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Export documentation and establishment numbers under the SFCR

On January 15, 2019, the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force, introducing new licensing requirements for businesses that export food. To maintain continuity of Canada’s export activities and avoid costly trade disruptions, it is important that businesses list the right number identifying the establishment on their food export documentation.

In the food export certificate, the number listed in the registration/establishment field needs to match the number that appears on the export eligibility list by country, inspection legend, packaging and any additional support documents (as applicable).

Businesses with existing registrations or licences

If businesses had a registration or licence with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) before January 15, 2019, it will remain valid until expiry. When they apply for a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence, their current registration or licence number will become their unique establishment identifier. Businesses should make sure to add the unique identifier under establishments during enrolment in My CFIA. It is this number that should be entered in the registration/establishment number field of the export certificates as per current practice, and not the SFC licence number.

New businesses in the previously registered food sectors

For new businesses in the previously registered food sectors (meat, fish, dairy, egg, processed egg, honey, maple, fresh fruit and vegetables and processed products) that are applying for an SFC licence as of January 15, 2019, a unique establishment identifier will be assigned by the CFIA. It is this number that should be entered in the registration/establishment number field of the export certificates and export eligibility lists (if applicable).

In the case of multiple establishments or entities identified on the export certificate

If multiple establishments are identified on an export certificate (e.g. vessels, cold storages, slaughter houses, etc.), the number for each establishment must correspond with the establishment identifiers featured on existing export lists to ensure no issues occur at point of entry into the foreign country.

Businesses in the manufactured food sector

Businesses exporting manufactured food (previously non-federally registered sector) where there is currently no existing export eligibility lists will use the manufacturer’s SFC licence number on the certificate of free sale (CFIA/ACIA 5786) in the licence/registration number field.

Visit to access information on food exports and consult the CFIA’s guidance finder: food to seek additional technical and regulatory information.