Proposed regulations for certain imported foods

January 17, 2013 - Tags: Managing Import Regulations

This guest blog post is provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Agency is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants, to ensure the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy.

If you are involved in the agri-food business, you may be interested to know that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is proposing new regulations under the Canada Agricultural Products Act for certain imported food products. This is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to food safety in the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan.

Each year, foods from more than 190 countries are imported into Canada, and many of our domestic food products are made with imported ingredients. While our existing food safety system protects Canadians well, improvements will help us better respond to risks in an increasingly complex global marketplace.

This may have an impact on your business. Under the proposal regulations, different types of importing businesses that may be subject to the new regulations and that may require a licence from the CFIA include:

  • Food manufacturers and importers
  • Retailers
  • Brokers
  • Distributors
  • Some domestic producers and food processors
  • Shipping services

The proposed regulations would apply to certain agricultural products, as defined in the Act, such as, but not limited to: alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, fats and oils, bakery products, infant formula, cereals, juices, coffee and tea, spices and seasonings, confectionery and snack foods.  Everything from animal crackers to zinfandel! To find out if your imported food product may be affected by the proposed new regulations, you can refer to this guide.

In order to be licensed, you would have to develop, implement and maintain a written preventive food safety control plan. The plan would outline the actions and measures that you would take to make sure your food is safe and complies with Canadian legislation. In addition, you would have to

  • Maintain records at an address in Canada
  • Have a written recall plan
  • Notify the CFIA within 24 hours if you determine that a product poses a hazard to consumers

The CFIA welcomes your feedback. You will have several opportunities to comment on the regulatory proposal, including a consultation on the proposed new regulations once they are published in Canada Gazette, Part I.

You are encouraged to sign up to the Non-Federally Registered Sector listserv to receive email notifications on the forthcoming proposed regulations, engagement opportunities and other relevant news.

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