EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SFCR AS A FOOD IMPORTER / EXPORTER (ALMOST!)
Safe Foods for Canadians Regulation
PART ONE OF TWO:
Safe Foods For Canadians 101: The Basics
The number of other food regulations SFCR will replace
The range of years phased implementation may apply, based on food sector and business size
The International Food Standard SFCR will apply to all food imported, exported, or traded interprovincially
SFCR Fun Facts:
Canada's food safety system is getting a 21st century upgrade. Safe Foods for Canadians Regulation (SFCR) is a science-based improvement that modernizes how we approach and regulate food safety.
SFCR gives Canadians a strong, world-class regulatory foundation that's focused on risk management through three pillars: licensing, traceability, and preventive controls.
What is the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulation?
If you're a food business that imports or prepares food for export, or ships food across provincial or territorial borders, YES!
Does SFCR Apply to You?
January 15, 2019
That's when the Safe Foods for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Safe Foods for Canadians Regulation (SFCR) come into effect for food businesses in the following sectors:
Including birds' eggs in shell, as well as liquid whole eggs, egg whites, and egg yolks
Shell Eggs & Processed Egg Products
Including milk, cream, cheese, curds, whey, butter, and yogurt
Including beef, pork, poultry, and other meat products, as well as hunted game meat
Including fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic invertebrates
Fish & Seafood
Does SFCR Apply to You?
Including all fresh fruit and fresh vegetables (not processed)
Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
Including dried, canned, juiced, cooked, pre-cut, and otherwise processed
Processed Fruit or Vegetable Products
Including liquid, creamed, and comb honey, as well as maple syrup and maple sugar
Honey & Maple Products
What if your food business isn't on that list?
Don't feel left out—
non-registered food sectors have an extra year before SFCR applies!
Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations come into effect for all remaining food business sectors:
July 15, 2020
Unprocessed food used as grain, oil, pulse, sugar or beverages
Food additives and alcoholic beverages
All other food
What if you're a
How will the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulation impact your food business?
As an NRI, your business must be located in a country with a food safety system that CFIA¹ recognizes as equally protective of public health as food prepared in Canada.
The specific food/s you're importing as an NRI are foods recognized by CFIA as safe.
As an NRI, you hold a licence, and are responsible for making sure the food/s you're importing meet all the SFCR requirements that apply.
Visit inspection.gc.ca/safefood for more information on countries and foods CFIA recognizes as eligible to hold an import license as an NRI
NRI-Responsible SFCR Compliance
(Even if those requirements don't apply in the country you're importing the food into Canada from)
(Even if a food comes from a CFIA-recognized country, not all foods from that country will be CFIA-recognized)
(For example, the USA, where the FDA² and CFIA have a Food Safety System Recognition Arrangement)
¹ CFIA = Canadian Food Inspection Agency
² FDA = US Food and Drug Administration
Non-Resident Importers (NRIs)* will be allowed to import under specific conditions:
* Importers who do not have a registered business in Canada
Makes it possible to identify and oversee food businesses across all regulated food sectors
Improves ability to trace unsafe food back to the source and remove it from shelves faster
Helps prevent food safety hazards and keep contaminated or otherwise unsafe food out of the market
3 Key Elements of SFCR
The three-part path to stronger, more consistent and outcomes-based rules
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, "Phased Implementation by Sector and Business Size: Presentation to Canadian Society of Customs Brokers" August 23, 2018
What if your food business is small?
Worried about how you'll navigate not just the licensing, but the traceability and preventive controls the way bigger businesses do?
Even if you fall into one of the January 2019 food sectors, smaller food businesses—as well as growers and harvesters of fresh fruits and vegetables—will have a little more time to comply with some of the more complex elements of SFCR. Check out this Phased Implementation chart to see if this applies to you: