The CFIA Chronicle

Edition 3 – October 2017

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Take advantage of the CFIA's online services

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Improving service is a key priority, not only for the Agency, but for the Government of Canada as a whole. We've talked to businesses and consumers across the country and, not surprisingly, the common expectation is to have access to secure and convenient online services.

"We live and work in a digital world and the Agency's clients expect service through multiple channels. In keeping with our digital-first strategy, we'll offer services online to the greatest extent possible," says Amanda Jane (AJ) Preece, Vice President of the new Business Development and Services Branch.

My CFIA, for example, is an online entry point that allows people who do business with the Agency to request, manage and track permissions such as licences, permits, registrations and export certificates by signing up for a secure online account.

The platform initially launched in January 2017 with a limited number of services but has expanded and will continue to offer additional services throughout the year. To see what is available now, and what is coming up next for My CFIA, consult the roll-out plan. Sign up for a My CFIA account today to take advantage of online services.

My CFIA joins other online services that the Agency has been offering for several years.

AIRS: An online information tool for importers

It is anticipated that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will increase imports into Canada.  With this in mind, it is important for importers to know that they are responsible to ensure that all information is accurate at the time of importation.  Import permits, certificates and licences cannot be issued once the commodity you're buying has left the country of export, so it's important to know what you need in advance. Without the right paperwork, the product you're importing will be turned back at the border.

The CFIA website offers a variety of information resources about imports, including guidance about whether or not the product you wish to import is permitted entry into Canada.

Our most powerful information resource for imports is the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) which provides up-to-date information about the import requirements for CFIA-regulated commodities.  Because import requirements are subject to change, for instance, due to disease outbreaks or other requirements, it's important to check AIRS on a regular basis. To access the latest information, downloading is not recommended.

We want to hear from you

We value your feedback and offer many opportunities to stay connected with us. One way to provide your comments is through the Complaints and Appeals Office (CAO). Since 2012, the CFIA's CAO has been working to resolve complaints and process comments, suggestions and compliments received from our clients.

"The CAO continues to enhance its feedback process to help the Agency learn about ways to improve procedures and practices. Each year, the CAO shares its observations with different branches within the CFIA. We want to foster a culture of service excellence and continuous improvement across the Agency," says Merril Bawden, Acting Chief Redress Officer of the CFIA's Integrity and Redress Secretariat.

How to submit a formal complaint, comment or compliment to the CAO: Complete the Complaints, Comments and Compliments form. If follow-up is required, the CAO will start an impartial and transparent review of the matter.

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Did You Know?

Ask CFIA is your single point of entry for questions about current regulatory requirements. Since June 2016, over 1500 regulatory questions have been answered. Ask CFIA is available to most food businesses including those in the following sectors: fish and seafood, dairy, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, maple, honey and egg and egg products. Have a regulatory question? Ask CFIA.

Consultation and Engagement Opportunities

Consultation is a key activity of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). It supports open and transparent government. We encourage you to have a look at the complete list of consultation and engagement opportunities, become informed and have your say.

Questions or Suggestions

If you have questions about regulatory requirements or other technical questions regarding your business, visit Ask CFIA.

If you have questions about one of the articles in The CFIA Chronicle or would like to suggest an article for futures editions, email:

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