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June 14, 2018
New regulations for food importers and exporters
The Government of Canada published the final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday. They will come into force on January 15, 2019.
The period between the final publication of the regulations in the Gazette and coming into force is meant to give businesses time to familiarize themselves with and prepare for the new requirements, including licensing, traceability and preventive controls.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will transition to a new licensing system that will grant licences to a person or a business to conduct specific activities relating to food, such as manufacturing, treating or packaging.
Businesses that import food or prepare food for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial borders will now need to have licences as well as preventive controls that address potential risks to food safety.
The new consolidated regulations align Canada's model with internationally accepted best practices for food safety and the globally recognized international food standards.
For instance, once the SFCR are fully in force, Canadian food businesses exporting foods that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be able to cite their SFCR licence to demonstrate that their food safety controls meet their U.S. importers' requirements under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program.
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