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What to consider before applying for a Safe Food for Canadians licence

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

On this page

1.0 Introduction

The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) is now in force and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has transitioned to a new licensing system that grants licences to a person to conduct specific activities relating to food.

To find out if and when your business requires a licence, use the following information resources:

If you need a licence and you are ready to apply, review the information outlined in this document. It will help you prepare for the application process.

2.0 Getting a Safe Food for Canadians licence

Complete the following four steps to get a Safe Food for Canadians licence (SFC licence).

Step 1: Create an account in My CFIA

The first step in preparing to apply for a SFC licence is to visit My CFIA to create an account and business profile. The licence application is available online at My CFIA.

Through My CFIA your business can request licences and export certificates, as well as set up electronic payments.

When enrolling in My CFIA, you can create one or more profiles for your business. Learn more about setting up your profile on our web page Before you sign up for My CFIA.

Step 2: Determine your licence structure

The SFCR does not limit the number of licences a person can hold. You can operate under a single licence or multiple licences, depending on what fits your business needs.

Before deciding how many licences to request in your application consider the following:

Find out more by watching our videos on single or multiple profiles and applying for a licence.

Examples of different licence structures are provided below. Other structures may be considered.

Example A: One licence to cover all activities and food commodities occurring at one establishment. Therefore, if you operate several establishments at different physical locations, you obtain a licence for each physical location.

Note: This structure is recommended.

Example B: One licence for each activityFootnote 1 (refer to Annex B) you conduct.

Note: This structure is not advisable if you export food.

Example C: One licence to cover all activities you conduct in a certain food category. Therefore you could have multiple licences if you conduct activities on a variety of different food categories.

Note: This structure is not advisable if you export food.

Step 3: Complete the licence application

Now that you are ready to apply for the licence, make sure you have all the necessary details of your business. When filling out the application for each licence, you must do all of the following:

You can find the online application in your My CFIA account, under the Service Request tab.

Keep in Mind

You will need an approved work shift agreement for activities relating to meat products and slaughtering food animals.

Slaughter of food animals and the production of their derived meat products are activities that inherently carry more risk. Because of this, they require regular or sustained oversight.

If you conduct these activities, you must have inspection services and a work shift agreement with CFIA in order to qualify for an SFC licence. The document Regulatory Requirement: Inspection services for Food Animals and Meat Products provides an overview of the regulatory requirements on work shifts, inspection stations and minimum number of hours of inspection.

Step 4: Receive your licence

After you submit your completed online application and payment, you will receive an electronic message indicating one of the following:

In the case of option b), some establishments may have to be inspected before an SFC licence can be issued.

3.0 Amending a licence

Once you have a licence, it is important to remember that it covers the activity, location and food category you have entered in your application, as indicated on the licence. Any time this information changes, an amendment to your licence is required.

This means you must:

For example, if you want to conduct activities in a new food category, you are required to have that new food commodity added to the scope of your licence. You can do that through a request for an amendment. Such a request can be made online and is not subject to any fee.
Refer to Regulatory Requirements: Licensing for more information, including section 4.0 Conditions for the issuance, renewal or amendment of a licence.

4.0 Additional information

Refer to CFIA Licensing for more information on this topic. If you have questions, contact us or call 1-800-442-2342.

Annex A – Food categories identified in the licence application

When applying for a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence, you will be asked to identify the foods you are responsible for by choosing from a list of food commodities and sub-commodities. It is important to select the correct food commodity and sub-commodity so that your licence accurately reflects your business. Examples of foods that fall within each of these commodities are explained in the tables below. You do not need to select categories to cover the ingredients you use in your products. For example, you would not select "eggs" or "dairy" to cover the ingredients used in your "cream filled doughnuts".

The commodity and sub-commodity titles found in the SFC licence application do not use the same definitions found within the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). In most cases, these categories are broader than the SFCR definitions and standards of identity.

Commodity: Dairy

Select this box if the food you are responsible for is milk, derived from milk or contains milk based fats. Milk, milk derivatives, and milk fats can be derived from cows, buffalos, goats, sheep or camels.

Do not select this box if the food you are responsible for includes vegan dairy substitutes for dairy products that do not contain dairy ingredients, such as soy or almond beverages. For these products, select the "Manufactured foods" category.

Dairy sub-commodities

The sub-commodities identified in the dairy commodity can also include milk products that are dried, cultured, condensed, or frozen.

Composite dairy products include dairy products that are mixed with other foods, but still recognized by the consumer as a dairy product.

Dairy substitutes may be used by the consumer in place of dairy products but contain ingredients derived from dairy products (for example, caseinates).

Dairy drinks are a category of dairy based beverages, such as flavoured milk, smoothies and egg nog.

Examples of dairy sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Butter/butterfat cultured butter, ghee, salted butter, unsalted butter, light butter, whey butter
By-products whey, casein, caseinates
Cheese creamed, hard, processed and soft cheeses such as cheddar, creamed cheese, mozzarella, paneer and their products (such as crumbled, shredded, sliced)
Composite dairy products dairy products mixed with other food commodities, such as fruits or vegetables, that are recognized as a dairy product (such as onion and garlic cream cheese, smoked salmon flavoured cream cheese), cranberry goat cheese, cheese balls or logs containing nuts or fruits
Cultured dairy products crème fraîche, kefir, sour cream (includes flavoured sour cream), yoghurt (with or without fruit or other toppings)
Dairy drinks chocolate milk, strawberry milk, iced coffee, milkshakes, smoothies, yoghurt drink, egg nog, buttermilk
Dried milk powder skim-milk powder, buttermilk powder
Evaporated/condensed products 2%, whole evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk
Frozen dairy/novelties ice-cream, frozen yoghurt, ice cream cakes, frozen dairy dessert, sherbet, gelato
Milk/cream whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, 10% cream, half and half, whipping cream
Dairy substitutes dairy spreads, coffee whitener

Commodity: Egg

Select this box if the foods you are responsible for include shell eggs, processed eggs or composite egg products.

While the majority of eggs and egg products in Canada are from domestic chickens (Gallus domesticus) and domestic turkeys (Melagris gallopavo), this category also includes eggs from other species, such as duck or quail eggs.

Do not select this box if the food you are responsible for includes Balut, which is a fertilized duck egg. For this product select the "Manufactured food" category.

Egg sub-commodities

Shell egg is the sub-commodity used for egg products that are still in their shell. These eggs may be pasteurized.

Processed egg products can be in dried, pickled, frozen or liquid form, cooked or uncooked. Processed egg products can be made of the whole egg, or the separate egg yolk and egg white components and may or may not contain other ingredients.

Composite egg products are foods that contain eggs and a variety of other ingredients, but are commonly recognized by consumers as a food that is egg-based.

Examples of egg sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Composite egg products eggs mixed with other commodities (such as dairy and vegetables) and recognized as an egg product such as frozen breakfast egg sandwiches, egg salad, egg salad mixed with potatoes and vegetables, omelette mix, quiche, egg patties
Processed eggs dried, frozen, liquid eggs (whole eggs, egg whites and egg yolks), hard boiled eggs, pickled eggs
Shell eggs graded eggs and eggs pasteurized in shell

Commodity: Fish and seafood

Select this box if the food you are responsible for is a fish or seafood or any marine mammals, amphibians or reptiles.

Fish and seafood sub-commodities

Chordates is a sub-commodity used for sharks, skates (rays) and their by-products.

Finfish is a sub-commodity that also includes non-finfish species, such as cuttlefish, octopus and squid.

Foods derived from amphibians, reptiles, and marine mammals, including their by-products, are included in these two sub-categories.

Composite fish and seafood products include a wide variety of foods that contain fish or seafood products mixed with other foods but are commonly recognized by consumers as a food that is fish or seafood based.

Examples of fish and seafood sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Amphibians (and reptiles) alligators, crocodiles, frogs, snakes any of their parts and products
Chordates sharks, skates (rays), any of their parts, products and by-products
Composite fish and seafood products fish and seafood products mixed with other food commodities (such as dairy, vegetables and grain products) and recognized as a fish product such as shrimp rolls, shrimp spring rolls, sushi rolls, fish cakes, seafood lasagna, shrimp pad thai, lobster mac and cheese, seafood chowder, fish sauce, seafood or fish stuffing
Crustaceans lobsters, crabs, shrimp, crayfish, crawfish, rock lobsters, scampi, any of their parts, products and by-products such as cooked whole lobster, cooked crabmeat, cooked lobster claws, cooked shrimp, canned crabmeat, lobster cocktail, lobster tomalley, lobster paste, breaded shrimp, shrimp cocktail, barnacles
Echinoderms  sea urchins and sea cucumbers, any of their parts, products and by-products
Finfish ground fish and flat fish such as anchovy, basa, catfish, cod, croaker, eels, flounder, gourami, haddock, halibut, hake, herring, kingfish, mackerel, mudfish, mullet, perch, pickerel, pike, pollock, rockfish, salmon, sardine, scad, seabass, seabream, smelt, snapper, sole, sturgeon, tilapia, trout, tuna, turbot, wahoo, walleye and whiting
finfish products and by-products such as caviar, fish eggs, fish sticks, kamaboko, minced fish, smoked salmon and surimi
this category also includes fish that don't have fins such as cuttlefish, octopus, squid, any of their parts
Gastropods abalone, conches, loco, periwinkles, snails, whelks, any of their parts and products
Marine mammals seals, whales, any of their parts, products and by-products (such as seal oil)
Bivalve molluscs clams, cockles, geoducks, mussels, oysters, scallops, any of their parts, products and by-products such as breaded scallops, canned baby clams, canned oysters, cooked mussels, frozen scallop meat

Commodity: Fresh fruits and vegetables

Select this box if the food you are responsible for includes fresh fruits or vegetables that are whole, washed, sliced, peeled, grated or cut.

It is important to distinguish this category from the "Processed Fruits or Vegetables" category. Generally, a fruit or vegetable is considered "fresh" and not "processed" if it can degrade or rot during storage (dry storage or refrigerated).

Do not select this box if the food you are responsible for includes dried herbs. For this product select the "Manufactured Foods" category.

Do not select this box if the food you are responsible for includes fruits or vegetables that have been further processed. For this product select the "Processed fruits or vegetables" category.

Examples of fresh fruits or vegetables sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Fresh fruits whole, washed, sliced, cored, peeled, grated, chopped or cut fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, berries, citrus, melons, pineapples, rhubarb, peaches and plums, fresh fruit products (such as fresh fruit salad)
Fresh vegetables whole, washed, sliced, peeled, grated or cut broccoli, cauliflower, fresh herbs, leafy vegetables (such as bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, rapini, spinach), mushrooms, root vegetables (such as garlic, ginger, onion, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips), sprouts and fresh vegetable products (such as prepared salads and salad kits)

Commodity: Honey and honey products

Select this box if the food you are responsible is honey or honey products. All honey and honey products fall under this single commodity box. These foods may or may not be subject to standards of identity or grades set out in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and Food and Drug Regulations.

The foods found in the honey sub-commodities may contain other ingredients but are still recognized by the consumer as a honey product.

Examples of honey and honey products sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Honey and honey products liquid raw or pasteurized honey, whipped honey spread, honey in the comb

Commodity: Manufactured foods

Select this box if the food you are responsible for is an alcoholic beverage, non-alcoholic beverage, confectionary, sweeteners, snack food, fats, oils, food chemical, a food derived from grains, infant food, nuts, seeds, spices, herbs, seasoning or condiment.

Manufactured foods sub-commodities

Alcoholic beverage is the sub-commodity used for all beverages that contain more than 0.5% absolute ethyl alcohol by volume. Mixed alcoholic beverages, aperitifs and liqueurs are included in this category.

Confectionary, sweeteners, snack foods and non-bakery desserts is a sub-commodity that includes a wide variety of foods. This sub-commodity is used for candies, sweets, and gum. It includes sweeteners like sugar, molasses and corn syrup and non-dairy based iced novelties such as popsicles and freezies. Snack foods include potato chips and corn chips. Desserts included in this category are sugar-based desserts.

Do not select this box for grain-based desserts. Grain-based desserts are part of the "Grain derived foods" category.

Fats and oils derived from plants are found in this sub-commodity category.

Do not select this box for animal based fats and oils (rendered fat, suet, lard/shortening, tallow, etc). Animal based fats are found in the Meat and poultry products commodity list.

Food chemicals are often used as food ingredients; they are not typically consumed on their own. This category includes food chemicals used for vitamins, minerals, artificial sweeteners, food additives and many other uses. Food additives are considered to be those listed on Health Canada's Lists of permitted food additives. Please note this category does not include stand-alone vitamin or mineral supplements such as those sold in pill form, but rather those vitamins and minerals produced as ingredients or additives to food.

"Foods not otherwise listed" is the sub-commodity used for foods that cannot be categorized into the other sub-commodities listed under "Manufactured foods". It includes foods made from insects, such as cricket flour, dried mealworms and roasted crickets. Foods such as collagen casings, gelatins, and balut are in this sub-commodity.

Grain derived foods is a category used for foods that are made from processed grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, barley or corn. Foods made from processed grains include a wide variety of pastas, cereals, and breads, as well as a variety of grain-based desserts such as cakes, cookies, pastries, pies and muffins.

Infant foods include infant formula (either dairy-based formula, or non-dairy based formula), such as ready to serve liquid formulas, concentrated liquid formulas, or powdered formula products that can be blended with water and/or milk before consumption.

Do not select this box for foods for infants that consist of other commodity groups.

For example:

Multiple foods is the sub-commodity that contains food made from multiple commodities, such as vegetarian pizza or sandwiches that do not contain meat. This sub-commodity also includes foods used in liquid diets, meal replacements, protein drinks and nutritional supplements.

Do not select this box for foods that contain more than 2% meat ingredients. For foods containing a significant quantity of meat ingredients select the "Composite meat products" category.

Do not select this box for natural health products. Natural health products are not subject to the SFCR.

Non-alcoholic beverages include a wide variety of drinks. These beverages can be made from soy, coconuts, coffee, or tea. It also includes dry powders or liquid flavour concentrates that are intended to be added to liquid to make a non-alcoholic beverage. This sub-commodity also includes soft drinks, carbonated drinks, and water (including flavoured water).

Do not select this box for non-alcoholic beverages made from fruits or vegetables, such as juice, concentrated juice, or frozen concentrated juice. These foods can be found in the "Processed fruits or vegetables" category.

Nuts, grains, seeds can be raw, roasted, seasoned, or smoked. This sub-commodity also includes foods made from processing nuts, grains or seeds into other products, such as nut butters, ground seeds, or vegan substitutes.

Spices, herbs, flavours, condiments, dressings is the sub-commodity for foods that are typically used to complement, season or add flavour to another food. They can be used as an ingredient in a food, added after a food is prepared, or used to accompany a food (for example, in a sauce). Spices are typically derived from flowers, seeds, fruits, roots, bark or nuts of a plant. Herbs are the dried leaves of herbaceous plants.

Do not select this box for fresh herbs. For these foods use the "Fresh fruits or vegetables" category.

Do not select this box for ketchup, chutneys and other diced or pureed fruits and vegetables. For these products use the "Processed fruits or vegetables" category.

Vegan dairy substitutes is the sub-commodity for foods which are suitable for a vegan diet. These foods do not contain dairy products or dairy derivatives, such as soy cheeses and coconut yogurt.

Examples of manufactured foods sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Alcoholic beverages aperitifs, beer, ciders, liqueurs, pre-mixed drinks, spirits, wine (fortified grape or non-grape)
Confectionary, sweeteners, snack foods (containing or not containing nuts), non-bakery desserts candies, chocolates (such as cocoa powder), cake decorations, marshmallows, corn syrup, birch syrup, table syrup, gum, molasses, sugar, sweets, dried coconut (sweetened or unsweetened), popcorn, gelatin desserts, custard (including dry mix), frosting, popsicles, freezies, potato chips, corn chips, pudding (including dry mix)
Fats and oils fats and oils obtained from plants, such as avocado oil, canola oil, coconut oil, corn oil, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, margarine, vegetable shortening
Food chemicals amino acids, vitamins, minerals, flavour enhancers, food additives (such as anticaking agents, artificial sweeteners, colouring agents, dough conditioning agents, emulsifying agents, firming agents, food enzymes, glazing agents, pH adjusting agents, preservatives, sequestering agents), food grade alcohol, malt extract, baking soda, baking powder
Foods not otherwise listed cricket flour, dried mealworms, roasted crickets, balut, collagen casings, seaweeds and algae, yeast, ice, granita, konjac noodles
Grain derived foods barley flour, breads, bread products (chapatti, bagels, rusks), cakes, cereal, pasta (fresh, frozen or dried), cookies, croissants, doughnuts, dried grains, instant oats, millet, muffins, rice, wheat germ, tart or pie shells, pastries, alimentary paste, corn starch, pitas, tortillas, pizza shells, pizza crusts, cake mixes
Infant foods ready to serve liquid formulas, concentrated liquid formulas, powdered liquid formula products
Multiple Foods nutritional supplements, protein drinks, sports nutrition, prepared vegetarian meals, sandwiches, formulated liquid diets, meal replacements, vegetarian pizza (frozen or refrigerated), perogies, vegetarian samosas, vegetable soups
Non-alcoholic beverages carbonated beverages, flavoured water, coffee, tea, kombucha, coconut water, soy beverages, soft drinks, drink powders or liquid fruit flavour concentrates for making drinks
Nuts, grains, seeds raw, roasted, salted, smoked nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and their products (such as peanut butter, almond butter, almond milk, tree nut butters
seeds such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa, sesame seeds and their products (such as ground flax seeds, soy nut butter, sunflower seed butter), tahini, tofu, vegan cheese made from cashews, dried lentils
Spices, herbs, flavours, condiments, dressings dried herbs, gravy, mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressing, soya sauce, spices, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, savoury spreads made from yeast extract
Vegan dairy substitutes coconut yogurt, soy cheese, hemp protein

Commodity: Maple and maple products

Select this box if the food you are responsible is maple and maple products. All maple and maple products are within this single commodity box. These foods may or may not be subject to standards of identity or grades set out in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and Food and Drug Regulations.

The foods found in the maple sub-commodity may contain other ingredients but are still recognized by the consumer as a maple product.

Do not select this box for foods made from other tree species, such as birch syrup. For these products select the "Manufactured foods" commodity, "Confectionary, sweeteners, snack foods, and non-bakery desserts" sub-commodity category.

Examples of maple and maple products sub-commodities
Food sub-commodity Examples
Maple and maple Products maple syrup, maple sugar, maple butter, maple candy, maple taffy

Commodity: Meat and poultry products

Select this box if the food you are responsible for is derived from a food animal.

Do not select this box for foods derived from marine mammals, amphibians or reptiles. For these products, you should select the "Fish and seafood" category.

Meat and poultry products sub-commodities

There are several sub-commodities of food animals which are based on the wide variety of domesticated animals and game animals used as food. The various meat and poultry sub-commodities include the meat derived from the animals associated with that sub-commodity, as well as any of their parts or products. This means that the meat and poultry products can be a variety of cuts, ground meat, marinated meat, or further processed into luncheon meat, sausage, broths, animal fats and oils (such as lard/shortening, tallow), meat flavours and extracts, and meat gravies and flavours.

Composite meat products include foods that are mixed with other ingredients. These foods are made up of more than 2% meat ingredients, which may trigger SFCR requirements that would not otherwise apply to the food, such as a work shift agreement.

Game animals are hunted, wild animals, for which permission is granted by a competent authority to hunt the animal for commercial use.

Farmed game animals and farmed game birds are food animals that are historically considered "wild" but have been raised for food production and transported to an abattoir for traditional slaughter with stunning.

Examples of meat and poultry products sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Bovine (Beef, bison and veal) beef, bison and veal or any of their parts such as chops, ground meat, organs, roasts and products such as broth, corned beef, lunch meat, meatballs, sausage
Caprine (Goat) goat, any of its parts such as ground meat, roasts and its products such as marinated meat, sausages
Cervidae farmed elk, deer, any of their parts and products
Composite meat products containing a non-meat animal origin ingredient foods containing more than 2% meat (calculated on the basis of the cooked weight of the product) mixed with other food commodities such as vegetables and grain products.
meat pies (tourtière), meat spaghetti sauce, beef stews, meat pizza (frozen or refrigerated), chicken lasagna, frozen meals containing meat,
Equine horses, asses, mules, any of their parts (such as ground meat, steaks, roasts) and products (such as marinated meat, sausages)
Farmed Game farm raised game animals, such as bison, musk ox, elk, reindeer, caribou, antelope, deer, any of their parts and products
Farmed Game Bird farm raised game birds, such as partridge, pheasant, pigeon (squab), quail, any of their parts and products
Game hunted wild game animals, such as caribou, musk ox, reindeer, any of their parts and products
Ovine (Sheep, lamb and mutton) sheep, lamb and mutton, any of its parts (such as ground meat, lamb chops, rack of lamb, roasts) and its products (such as marinated meat, sausages)
Porcine (Pork) any of its parts (such as chops, ground meat, ribs, roasts) and its products (such as bacon, creton, cured/dried sausage, ham, headcheese, hotdogs, and sausage), pork rinds
Poultry chicken, cornish hen, duck, goose, guinea fowl, turkey, any of their parts (such as breast, legs, liver) and their products such as breaded chicken strips, broth, meatballs, pâté, sausage, smoked breast
Rabbit rabbit, hare, any of its parts and products
Ratites emu, ostrich, rhea, any of their parts and products

Commodity: Processed fruits and vegetables

Select this box if the food you are responsible for is made from a fruit or vegetable that has been processed to create a refrigerated, frozen or shelf stable food. The processes applied to these foods most often are (but not limited to): cooking, freezing, drying, pickling, canning (hermitically sealed package), pureeing, or juicing.

Processed fruits and vegetables sub-commodities

The foods found in the processed fruits or processed vegetable sub-commodities may contain a variety of other ingredients and may or may not be subject to standards of identity or grades set out in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and Food and Drug Regulations. Many of these foods were previously regulated by the Processed Products Regulations; however, similar foods made by processing fruits or vegetables that fell outside these former Regulations are included within this commodity group now.

Examples of processed fruits and vegetables sub-commodities
Sub-commodity Examples
Processed fruits apple sauce, fruits packed in hermetically sealed packages (such as cherries, fruit cocktail, fruit salad, fruit cups, peaches, pears, plums, sliced apples, strawberries), frozen fruits, sorbet, fruit juice, concentrated fruit juice, fruit juice from concentrate, and frozen concentrated fruit juice, fruit nectars, jams, jellies, fruit spread, fruit pie filling, fruit peel, marmalade, minced meat, dried fruits, fruit leathers
Processed vegetables vegetables packed in hermetically sealed packages (such as asparagus, beans, bean sprouts, beans with pork, beets, carrots, corn, cream style onions, creamed mushrooms, green beans, peas, potatoes, ketchup, legumes, lima beans, mixed vegetables, mushrooms, pumpkin, squash, sauerkraut, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomato (crushed, diced, paste, pulp, puree, sauce, stewed), chickpeas, lentils, and wax beans), frozen vegetables (such as peas, mushrooms, onions, spinach, squash, vegetable mixes/blends), french-fried potatoes, vegetable juices, vegetable juice from concentrate, concentrated vegetable juice, chutney, horseradish, sauerkraut, olives, pickles (fresh or fermented), relishes, dried vegetables

Annex B – SFCR licensable activities

When applying for a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence, you will be asked to identify the activities that you conduct and for which you need a licence. It is important to select the correct activities so that your licence accurately reflects your business activities and needs.

The list of activities below reflects the activities available for selection in the SFC licence application. It is possible to do only domestic activities, or only international activities, or do both. It all depends on your business. While selecting your activities, think of other services you may require from CFIA. For example, requesting an export certificate from CFIA in order to meet the importing country's requirements would trigger the need for an SFC licence to export.

To understand what specific food business activities require a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, please review the guidance on the following CFIA webpage.

Licensable Domestic activities

Activities carried out in a domestic establishment in Canada where:

Activity: Preparing food for interprovincial trade

Select this box if the food you are preparing will be sent or conveyed to a different province.

For example, if your facility is located in Manitoba and is preparing food that is to be sent or conveyed to Ontario, select this option.

In the licence application, prepare means to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label. It also means to store if you want an SFC licence to store food or if you need one to satisfy requirements imposed by your buyers, sellers or the importing country. However, it excludes to store and handle imported meat for the purpose of inspection by CFIA since this activity is captured in the "Storing and handling imported meat products for the purpose of inspection" box below.

Activity: Preparing food for export

Select this box if the food you are preparing in Canada will be sent or conveyed to a different country.

This is a domestic activity because it occurs within Canada.

If your business prepares a food in Canada that is destined for another country, select "Preparing food for export" under Licensable Domestic Activities.

Note: If your business in Canada also exports food, you should also select "Exporting food" under Licensable International Activities.

In the licence application, prepare means to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label. It also means to store if you want an SFC licence to store food or if you need one to satisfy requirements imposed by your buyers, sellers or the importing country. However, it excludes to store and handle imported meat for the purpose of inspection by CFIA since this activity is captured in the "Storing and handling imported meat products for the purpose of inspection" box below.

Activity: Preparing food for intraprovincial trade where provincial regulations require a federal licence

Select this box if a provincial or territorial requirement states that you require a federal licence, even if the food you prepare does not leave the province.

You do not need an SFC licence to trade food within your province or to prepare food that will be sold or consumed in your province. However, you can get a licence if a provincial regulation states that you require a federal licence.

Commodities which may have such a requirement include dairy products, eggs, fish, fresh fruit or vegetables, honey, maple products, meat products, processed egg products, and processed fruit or vegetable products.

When you apply for your licence, you will be required to name the provincial or territorial regulation or policy that requires you to obtain a licence from CFIA.

Activity: Slaughter of food animals for interprovincial trade

Select this box if you slaughter food animals to be sent or conveyed to a different province.

Slaughter activities include all the stages, procedures and processes conducted in the slaughter establishment during operations that directly affect the live animal prior to its death.

The SFCR defines food animal as a bird or mammal, other than a marine mammal, from which an edible meat product may be derived.

Note: You will need an approved work shift agreement for activities related to meat products and slaughtering food animals. Slaughter of food animals and the production of their derived meat products are activities that inherently carry more risk. Because of this, they require more regular and sustained oversight.

If you conduct these activities, you must have inspection services and a work shift agreement with the CFIA in order to qualify for an SFC licence. The document, Regulatory Requirements: Inspection services for Food Animals and Meet Products provides an overview of the regulatory requirements for work shifts, inspection stations and minimum number of hours of inspection.

Activity: Slaughter of food animals for export

Select this box if you slaughter food animals in Canada for export.

Slaughter activities include all the stages, procedures and processes conducted in the slaughter establishment during operations that directly affect the live animal prior to its death.

The SFCR defines food animal as a bird or mammal, other than a marine mammal, from which an edible meat product may be derived.

Note: You will need an approved work shift agreement for activities related to meat products and slaughtering food animals. Slaughter of food animals and the production of their derived meat products are activities that inherently carry more risk. Because of this, they require more regular and sustained oversight.

If you conduct these activities, you must have inspection services and a work shift agreement with the CFIA in order to qualify for an SFC licence. The document, Regulatory Requirements: Inspection services for Food Animals and Meet Products provides an overview of the regulatory requirements for work shifts, inspection stations and minimum number of hours of inspection.

Activity: Storing and handling imported meat products for the purpose of inspection

Select this box only if you are storing and handling imported meat at your establishment specifically for the purpose of CFIA inspection to ensure the meat products meet Canadian requirements.

When meat imported into Canada requires a CFIA inspection it must be immediately delivered to an establishment where the meat product will be stored and handled by a person who holds a licence to store and handle an edible meat product in its imported condition for inspection. In general terms, this phrase refers to preparing edible meat products for inspection by CFIA.

Select this option if you are a Canadian establishment that receives meat products that have been imported into Canada and you store and handle this meat for the purpose of inspection by CFIA.

Do not select this box if you are storing and handling imported meat at your establishment but you are not having meat inspected by CFIA.

For the full list of meat products exempt from this requirement, refer to Table 1 Understanding the meat product exceptions under section 25 of the SFCR.

Licensable International activities

Licensable international activities include:

You can choose to hire someone (such as a customs broker or freight forwarder) to facilitate the import process or export process by doing the paperwork, handling all transactions related to the food, or managing the shipping, however, it is the SFC licence holder who is responsible for ensuring they and the food they import or export meets Canadian requirements.

CFIA needs to deal with the SFC licence holder in the event of a recall or food safety complaint.

Activity: Importing food

Select this box if you are bringing food into Canada from a foreign country.

To import a food ingredient for further preparation or processing or a finished food into Canada, select this option regardless of whether the food is in its final packaging.

If you are located outside of Canada and are importing food into Canada, you can obtain an SFC licence under limited conditions. Please refer to the Non-Resident Importer section on CFIA's website to make sure you meet these conditions.

Activity: Exporting food

Select this box if you are sending food from Canada to a foreign country.

Depending on the food commodity you export, the importing country may require an export certificate or other export documentation. CFIA can only issue the documentation if you have an SFC licence to export. This applies even if your sole activity is to export food as a seller or broker. It also applies if you prepared food for export and selected "Preparing food for export" under Licensable Domestic Activities.

Note: In accordance with existing procedures, meat trading companies and brokers will not need an export licence as CFIA will only issue meat export certificates to the licensed operator of the establishment.

Do not select this box if the food you prepare is not exported out of Canada.

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