North America represents an important outlet market for Italian agri-food production. The Canadian market, in particular, represents one of the most promising commercial centers thanks to a rapidly growing economic context.

We asked Noemi Trombetta, expert in food safety of the multinational ITA GROUP, and author of an analysis published by Italy-Canada Study Center on the subject, to summarize where we are with the application of the new Canadian legislation Safe Food Canadian Regulations.

What are the new requirements for food exports to Canada?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that, from March 15, 2021, food import transactions will be automatically rejected if a valid Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) license is not entered in the Integrated Import Declaration (IID) .

If a transaction is declined due to a missing valid license number, food shipments to Canada will be held at the border until the error is resolved and the import transaction is resubmitted.
You must obtain the SFC license to import before presenting your shipment at the border as, as the CFIA clearly explains, it will not be possible to obtain an SFC license when the products are already at the border.

The new food safety regulation in Canada and its application have an impact not only on Canadian importers but also on one of the sectors of excellence of Italian exports: agrifood. What advice can you give to companies in this sector who intend to export to the promising Canadian market?

The advice is to verify that your importer has a valid license for the “Import” activity and for the food product you intend to export.

You can check the licenses directly in the My CFIA portal to make sure the license has been released. Please note that processing an SFC license application or change request can take up to 15 business days and may take longer if a pre-license inspection is required.

One or more of the following requirements may apply to imported goods: import permit (effective from 30 September 2020); Animal health certificate (effective from December 16, 2020); Importer’s declaration: (effective from 16 December 2020); Transshipment; Transhipment with Canada as a final destination; Transhipment through Canada en route to another destination.

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