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Important information for importers using CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System

The following is provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

This is an important message to help food importers of manufactured foods use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) when they are prompted to select an end use for their imported commodity.

On July 15, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) began updating AIRS’ harmonized system (HS) codes for Manufactured Food Sector (MFS) foods as part of the implementation of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).  There are a large number of updates and CFIA is implementing them on a staged basis to ensure an orderly changeover.

As a result of these changes, some end uses that importers and brokers selected previously in AIRS now require a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence.

Important: If you’re an importer or broker and you encounter the SFC licence requirement in AIRS, you can continue to select the end use that you used previously until a more suitable end use option becomes available in AIRS updates.

During this transition, when selecting an end use where registration type #893 is required, importers and brokers must declare this registration type and can either leave the Registration Number field blank or indicate “No” in the Registration Number field to prevent issues with your transaction.

Reminder: On April 7, 2020, the CFIA announced that importers of manufactured food will generally not encounter delays or disruptions in their imports due to not having an SFC licence.

The CFIA encourages importers to follow the instructions outlined above, as this will help with our efforts to avoid delays or disruptions of imported manufactured foods.

e appreciate your cooperation as we implement the SFCR and update AIRS.  If you have questions, fill out our online form.

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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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