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Keeping Our Clients Informed and Involved When it Comes to the Proposed Regulations for Certain Imported Foods

The Government of Canada is taking their commitment to food safety one step further along with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) by proposing new regulations under the Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAPA) for certain imported food products.


Canada imports from more than 190 countries and many of Canada’s food products are made from imported ingredients. In an effort to ensure that Canada’s food supply stays safe, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is proposing changes to the regulations that would include having importers develop, implement and maintain a written Preventive Food Safety Control Plan. The plan would outline the actions and measures that the importer will take in ensuring that their food is safe and complies with Canadian legislation. Importers must be able to notify CFIA within 24 hours if they become aware of any product that poses a hazard to the public.

fruit_1All food importers will be required to be licensed. The license will be valid for up to two years and will cost approximately $250.00. Only one license will be required per importer, regardless of the number of products imported. As a condition of the license, however, the importer is responsible for ensuring that their Preventive Food Safety Control Plan covers all the products that they import into Canada under the new regulations.


Separate licenses would allow for a company to continue operating in other divisions if one is found to be non-compliant and it is compulsory that all importers have a fixed place of business in Canada.  In the case of Non Resident Importers, the company must have a fixed place of business in a country that has comparable legislation in place and must be recognized by the Minister.  There is an electronic application available for licenses. Importers will be required to have a preventative control plan, but there are no guidelines available yet with specific information required.


When it comes to food exporters, Canadian and foreign requirements will differ allowing foreign requirements to be acceptable.  Exporters requiring a CFIA certification will require a license and a written PCP.  If the product does not require a CFIA certificate then it is not necessary to have a written PCP – preventative control plan.


According to the Government of Canada’s website, the following proposed regulations would apply to certain agricultural products, as defined in the CAPA, such as, but not limited to:

Different types of importing businesses that may be subject to the new regulations and that may require a license include

Willson International has been actively attending sessions and conferences in relation to the new regulation to ensure that we are informed and involved. It is an evolving subject that will require constant attention on new details that will follow. We have been doing our part in having our clients informed with email newsflashes, webinars and social media posts in order to keep everyone aware about the regulation changes.


There has not been mention of any sort of grace period. It is recommended that our clients comply and get licensed. If they do not, they will risk being shut down.


To find out more about the Proposed Regulations for Certain Imported Foods, please visit:

Angela Collins

Willson International Angela Collins