CFIA Consultation on Proposed Personal Use Exemption Limits for Travellers

February 18, 2020 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is considering changes to how much food individuals can bring into Canada. The online consultation is focused on personal exemption limits and does not apply to commercial shipments. Specifically, the consultation relates to the Incorporated by Reference (IbR) document “Maximum Quantity Limits for Personal Use Exemption” in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

Travellers coming into Canada are able to carry food with them for their own personal consumption, provided the food is imported within the specified personal exemption limits and there are no restrictions in place under other federal legislation, such as the Health of Animals and Plant Protection Acts. For example, personal exemptions for meat products are not available for travellers arriving from African Swine Fever (ASF) infected countries.

In the past, the CFIA and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have restricted the personal exemption limits for travellers bringing meat and dairy products into Canada to 20kg. However, previously “non-federally registered” food, referred to in the IbR as “all other food”, fish, and seafood had no limit, and fresh fruits and vegetables had a 250kg limit. New or revised limits are being proposed for all commodities. The proposed new rules would set limits on certain foods to 20 kilograms.

Participate in the consultation by March 4, 2020 to provide input on the proposed changes to personal exemption limits. Submission can also be made by an email to with your input or comments.

Contact us

Director, Food Program Integration Division
Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road, Tower 1, Floor 6
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9


Fax: 613-773-5695