IID). If a transaction is rejected, 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.

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

Please be aware that an SFC licence application or amendment request may take up to 15 business days to process, and can take longer if a pre-licence inspection is required.

For more information on food commodities, including examples of foods included in each sub-commodity, refer to Annex A of What to consider before applying for a Safe Food for Canadians licence.

For more information on transaction rejections, please refer to: Importing food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians licence.