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.

ARGO Customs Brokers can assist with Non-Resident-Importer (NRI) program.

ARGO Brokers can assist to obtain a RM account with the CRA and use the benefits of the NRI program.

Non-Resident Importing (NRI) Program:
The Non-Resident Importing (NRI) program may be ideal if you are a foreign-based company or individual:

• A company that doesn’t have an actual physical presence in Canada

• A company that acts as both the exporter from the US and the importer of record on shipments coming into Canada – using its own company name.

Non-Resident Importing allows you to act as the Importer of Records (IOR) for shipments imported to Canada.

Ask our specialists and we’ll be happy to help with the CRA NRI registration.

Canada activates Ukraine’s OMIC for poultry products.

Canada has approved and activated an Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC) for poultry from Ukraine.

The conditions of importation of meat products from Ukraine are available at the following link:

Conditions for importing meat products from Ukraine:

CARM Release 2 Implementation Date.

CBSA has recently announce that updated target implementation date for CARM Release 2 is now October 2023.
Release 2 will expand the functionalities of the CARM Client Portal by adding:

electronic commercial accounting declarations with ability for corrections and adjustments
new requirements related to the Release Prior to Payment (RPP) program
harmonized billing cycles
new offsetting options
electronic management of appeals and compliance actions

Ready to Eat, retail packaged poultry food items from the United States.

As of September 19, 2022, cross-border shoppers will be allowed to bring a greater number of poultry products for human consumption back across the border from the United States, regardless of whether the state is currently experiencing an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or Newcastle Disease. These items must be retail packaged AND Ready to Eat, and must accompany the travellers across the border.

For more information, please consult the published Notice to Travellers.

What is allowed:
Rotisserie chicken (Retail barbecued, roasted or broiled)
Chicken soup and soup mixes
Hard boiled eggs
Chicken/turkey hot dogs
Chicken/turkey deli meats
Fully cooked chicken/turkey sandwiches, wraps, kabobs etc.