Canada: New regulation for Swiss food exporters

On January 15, 2019, the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations will come into effect. All food manufacturers and importers must comply with these regulations.

Exporters need to comply with new requirements by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Some requirements will have to be met immediately. Some others will be phased in over a period of 12-30 months. We recommend that Swiss food manufacturers who are exporting or are planning to export to Canada familiarize themselves with the regulations and timelines.

There are three major components of the regulations:

  1. Licensing: Canadian importers as well as non-resident importers must have a license or apply for one if they don’t already have one.
  2. Preventative Control Planning: This document shows how food safety will be guaranteed and how the company will comply with regulations. This includes all aspects such as manufacturing, hygiene, transport, storage, etc. ). Every importer has to develop such a plan, document it, maintain it and implement it.
  3. Recall Traceability: System that includes information about a product, such as origin, shipping, reception dates, as well as contact information throughout the entire production cycle. This plan must be available electronically in Canada (in English and French) and allow to trace the product(s).

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put together a toolkit for businesses that provides more detailed information. CFIA is also offering webinars on the regulations for food businesses and industry associations. The 90-minute webinars will provide an overview of key elements of the SFCR and My CFIA, timelines for coming into force and information on the ongoing CFIA activities to prepare for the implementation of the regulations.

If you still have questions about the new regulations, feel free to reach out to our consultant Annina Bosshard. We will be happy to support you.


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