Automatic license verification for manufactured food imports

Beginning on February 12, 2024, the Canada Foods Inspection Agencies’ (CFIA) automatic verification of the Safe Foods for Canadian’s (SFC) licenses will begin for the manufactured food sector.

License auto-verification is the electronic verification of SFC licenses that are declared in the SWI IID of shipments of commercial food imports.

When activated, IID will reject transactions that do not declare a valid SFC license; the shipment is then denied entry into Canada until the licensing errors are corrected and the declaration is re-submitted.

The IID verifies that the SFC license declared is:

  • active (not expired, suspended, surrendered or cancelled)
  • issued for the activity “Importing food”
  • issued for the commodity(ies) being imported

Some examples of manufactured foods for the purpose of SFC licensing are:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Confectionary, sweeteners, snack foods
  • Fats and oils
  • Food chemicals
  • Foods derived from grains
  • Infant foods (e.g. infant formula)
  • Nuts, grains and seeds
  • Spices, dried herbs, flavours, dressings
  • Multiple foods
  • Vegan dairy substitutes

For more examples of manufactured food commodities, refer to Annex A of the guidance document What to consider before applying for a Safe Food for Canadians licence

Currently, the CFIA is not enforcing compliance with the manufactured foods licensing validity.

On March 15, 2021, the CFIA activated the auto-verification for imports of commodities in the formerly registered sectors. Manufactured foods will be the final sector of SFCR to have the auto-verification implemented.

Additional resources:

Notice to industry: Importing manufactured foods into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians licence

Importing food with a valid Safe Food for Canadians licence

SFCR timelines – All other foods (manufactured foods)