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CFIA – FAQ on the Proposed SFCR

: General

Frequently Asked Questions on CFIA’s Proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) 2017-04-20

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Regulations are changing.  CFIA’s website now includes answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.
The public consultation on proposed SFCR is closing on April 21, 2017; if you wish to submit feedback before that deadline, click here.
The proposed SFCR would generally apply to food for human consumption (including ingredients) that is imported, exported, or inter-provincially traded (food that crosses a provincial border). It would also apply to food animals from which meat products to be exported or inter-provincially traded may be derived.
The Safe Food for Canadians Act and proposed SFCR would not apply to the following:
  • food for personal use
  • food carried on any conveyance (for example, trains, ferries, airplanes) that is intended for the crew or passengers
  • food for analysis, evaluation, research, or a trade show
  • food that is not intended or sold for human consumption
  • food imported from the United States onto the Akwesasne Reserve by a permanent resident of the Reserve for their use
  • food traded between federal penitentiaries
  • transportation of food, if that is the sole activity of a person. 
The SFCR would also not change any current provincial and territorial requirements for food.
Some of the principal FAQs with respect to the importation of food products, are as follows:
What would be new for food importers?
To import food into Canada, you would be required to:
  • have a license to import;
  • have a written preventive control plan;
  • import food that is prepared under similar food safety controls as food prepared in Canada;
  • maintain procedures and processes for handling and investigating complaints and recalls;
  • have a traceability system in place; and
  • in the case of fresh fruits and vegetables, obtain a membership in the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC), unless exempt under subsection 26(2) of the proposed SFCR. 
What are the Preventative Control Plan (PCP) requirements for food importers?
Food businesses that import food, including ingredients, are responsible for the safety of the foods they import. They also need to take precautions to ensure that the foreign manufacturer is preparing and handling the food in a way that offers the same level of protection as foods produced in Canada. For example, importers must understand the hazards associated with the foods they import, and source from suppliers with food safety controls in place. Importers are also responsible for ensuring the foods they import are handled properly once they arrive in Canada.
To learn more about PCP requirements for food importers, see the draft Guide for Preparing a Preventive Control Plan - For Importers
How would the proposed SFCR affect non-resident importers (NRIs)?
A non-resident importer is someone who has a fixed place of business (not a P.O. box) in a foreign country and imports food into Canada. Under the proposed SFCR, non-resident importers would need to meet the same requirements as an importer residing in Canada, and:
  • have an address (fixed place of business) in a foreign country that has a food safety system that Canada recognizes as providing the same level of protection as that of Canada's; and
  • import the food to Canada directly from the foreign country in which you carry out your business. 
To learn more on the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, click here.

Source: CFIA


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