ARCHIVED - Compliance, Control And Enforcement Framework

This page has been archived

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

PDF (328 kb)

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Objective of Document
  • 1.2 Guiding Principles
  • 1.3 Current Operating Environment
  • 1.4 CFIA Legislative Authorities
  • 1.5 Roles and Responsibilities

2.0 Compliance Promotion

3.0 Compliance, Control and Enforcement

  • Figure 1: Compliance, Control and Enforcement
  • 3.1 Compliance Verification
  • 3.2 Control
  • 3.3 Enforcement

4.0 Communicating Results and Transparency

5.0 Recourse Mechanism

6.0 Review

7.0 Opportunities for Input

Appendix A – Definitions

1.0 Introduction

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is Canada's largest science-based regulatory agency. It is dedicated to safeguarding Canada's food supply and protecting its animal and plant resource base.

The CFIA develops and delivers inspection and other services in order to:

  • Prevent and manage food safety risks;
  • Protect plant resources from pests, diseases and invasive species;
  • Prevent and manage animal and zoonotic diseases;
  • Contribute to consumer protection; and
  • Facilitate market access for Canada's food, plants, animals and agricultural inputs.

In order to fulfill its mission, the CFIA administers and/or enforces a number of federal Acts and regulations that regulate the safety and quality of food sold in Canada, and supports a sustainable plant and animal resource base. Ensuring compliance with legislative requirements is an important factor in the CFIA's ability to deliver on its mandate.

1.1 Objective of Document

The CFIA's Compliance, Control and Enforcement Framework (the Framework):

  • Establishes general principles for applying legislative requirements;
  • Recognizes the respective roles of government and stakeholders;
  • Describes the strategic context in which the CFIA conducts its regulatory activities;
  • Sets out the CFIA's overall approach to compliance, control and enforcement, the principles that guide this approach and the regulatory activities available to verify compliance with legislative requirements, prevent non-compliance and respond to non-compliance;
    • Outlines the approach CFIA takes to verify compliance and/or prevent non-compliance;
    • Identifies regulatory activities available to control situations where products pose or may pose a risk to human, plant or animal health, the economy or the environment; and
    • Sets out fair, predictable and consistent regulatory responses to instances of non-compliance.
  • Highlights key criteria that are considered when determining the most appropriate regulatory response; and
  • Identifies the CFIA's approach to ensuring effective delivery, management and reporting of activities.

The Framework describes the CFIA's vision and approach for facilitating and verifying compliance, preventing non-compliance, controlling risk and responding to non-compliance.

1.2 Guiding Principles

The following general principles guide the CFIA in achieving its compliance objectives:

  • The CFIA administers and/or enforces its Acts and regulations in a fair, predictable, transparent and consistent manner;
  • Inspection staff are empowered to take appropriate regulatory responses;
  • Compliance is facilitated through the sharing of easily understood, up-to-date and readily accessible information with stakeholders;
  • Regulated parties are responsible for understanding their regulatory obligations and demonstrating ongoing compliance with legislative requirements; and
  • Recourse mechanisms are available to regulated parties, including the CFIA Complaints and Appeals Office, judicial review, recourses established in legislation (i.e. Administrative Monetary Penalties Act) and recourses available at common law and/or civil law (i.e. actions in tort, including negligence).

1.3 Current Operating Environment

Canada has one of the best food, animal and plant inspection systems. However, the environment in which the CFIA operates is continually evolving and becoming increasingly complex. Global supply chains are changing the way food, animals and plants are produced, processed, packaged, distributed, transported and sold. Demands for products sourced from a greater diversity of markets and year-round availability have increased the volume of imported products into Canada. As well, there are increased export opportunities for Canadian producers who are required to meet more stringent international standards.

Consumer demands are also changing. Consumers are more knowledgeable and are increasingly demanding more diverse and innovative food choices and more meaningful information on the safety, production methods and sources of these products.

Industry consolidation and large-scale food production are creating opportunities for rapid advancements in production, processing and manufacturing methodologies and technologies. Continual advances in science and technologies are providing a greater understanding of the convergence of human, animal and ecosystem health issues, as well as improving the ability to detect risks to human, animal and plant health.

The CFIA must continue to be diligent in its approach to verifying compliance with legislative requirements, controlling risk to human, animal and plant health, the economy and the environment, and taking appropriate action to respond to non-compliance.

1.4 CFIA Legislative Authorities

The CFIA plays a key role in maintaining Canada's food safety, animal health and plant health inspection systems. The CFIA has a mandate to administer and/or enforce food, animal and plant-related Acts and the regulations made under them:

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act
  • Feeds Act
  • Fertilizers Act
  • Food and Drugs Act (as it relates to food)
  • Health of Animals Act
  • Plant Breeders' Rights Act
  • Plant Protection Act
  • Safe Food for Canadians Act (proposed to come into force in 2015, at which time the Acts listed below, and their regulations, will be repealed.)
    • Canada Agricultural Products Act
    • Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (as it relates to food)
    • Fish Inspection Act
    • Meat Inspection Act
  • Seeds Act

1.5 Roles and Responsibilities

Through the exercise of our core responsibilities, the CFIA works in partnership with consumers, regulated parties, academia, other third parties and various levels of government to:

  • Implement food safety measures;
  • Manage risks and emergencies regarding food, animals and plants; and
  • Promote food safety and systems to maintain the safety and security of Canada's agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sector.

Food safety, consumer protection, animal health and plant health are shared responsibilities – governments, regulated parties and consumers each have a key role to play in safeguarding Canada's food supply and protecting its animal and plant resource base, and environment.

Regulated Parties are responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of their products and processes. They demonstrate their commitment by complying with the law (e.g. legislative requirements) and ensuring that regulated products and associated processes for which they are responsible meet these requirements. Regulated parties also provide the CFIA with input, data and information that is used in regulatory decision-making which contributes to program planning and design.

The CFIA is responsible for promoting and verifying compliance, taking action to control or mitigate a risk and responding to non-compliance. This is accomplished by ensuring that regulated parties have access to plain language, relevant information; verifying compliance through activities such as inspections, surveillance, sampling and testing; and taking appropriate action(s) when a real or potential risk to human, animal or plant health and/or non-compliance is identified. These activities are conducted in the most effective and efficient manner, using rigorous decision-making and implementing consistent and appropriate compliance activities and control and enforcement responses.

The CFIA works closely with several key government departments and agencies that support the delivery of its mandate:

  • Health Canada, to establish policies and standards relating to the safety and nutritional quality of food;
  • Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, its federal food safety partners, to manage food safety emergencies;
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in supporting Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses;
  • other federal departments to manage animal, aquatic animal and plant-related risks and emergencies, i.e. Canadian Grain Commission; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Natural Resources Canada, including Canadian Forest Service; and, Environment Canada, including Canadian Wildlife Service;
  • Canada Border Services Agency, who enforces CFIA legislation at points of entry/border, and clears shipments into Canada;
  • Provinces and territories, who have food safety and animal and plant health responsibilities within their provincial and territorial jurisdiction; and
  • International trading partners, such as the United States and European Union, to demonstrate comparability and acceptance of inspection systems and facilitate market access and trade of Canadian food, animal and plant products.

2.0 Compliance Promotion

Compliance promotion can be broadly defined as any activity that increases awareness, informs, motivates, or changes behaviour, and encourages compliance with a regulatory requirement. Compliance promotion is delivered through a variety of players and mechanisms, both at the CFIA, as well as externally in collaboration with industry, associations, academia and non-government organizations. The CFIA's efforts to promote compliance are integral to its adoption of major regulatory and inspection program changes as they facilitate transition and contribute to improved compliance outcomes.

Regulated parties must take it upon themselves to know, understand and be in compliance with all legislative requirements. Beyond their own responsibilities, regulated parties can provide peer support and guidance, as well as share knowledge and technical expertise with other businesses that may facilitate an improved understanding of their regulatory obligations. These activities help all regulated parties both meet legislative requirements and maintain consumer confidence.

CFIA compliance promotion efforts are focused on preventive actions, including providing access to up-to-date regulatory information in plain language. The main delivery vehicle for compliance promotion products at the CFIA is its website, which hosts information/links to interpretive guidance and tools, etc. The CFIA will post its compliance promotion information (e.g. factsheets, guidance documents, etc.) and interactive tools (e.g., on-line labelling) to its website in a manner that is accessible and searchable for users.

The CFIA conducts outreach and draws on appropriate information channels to promote awareness of new and/or revised requirements through:

  • Engaging regulated parties and industry associations, both formally and informally;
  • Developing and making available guidelines, codes of practice and policies;
  • Preparing and sharing information (e.g., fact sheets, model systems, etc.); and
  • Providing information through social media.

Compliance promotion is integrated into CFIA program design. As part of its annual work planning activities, the CFIA analyzes compliance data and trends to determine priority areas for the development of targeted strategies. Where appropriate to do so, the CFIA engages regulated parties and third parties to develop a response (e.g., information sharing/outreach) to address rates of and reasons for non-compliance on a sector specific basis. This allows the CFIA and regulated parties to work together to continually improve and better target compliance promotion activities.

Where possible, the CFIA collaborates on initiatives led by regulated parties, industry associations, academia, other governments, etc. that complement CFIA compliance promotion goals.

3.0 Compliance, Control and Enforcement

The CFIA's Compliance, Control and Enforcement Framework incorporates a suite of regulatory responses available to the CFIA to verify compliance, control risk and respond to non-compliance.

These activities or responses, supported by compliance promotion, may be undertaken individually or simultaneously, as demonstrated in Figure 1. These activities and responses are defined as follows:

Compliance Verification

The CFIA verifies compliance with its legislative requirements by undertaking a range of inspection activities. The purpose of an inspection is to assess whether a regulated party meets the legislative requirements and conditions of a licence, registration or a permit. It includes a variety of activities using a combination of testing, measurement, examination of individual commodities, animal and/or plants, and/or a verification of implementation of a regulated party's system of controls (Preventive Control Plan) using techniques such as records review, interviews, observations and surveys.


Control action is taken when a regulated commodity or process poses or may pose a risk to human, plant or animal health. The CFIA has a number of regulatory responses available to control or mitigate a real or potential risk to human, animal or plant health, the economy or the environment. These risks may originate from a process, commodity or action by a regulated party that may or may not be in compliance with legislative requirements. Actions to mitigate risk may include quarantine, recalls and restricting or prohibiting the movement of a product. In the event the CFIA determines non-compliance, enforcement actions may be taken simultaneously.


Where the CFIA determines that a regulated party does not meet the applicable legislative requirements, specific enforcement actions is directed at the product and/or the regulated party. Factors such as harm, compliance history, intent and risk are considered when determining the most appropriate enforcement action. The objective is to select the most effective and efficient response to address the specific situation and achieve lasting compliance. Enforcement actions may include one or a combination of the following: seizure and detention of a product or thing; issuance of a letter of non-compliance; actions against a licence, registration or permit; issuance of an administrative monetary penalty; or prosecution.

Click on image for larger view
Figure 1 - Compliance, Control and Enforcement. Description follows.

Description for Figure 1 - Compliance, Control and Enforcement

This diagram illustrates the relationship between Compliance Promotion, Compliance Verification, Control, and Enforcement, as envisioned by the Compliance, Control and Enforcement Policy. The image is in the shape of a circle and is composed of two nestled rings, with an empty circle in the middle. The outer ring is whole and represents Compliance Promotion; the inner ring is further subdivided, showing the relationship between, Compliance Verification, Control, and Enforcement.

Outer ring:
The outer ring represents the elements of Compliance Promotion. These are as follows: "Partnerships in Compliance Monitoring", "Compliance Education/Outreach", and "Collaboration on Tools and Training". Arrows lead from the first element, Partnerships in Compliance Monitoring, to text which explains its relationship to the second element, Compliance Education/Outreach. The text explains that "Compliance and risk trends [from Partnerships in Compliance Monitoring] may inform new or existing regulations, policies or programs, which in turn informs"…Compliance Education/Outreach.

The inner ring:
The inner ring is divided in half from top to bottom, forming two shapes like the letter 'c', which are facing each other.

The right half of the ring represents Compliance Verification, and contains the activities of: "Inspection", "Sampling and Testing", "Surveys", "Reviews", and "Assessments".

The left half circle is further sub-divided. Two letter 'c's' are nestled together, the inner 'c' shape represents Control and contains the words, "Actions to control risks". The outer 'c' shape describes Enforcement activities, these are as follows: "Assess harm, history and intent to determine and implement most appropriate enforcement action".

The two 'c' shapes on the left side of the inner circle, Control and Enforcement, are linked to the right half of the inner ring, Compliance Verification. The relationship between Control and Enforcement on the left, and Compliance Verification on the right is as follows: Compliance Verification can either result in Control activities or Enforcement activities. As a result of Compliance Verification, either a risk is detected or a non-compliance is detected, or both. This is shown by two rectangular text boxes which link Compliance Verification to Control, and Compliance Verification to Enforcement. Where Compliance Verification leads to control, a risk has been detected, the connecting text box contains the words "risk detected". Where Compliance Verification leads to Enforcement, non-compliance has been detected; the connecting text box contains the words "non-compliance detected".

3.1 Compliance Verification

To effectively deliver its mandated programs and activities, the CFIA utilizes a common inspection delivery approach for food and an integrated inspection approach across animal and plant health.

The CFIA verifies compliance with legislative requirements by undertaking a range of inspection activities. These inspection activities can include:

  • an examination, measurement, or testing of products or things such as commodities, animals, plants, establishments and/or conveyances (i.e. truck, cargo ship, train), to determine compliance to a legislative requirement; or identify presence/absence of a plant pest; and/or animal or plant disease;
  • a verification of a regulated party's Preventive Control Plan system to determine whether the controls that have been implemented result in commodities that meet legislative requirements;
  • survey or surveillance activities to gather data and information on the state of compliance of a sector or commodity to identify gaps and trends, or to inform risk-based program design; and
  • import and export inspections to determine whether there is permission for entry or exit of a commodity or entity into or out of Canada.

Inspection activities are delivered according to risk-based priorities (which include compliance data), and could consider:

  • Inspection, surveillance and laboratory data;
  • Environmental scanning; and
  • Recalls and investigations.


There are a number of situations that could cause the CFIA to initiate an inspection. Inspection activities can be part of a pre-determined inspection work plan (i.e. planned activity) and/or in response to triggers (or on demand activities) such as:

  • Complaints, pest/disease, contamination events, or illness investigations;
  • Results of an inspection process or sampling;
  • Information about a potential issue received from a third party, another government department or an international trading partner; or
  • A request for inspection by the regulated party (i.e. for export or marketing purposes).

Inspection procedures provide a systematic way to approach inspections. Inspection activities can include making visual observations, evaluating records, interviewing personnel, sampling and testing. With outcome-based regulations, the inspection procedures provide inspectors with the flexibility to adapt to different situations that may arise during an inspection. This allows the inspector to assess the potential impact of non-compliance to determine whether further actions are required and what those actions will be.

Products entering Canada must meet applicable legislative requirements, including those for safety, nutrition, composition, product identification (e.g. tagging or labelling), packaging and quality, and freedom from pests and diseases as applicable. Products exported from Canada with a certificate must meet all of the importing country's requirements, including obtaining all required documents.

Regulated parties that import products into Canada are responsible for ensuring that the products they import are safe and comply with the applicable legislative requirements. The CFIA conducts reviews of importer records (e.g. recall plans; traceability) to verify that they have the proper controls in place and that their controls are effective.

Regulated parties that export products are responsible for ensuring that the products meet foreign country requirements. The CFIA verifies that the regulated party's preventive control plan was implemented and effective. Once verified, the CFIA issues export certificates to the regulated party.

Surveillance will continue to be an important tool used by the CFIA to determine the effectiveness of industry control systems, the disease/pest status of the country and to measure the effectiveness of various control measures both at the border and domestically.

The results of all inspections are recorded, communicated to the regulated party, and become part of its compliance history. If an inspection or follow-up inspection indicates that the regulated product or regulated party is not in compliance with the legislative requirements, an appropriate regulatory response will be taken.

3.2 Control

Where a risk is or may be posed to human, plant or animal health, the economy or the environment, the CFIA takes action to control or mitigate the risk. The purpose of a control action is to determine the nature and extent of a hazard and inform risk assessment and risk mitigation decisions. These risks may originate from a process, commodity or action by a regulated party that may or may not comply with legislative requirements. Control covers a wide range of activities triggered in response to situations where regulated commodities pose or may pose a risk to human, plant or animal health, or the environment. It includes food safety, animal disease and plant pest investigations, recalls, sampling, and actions to control or prevent the spread or distribution of contaminated food, animal diseases or plant pests. Control activities end once the actions taken to mitigate risk have been effectively implemented.


Control activities may be triggered by information from a variety of sources, including:

  • consumers/members of the public;
  • regulated parties;
  • CFIA inspection findings;
  • laboratory results;
  • private veterinarians; and
  • domestic or foreign governments.

There are a range of regulatory responses that may be taken to mitigate risk. These regulatory responses can also be used to control risk associated with non-compliance. The section below outlines some of the actions available to control risk.


A regulated commodity may be condemned if it is determined to be inedible, i.e. constitutes a health and safety risk or is otherwise unacceptable for human consumption, and will be disposed of as set out in the applicable regulations.


The CFIA has the authority to confiscate, or take possession of a regulated commodity or thing where there are reasonable grounds to believe the thing is a pest, is or could be infested with a pest or constitutes or could constitute a biological obstacle to the control of a pest, or poses a disease risk or could pose a disease risk.


Quarantine is an action taken to prevent the introduction or spread of a disease or pest in Canada by isolating an infected animal, plant or thing. In such circumstances, the CFIA will issue a quarantine notice, which sets out conditions during the quarantine period.

Removal for examination, testing or sampling

A regulated commodity or thing can be removed from a place, including a conveyance, to allow the CFIA to examine, conduct tests or take samples of the commodity or thing to verify that it meets legislative requirements.

Restrict or Prohibit Movement

The movement of regulated commodities may be restricted or prohibited into and out of an infested/infected area for the purpose of controlling the regulated commodity and verifying that it meets legislative requirements.


Recalling a commodity is appropriate when there are reasonable grounds to believe the regulated commodity poses a risk to public, animal or plant health. Where the regulated party is unwilling or refuses to initiate a recall of the commodity, a recall order may be issued pursuant to section 19 of the CFIA Act. In these cases, the Minister may issue a notice to the regulated party selling, marketing or distributing the commodity requiring the regulated party to recall the commodity.

Stop or Start an Activity

The CFIA has the authority to request that the regulated party stop or start an activity (i.e. prepare; process; slaughter; package; manufacture; transport) in order to verify compliance with legislative requirements or prevent non-compliance. The activity would remain stopped or started until the CFIA can verify that the regulated commodity meets legislative requirements.

It should be noted that the control actions listed above may not apply to all programs. For more detailed descriptions as they apply to specific programs, consult the applicable legislation and supporting documents.

Enforcement actions such as inspection reports that identify non-compliance and request that the regulated party come back into compliance within a specified time frame, seizure and detention and actions against licences and permits may also be required when a risk is associated with a non-compliance and to mitigate the risk posed by a process, commodity or action by a regulated party.

3.3 Enforcement

Enforcement actions are taken once compliance verification activities have determined non-compliance. The purpose of enforcement action is - where possible - to compel the regulated party to come back into compliance, and avoid reoccurrence of non-compliance. They can be taken in conjunction with other regulatory responses (i.e. control actions), if and when a risk is associated with non-compliance.

The following section explains the triggers for taking enforcement actions, the factors to consider when choosing the most appropriate enforcement action, as well as a brief description of the various enforcement actions available to CFIA.


Enforcement action is initiated when non-compliance is determined (i.e. a regulated product or thing and/or a regulated party does not meet a legislative requirement).

When non-compliance with the CFIA's legislation is determined, the CFIA has the flexibility to select the most appropriate response to attain compliance, where possible, that include the following factors:

  • Harm - This takes into consideration the seriousness of harm or potential harm related to the non-compliance; such as the potential impact on human health, the animal or plant resource base or the environment, marketplace deception or product misrepresentation.
  • History - The past compliance history of the regulated party is considered along with the seriousness of past non-compliance.
  • Intent - The CFIA considers the intent of the regulated party to commit a contravention or cause harm, such as information that demonstrates the regulated party knowingly contravened the legislative requirements.
  • Risk - This factor represents the overall risk rating associated with the activities performed by the regulated party, and is determined by CFIA.

In addition, consistency in the enforcement response is considered as appropriate. The goal is to achieve consistency and predictability when responding to non-compliance. Similar situations or incidents of non-compliance, regardless of where they occurred, are considered when determining the appropriate enforcement action.

As the various factors associated with non-compliance increase in gravity or significance, regulated parties can expect CFIA's enforcement response to be more stringent.

Description of Enforcement Actions

The sum of CFIA's enforcement response is 3 pronged:

  • Communicating the existence of non-compliance to the regulated party and requesting they correct the non-compliance, where possible;
  • Taking action with regard to the regulated product or thing (where applicable); and
  • Taking action on the regulated party.

Actions to respond to non-compliance may include one or a combination of the following: issuance of a letter of non-compliance; suspension or cancellation of a licence or permit; seizure and detention of a product or thing; issuance of an administrative monetary penalty; or, prosecution.

This section provides a general description of some of the actions available. It should be noted that the enforcement actions listed below do not apply to all CFIA programs. For more detailed descriptions as they apply to specific programs, consult the applicable legislation and supporting documents.

Communicating non-compliance

Inspection Report – an inspection report provides the regulated party with the results of an inspection, and where non-compliance is identified, requests that the regulated party come back into compliance within a specified time frame, after which the regulated party can expect a follow-up inspection.

Action on regulated product or thing

Seizure and Detention - Seizure and detention allows the CFIA to maintain control of a non-compliant regulated product or thing. Seizure and detention of the product or thing can be maintained until:

  • the product is brought into compliance;
  • the court or administrative monetary penalty proceedings have been instituted and the court or tribunal has ordered the product or thing to be returned to the person having possession, care or control of it at the time of its seizure; or
  • the statutory time limitation expires.
Actions on Regulated Parties

Letter of Non-Compliance - A Letter of Non-Compliance may be issued to a regulated party when:

  • the non-compliance has not resulted, or is not likely to result, in serious or critical harm (e.g. health or safety risks to humans, plants, or animals; or marketplace deception);
  • the non-compliance is unintentional and easily corrected;
  • the regulated party has made reasonable efforts to remedy or mitigate the consequence of the non-compliance and compliance has been achieved; and
  • the inspector believes that a Letter of Non-Compliance will have the appropriate deterrent effect.

Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs), where applicable - A Notice of Violation - either a "Notice of Violation with Warning" or a "Notice of Violation with Penalty" - may be issued to regulated parties for violations of the relevant Acts or Regulations.

Actions against Licences, Registrations and Permits - The suspension, cancellation or revocation of a licence, registration or permit is generally appropriate when the regulated party does not or is unable to comply with the legislative requirements. It should be noted that the requirements for taking actions against licences, registrations and permits vary according to the applicable legislation.

Recommendation to Prosecute - The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) has the responsibility for all prosecutions relating to legislation administered and/or enforced by the CFIA. Where prosecution is deemed the most appropriate response by the CFIA, the CFIA will forward supporting documentation and evidence to the appropriate office of the PPSC with the recommendation that charges be laid. It is clearly recognized that the discretion to initiate a prosecution rests with PPSC.

4.0 Communicating Results and Transparency

Stakeholders are interested in learning the results of the CFIA's compliance, control and enforcement activities. These include regulated parties, other government departments/agencies, trading partners and the public. The CFIA is committed to being transparent and in proactively providing the public with useful information, such as the results of the CFIA's compliance and enforcement actions and decisions, in a consistent, timely and easily understood manner. This information helps to support informed decision making on the part of the CFIA and stakeholders. However, stakeholder privacy is protected, as set out in the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.

The purpose of reporting compliance and enforcement information is twofold:

  • To improve compliance rates by providing incentive to compliant regulated parties and deterrence to non-compliant ones; and
  • To meet the CFIA's accountability and transparency obligations.

Compliance and enforcement information is important to the CFIA as it can help to inform program management decisions by identifying areas that require reconsideration (i.e. re-examine a legislative requirements; modify or create compliance promotion tools and/or products; amend policies and procedures). Ongoing review of compliance and enforcement information can help enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the CFIA's compliance and enforcement activities. As part of this framework, the CFIA will continue to explore opportunities to improve its transparency of information for stakeholders.

5.0 Recourse Mechanism

The CFIA recognizes that decisions and enforcement actions may have an impact on regulated parties. There are a variety of recourse mechanisms available to regulated parties which are based on legislative provisions, as well as on common and civil law. Possible options include:

  • Complaints and Appeals Office, which allows stakeholders to register complaints and appeals related to quality of service, administrative errors and regulatory decisions;
  • Board of Arbitration (as it applies to fresh produce);
  • Opportunity to be Heard (as it applies to licences);
  • Appeal to the Assessor (as it applies to animal or plant compensation)
  • Ministerial Review (as it applies to the AMPs Act) of an AMPs Notice of Violation;
  • Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal (as it applies to the AMPs Act and Board of Arbitration Appeals);
  • Judicial Review; and
  • actions in tort, including negligence.

Parties who are regulated by the CFIA have a general right to recourse under the law. In some cases, legislation that is administered and enforced by the CFIA permits specific avenues of recourse related to the regulatory action(s) taken by the CFIA. For example, one recourse mechanism that may be available to a regulated party includes an opportunity to be heard in the case of a cancellation of an operator's licence. Regulated parties should review the applicable legislation to determine what rights to recourse may be available to them.

6.0 Review

Within five years of implementing the Compliance, Control and Enforcement Framework, the CFIA will review the manner in which the framework has been applied by their officials to determine whether administration and enforcement activities have been consistent with the Framework and whether changes in these activities, or in the Framework, are required.

7.0 Opportunities for Input

This framework is a first step in generating feedback on the Agency's approach to compliance, control and enforcement. You are encouraged to provide comments and suggestions on the concepts outlined in this paper.

If you wish to submit a comment or other feedback, please send it:

By email:

By mail:

Strategic Partnerships Division
1400 Merivale Road, Tower 1
Floor 6, Suite 218
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9

Attn: Linda Webster

By fax: 613-773-5606

Appendix A – Definitions

state of conformity of regulated parties with legislative requirements.
Compliance promotion
any activity that increases awareness, educates, informs, motivates or changes behaviour, and encourages compliance with legislative requirements.
refers to non-compliance with the legislative requirements of the CFIA.
any action taken by the CFIA in response to non-compliance.
conducted with a predominant purpose of verifying compliance with legislation enforced by the CFIA.
an individual who has been designated to enforce CFIA legislation, as set out in subsection 13(3) of the CFIA Act.
refers to an Act or its regulations.
state which occurs when a regulated party or thing does not meet the requirements set out in the applicable Acts and regulations.
Regulated party
a person, including an individual, corporation, partnership or organization, which is subject to the legislative requirements administered and enforced by the CFIA.
Regulated product
a food, animal, plant or things that is subject to the legislative requirements administered and enforced by the CFIA.
individual, regulated party, non-government organization or other group who has an interest in the CFIA's work.
Any contravention of an agri-food Act or its regulations that may be proceeded with in accordance with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act.
Date modified: