How to import fish and seafood products to Canada

How to Import Fish and Seafood product to Canada

Under the Canadian Food Inspection Agencies Fish Import Inspection program importers of fish and seafood for human consumption and for commercial sale must hold either a Fish Import License or a Quality Management Program Import License from the CFIA.

Importers are responsible for making sure that their products meet the Canadian Regulatory requirements including the food safety standards established by Health Canada. If a shipment fails to meet the regulatory requirements and cannot be brought into compliance by the importer the entire shipment must be removed from Canada or destroyed and the goods will be put on CFIA's Mandatory Inspection list. Incoming products will be inspected 100% of the time until 4 consecutive shipments meet the Canadian requirements.

Inspections Fish and Seafood products imported to Canada are inspected to prevent the market from unsafe, unwholesome or mislabeled products. CFIA uses a risk based approach in developing an annual sampling plan for inspection of seafood and fish products. It is based on a sampling of 5% and is developed based on a review of the following information: -food safety risk -history of compliance of a particular product Environmental scanning information Targets are randomly selected in addition a first shipment from a producer that has not shipped product in 2 years will be inspected.

Regulatory Requirements

All licensed fish importers must meet the following requirement:
-Import product that is safe and meets all Canadian Regulatory requirements
-Notify the CFIA of every import shipment within 48 hours of arrival
-Make every shipment available for inspection prior to distribution and sale in Canada
-Keep accurate and complete records of imported shipments so that shipments can be easily traced
-Obtain information on the manufacturing processes and controls used in the production of all ready to eat and canned products which they import -Investigate any potential problems with the safety of their product and notify CFIA within 24 hours of confirmed health and safety issues and
-Pay an annual import license and inspection service fee for their imported products.

Responsibilities of Importer CFIA's mandate is that all importers offish and seafood products be fully aware of their responsibilities and to the program requirements.

Tools for this are available which include the mandatory Inspection list that is updated regularly.

If the products you are importing are on this list CFIA will do a mandatory inspection to confirm they comply with Canadian requirement. It is important to know the suppliers you are dealing with and the product when importing to Canada.

Here is the link to the Mandatory Inspection List

Fish Import License All importers to Canada require a Fish License to import fish and seafood product.

This license application must also include you to advise CFIA how you will meet the following regulatory requirements:
-Import products that are not tainted, decomposed or unwholesome and meet all Canadian regulatory requirements, (product sourcing)
-Store products in a way that prevents contamination and deterioration (product storage and packaging)
-Track distribution of product you import including name and address of person to whom you sold the fish and the date it was sold (product distribution records)
-Track complaints and investigate information that you receive which questions the safety of your products
-Obtain process control documents for canned and ready to eat products you import.

The Regulation of imported Fish and Seafood Products in Canada:

Mandatory Inspection List:

Fish Inspection Regulation: c. 802/index.html

Contact Information: Canadian Food Inspection Aencv/Fish Inquires 905-795-9666

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