Overview: importing eggs or processed egg products
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
- General information
- Specific requirements for imported egg and processed egg products
- What's new for egg and processed egg product importers under SFCR
- Standards of identity and grades for egg and processed egg products
- Labelling requirements
- Organic eggs and processed egg products
- Export and Imports Permit Act
This document outlines requirements specific to importing egg and processed egg products. In order to ensure that you will also meet the general import requirements for importing food and the preparation of your preventive control plan, please refer to the Importing Food: A Step by Step Guide and A guide for preparing a preventive control plan – For importers.
The specific import requirements for importing eggs and processed egg products can be found in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). AIRS information is updated frequently so prior to importing you should verify AIRS to ensure that the import requirements have not changed.
Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates eggs and processed egg products that are imported into Canada. The CFIA verifies industry compliance with these legislative requirements by conducting a range of inspection activities to help ensure these products are safe, wholesome and graded according to established standards labelled to avoid misleading consumers and facilitate orderly marketing. Eggs from other bird species and animals are also covered by the general food requirements of these regulations.
The Health of Animals Act restricts the importation of eggs and processed egg products from countries where the presence of animal diseases pose a threat to Canadian agriculture and health. There are certain requirements that must be met to import egg products that carry the risk of introducing exotic avian diseases into Canada. Information on these requirements can be found on the Animal Health Egg Products – Import Procedures page.
Specific requirements for imported egg and processed egg products
In addition to the general import requirements the following conditions relate to imported eggs and processed egg products:
- all imported eggs and processed egg products must be accompanied by an official document, signed by the responsible government official in the exporting country, stating that the eggs meet the requirements set out in the SFCA and SFCR
- imported prepackaged eggs or processed egg products must have a label that says "Product of" followed by the country of origin
- for shelled eggs:
- eggs that were pasteurized in shell must have been graded A before pasteurization
- grade C, Grade nest run or ungraded eggs must be delivered to an establishment where eggs are processed and treated by a licence holder
- imported ungraded egg must be packaged in a container that is labelled with the expression "Ungraded Eggs" or "oeufs non classifies"
What's new for egg and processed egg product importers under SFCR
The CFIA, under SFCR, is adopting a risk-based approach to inspection, which will result in changes to current processes. Importers will be required to adopt and follow these changes.
- A SFC import licence is required to import egg and/or processed egg products. The import licence is a 2-year licence with a cost of $250.
- You are no longer required to fax an application for inspection to your local CFIA office to request an inspection and you will no longer receive a MCAP Import Inspection Report or a Certificate of Inspection/grading.
- A CFIA inspector is no longer required to break the seals on shipments.
- You will be able to distribute a shipment that has been released to commerce by the CBSA. You will no longer need to wait for CFIA notification or approval.
- You will be required to have a written Preventive Control Plan (PCP), which includes a procedure for recall and complaints, and traceability records.
- Sampling and product inspections will continue as part of the CFIA's inspection of your PCP.
Standards of identity and grades for egg and processed egg products
There are grades and standards referred to in the regulations for egg and processed egg products. These standards of identity and grades have been combined into a collection of Documents incorporated by reference – Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Egg and processed egg products must meet the requirements set out in the following:
- Canadian Standards of Identity Volume 2, Processed Egg Products
- Canadian Grade Compendium Volume 5, Eggs
- Grade Names for Imported Food (refer to item 2 in this table for information relevant to eggs)
Refer to the CFIA web page Food-specific requirements and guidance – Egg and processed egg products to view various guidance documents including Regulatory requirements: Eggs and Regulatory requirements: Processed egg products. These explain the SFCR requirements related to egg and processed egg products, including specific requirements for importing.
Imported egg and processed egg products must also meet the labelling and packing requirements outlined in the SFCR. The Industry Labelling Tool is a food labelling reference for all industry that outlines the requirement for food labelling and advertising.
Labelling requirements for shell egg products and Labelling requirements for processed egg products outline the labelling requirements specific for egg and processed egg products.
Organic eggs and processed egg products
Imported organic egg and processed egg products may be certified to the Canadian Organic Standard by a CFIA accredited Certification Body or be certified in accordance with an equivalency arrangement established between Canada and the exporting country. Where an equivalency arrangement is in place, organic products may be certified by a certification body accredited by that country and recognized by Canada. Imported certified organic products with 95 per cent or more organic ingredients may display the Canada organic logo on the labels. All relevant Canadian legislation would also continue to apply for the imported product.
Any person who imports a product or markets it in Canada as an organic product must be able to demonstrate, at all times, that the product meets one of the requirements set out above and must retain the documents attesting that the product is organic
For further information about organic products refer to the Organic Products webpage.
Export and Imports Permit Act
Eggs and processed egg products are one of the many agricultural commodities that are subject to controls under Canada’s Export and Imports Permit Act (EIPA). Accordingly, an import permit is required for shipments of eggs and processed egg products to enter Canada. Import permits for shipments of eggs and processed egg products destined to the Canadian market are issued to allocation holders under Canada’s tariff rate quota (TRQ) for eggs and processed egg products, which is administered by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Meaning that under the EIPA, a quota holder can import a specific quantity of egg and processed egg products at a lower rate of duty while imports not covered by a quota are subject to higher rates of duty. Further information regarding the importation of egg and processed egg products can be found on the GAC webpage for Egg and Egg Products.
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