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CFIA is gradually resuming non-critical inspection activities

On March 23, 2020, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) activated its business continuity plan in order to prioritize critically important services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The temporary suspension of low-risk activities allowed the CFIA to continue to safeguard the health and safety of its staff while refocusing efforts in areas of higher risk and towards activities that are critical to the safety of food, as well as animal and plant health.

The Agency is now in a position to gradually resume some inspection services that were temporarily suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CFIA will continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and make adjustments to its service delivery plans as needed.

The Agency will adopt a risk-based approach to prioritize the resumption of its activities.  The resumption of services will also vary by region, as CFIA staff will need to comply with the provincial and national public health guidance that is in effect where they work.

Industry is encouraged to continue to monitor the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): CFIA information for industry section of the CFIA website for updates to guidance intended for industry.

Please note that the CFIA will begin contacting some businesses to make arrangements for the scheduling of inspections.  In order to support physical distancing, some paper-based reviews may be done electronically and may not necessitate a visit to the regulated party’s premises.

As inspection services gradually resume, industry must continue to comply with all requirements pertaining to food, animal and plants and remains responsible for the safety and quality of the food that it produces, imports and exports as inspection services gradually resume.

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COVID-19 is a global challenge. Keeping our supply chains moving is important for maintaining the health and wellbeing of citizens and businesses. While the Canada - U.S. border is now closed to non-essential traffic, it is still open for trade and commerce. We are committed to doing our part for global supply chains.

We are protecting the health and safety of our employees. They are working from home, except for critical functions that require certain equipment or managing paper/courier flow. In those cases we are following social distancing guidelines.

We are open and available to assist you, and key players in your supply chains. Our dedicated staff are available 24/7 and our brokerage and logistics experts are available to help you make adjustments to your supply chain, if necessary.

We encourage you to check out the government programs available to families, businesses, exporters and importers. And, while respecting the need for social distancing we encourage everyone, including our staff, to reach out and remain connected to family, friends, colleagues and customers.

Stay safe.

Peter Willson
Chairman & CEO
Willson International

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