Temporary import requirements for romaine lettuce from the United States (2023)

From September 28 to December 20, 2023, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be adding temporary conditions to Safe Food for Canadians licences for the importation of romaine lettuce from the United States, including salad mixes containing this lettuce. During this period, importers will be required to provide negative E. coli O157 test results for each shipment of romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley, California.

Memorandum D11-3-3, CUSMA Countries of Origin Marking Rules.

20 June 2023
Please find below the link to the revised Memorandum D11-3-3, CUSMA Countries of Origin Marking Rules:


This memorandum outlines and explains the legislation, regulations, and general guidelines that apply to the country of origin marking for goods imported from a Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) country (i.e., the United States or Mexico).

Information pertaining to the country of origin marking for goods imported from a non-CUSMA country is found in Memorandum D11-3-1, Marking of Imported Goods.

Canada extends waiving of tariffs on Ukrainian goods.

he Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, today announced that Canada will extend the Ukraine Goods Remission Order until June 9, 2024. This will ensure the continued tariff-free import of Ukrainian goods to Canada, including steel and in-quota supply-managed goods.

The Ukraine Goods Remission Order, in force since June 9, 2022, supports the Ukrainian economy by increasing exports to Canada through the temporary and exceptional remission of customs and trade remedy duties on imports of goods originating in Ukraine.

Today’s extension builds on the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) and its modernization as announced by the Prime Minister on April 11, 2023. Since CUFTA came into force on August 1, 2017, tariffs have been eliminated on 99.9 per cent of imports from Ukraine, including fish and seafood, sunflower oil, and minerals; 99.9 per cent of manufactured products; and 99.9 per cent of agricultural products.

Canada is committed to standing with the brave people of Ukraine in their defence of Ukraine’s sovereignty and democracy in the face of Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion, which is limiting Ukraine’s ability to export goods to other countries. Canada’s temporary duty relief for Ukrainian goods is among the most comprehensive packages of tariff waivers in the G7 and the world.

Refuse entry for import of aquatic animals from Turkey for food.

Effective on June 1, 2023, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will no longer be accepting imports of aquatic animals, including European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), exported from Türkiye to Canada for food service and retail use for human consumption, unless they are fully eviscerated. Eviscerated finfish, including gilthead seabream and European seabass for human consumption are still eligible for entry.

Importers are advised that no new permits will be issued for aquatic animals from Turkey for the end uses of food service and retail use. However, importers that hold valid import permits and have consignments either on route or procured, and that have been certified by Turkey will be allowed entry to Canada until May 31, 2023. As of June 1, 2023, imports will be refused entry into Canada.

Marking of imported goods.

As the marking rules of origin are no longer required to determine preferential tariff treatment under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), advance rulings will no longer be offered. However, stakeholders will be able to request a National Customs Ruling in order to determine the country of origin for marking purposes.

Memorandum D11-3-1 – Marking of imported goods memorandum has been updated to remove references to “advance ruling”.

New licence requirements for enoki mushrooms.

This notice is to advise you that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is introducing new hold and test conditions to Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licences for the import of fresh enoki mushrooms from the Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China. The new requirement comes into effect on March 15, 2023 and will be in place until further notice.

Shipments of fresh enoki mushrooms arriving in Canada on or after March 15, 2023 from the Republic of Korea and/or the People’s Republic of China must be held and tested. This measure is in addition to importer responsibilities under the SFCR outlined in previous industry notices published on December 6, 2022 and June 2, 2022.

Canada bans Russian aluminum and steel imports.

he Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that Canada is banning the import of Russian aluminum and steel products.

Through regulatory amendments under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, the importation of all Russian aluminum products, such as unwrought aluminum, aluminum sheets, and finished products including containers and other household items made from aluminum, is now prohibited. Also banned are all primary Russian steel products, including iron and non-alloy steel, semi-finished, and finished products such as tubes and pipes.

This ban will further deny Russia the ability to generate the revenues it needs to pay for its war against Ukraine. Canada continues to work alongside its partners and allies to hold Russia accountable.

Renewal of SFC licences

Many Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licences will expire January 15, 2023, if they are not renewed before then. Others will expire in the days and weeks that follow, and will need to be renewed before their expiration date.

Stakeholders continue to be encouraged to renew their licences early to ensure they do not expire and to allow for uninterrupted licensed business activities. Generic renewal messages are sent to industry through My CFIA (see message example below: Renewal notice for all NCP permissions). These messages are sent to each SFC-licensed party 60, 30 and 15 days prior to the expiry of their SFC licence.

To help ensure inspectors only issue export certificates to licensed businesses, the NCP issues a weekly report to the Areas, typically every Monday, that identifies businesses whose licences have expired or are close to expiry.

If you have any questions, please use the regular communication channels.

Key points for industry related to SFC licence renewal:

If an SFC licence expires, the affected business:
will have to re-apply for a licence and will be issued a new licence number, which may disrupt their business activities including the ability to request export certification as export eligibility lists will need to be updated with the new licence number
will not be permitted to conduct activities that were previously permitted under their SFC licence, in accordance with the Safe Food for Canadians Act
may be subject to enforcement actions and removal from export eligibility lists.
There is no penalty for renewing early. The renewed licence will remain valid for two years as of the original expiry date.
When renewing a licence, businesses should review their Party Profile to ensure all information is up-to-date and accurate. If any changes were made, businesses are to ensure that their Party Profile is Validated.

Canada’s ban on certain harmful single-use plastics.

The Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations were made under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), following the addition of “plastic manufactured items” to Schedule 1 of the Act in May 2021. The decision to add “plastic manufactured items” to CEPA was grounded in the findings of the Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution.

The six single-use plastic items being prohibited (checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws) were selected because they are commonly found in the environment, are harmful to wildlife and wildlife habitat, are difficult to recycle, and have readily available alternatives.

To enable industry to adapt to the changes, the Regulations will be implemented on the following phased timeline:

Item Manufacture and import for sale in Canada Sale Manufacture, import and sale for export
Checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, stir sticks, straws* December 20, 2022 December 20, 2023 December 20, 2025
Ring carriers June 20, 2023 June 20, 2024 December 20, 2025
Flexible straws packaged with beverage containers Not applicable June 20, 2024 December 20, 2025
*Single-use plastic flexible straws that are not packaged with beverage containers are excluded from the prohibitions under certain conditions.

ASISST Moves to CFIA Shipment Tracker

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has (CFIA) updated the Automated Shipment Inspection Status Search Tool (ASSIST) with an enhanced tool called the CFIA Shipment Tracker for Food, Plant and Animal products.

Starting December 15
, 2022, this tool will allow importers to check the status of any food, plant or animal import declared electronically in real-time. The CFIA has completed additional testing on the tool since it was first announced in the spring of 2022, including consultation with industry stakeholders.

What’s New?

The CFIA Shipment Tracker for Food, Plant and Animal products means that importers will no longer have to call into the National Import Service Centre (NISC) to request the status of their shipment. They can simply visit the webpage anytime and anywhere, to quickly receive a status update.

The CFIA strives to be agile and flexible to respond and adapt to an ever changing environment. We are constantly working to equip and enable both employees and stakeholders with improved access to information sharing and self-service through digital tools so stakeholders can make informed choices and comply with regulatory requirements.

The CFIA continues to expand the services it offers digitally so that businesses can remain competitive at home and abroad.

How does it work?

The CFIA Shipment tracker will share the status of any electronically declared import transaction received by the Agency. To check the status of their import, importers require their Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) 14 digit transaction number. For meat shipments, importers can continue to use an Official Meat Inspection Certificate number, as well as their 14 digit transaction number.

The United States, Australia and New Zealand, can also use the tool to determine the inspection and transaction status for meat shipments. They can use their Official Meat Inspection Certificate number to verify the inspection status once they have received a Release Notification System (RNS) notice advising them that CBSA has reviewed and released the shipment. Other countries will need to have a CBSA 14 digit transaction number to verify the status of their import using the tool.