December 18, 2018 – In less than a month, many food businesses will require a licence when the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) come into force. You can apply for a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence in My CFIA now. In order to apply for an SFC licence, businesses will need to attest that they have preventive controls in place. Those who submit SFC licence applications by email or fax will be asked to apply using the My CFIA portal. If you already have a CFIA account number, you will automatically be charged on January 15. Businesses who wish to pay by credit card will need to sign back in to My CFIA on January 15 to pay for their licence. Your licence will be issued digitally on or after January 15 (once payment is received and necessary verifications have been completed).

Keep in mind: if your business currently has a registration or licence with the CFIA and it is expiring before January 15, continue your normal process to renew your registration or licence, as needed. That registration or licence will remain valid under the SFCR until it expires, even if your date of expiry of the renewed registration or licence occurs after January 15, provided there is a statement on it indicating that it is also a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Act. Once expired, you will be required to apply for an SFC licence under SFCR.

Find out what to consider before applying for an SFC licence and make sure you understand which food category to select.

To find out if your business will require an SFC licence or need to meet other SFCR requirements on January 15, 2019, visit the Timelines landing page to access the interactive tools and sector-specific timelines for various food commodities.

New and updated guidance documents

To help businesses prepare for the new regulations, the CFIA will continue to publish new and updated guidance documents on a regular basis. The CFIA has an advanced search tool called the Guidance Finder, which lets users find information about SFCR requirements by specifying activity type, food commodity, method of production and document type.

For more information about the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, visit inspection.gc.ca/safefood.