Importing food to Canada: general requirements

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

Requirements to import food into Canada apply to all importers, regardless of the food imported. These requirements include the need for a licence, preventive control plan, traceability documents and recall procedures.

The basics

Know the requirements

  • Regulatory requirements: Trade
    Learn about the requirements found in Part 2 (Trade) of the SFCR related to the rules around trading food internationally and inter-provincially.
  • Licensing
    Learn more about the licensing requirements to import food and the tools that are available to you.
  • Preventive control plan
    Access templates and guides that have been created to help you understand the requirements for a preventive control plan.
  • Traceability for food
    Find out more about what you need to have in place to meet your traceability requirements.
  • Food safety and emergency response
    Learn more about how to handle complaints and food recalls for your imported food commodity.

Related information

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