The Government of Canada released its new Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations on January 15, 2019. Consolidating 14 sets of food regulations into one, the updates aim to overcome risks and challenges related to the speed, volume and complexity of current food production. Some requirements (such as licensing) will have to be met now, while other requirements will be phased in over a period of 12-30 months based on food commodity, type of activity, and business size.
The SFCR are centred on three key food safety elements:
- preventive controls; and
- traceability of food products.
Quick start guide
Now that the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) are being enforced, here’s a quick start guide to ensure a smooth transition for your food business.
Step 1: Get solid on licensing
Find out if and when you need a licence by using their licensing interactive tool tool.
If you do need a licence, sign up with My CFIA to set up an account that will allow you to access online services, including for applying for licenses online.
More licensing information, including fact sheets, infographics and Q&As is also available if you’d like to dig deeper.
Step 2: Get specific on your sector
Find out which requirements apply to your business and when by:
- going through the list of timetables (mid-way down the page) for timelines specific to your business;
- finding out if and when you need a preventive control plan (PCP) by using their interactive preventive control plan tool; and
- determining which traceability requirements apply to you and when by using their interactive traceability tool.
Step 3: Get clear on import/export requirements
Step 4: Keep your references handy
Bookmark this post and the Toolkit For Businesses, which has lots of easy to navigate supplementary information on the basics, licensing, preventive controls, traceability, and importing/exporting. Review and refer to the Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A Handbook for Food Businesses.
The information on the new regulations is dense and complex, but working through this quick start process and using the Canada Food Inspection Agency’s interactive tools, fact sheets, and guides should make it smoother. Cole’s Canadian Customs Consulting department is already up to speed with the new requirements—we’re happy to help you make the transition.
Information provided by: CDN Customs Consulting Dept. - Cole International