Foreign businesses preparing foods for export to Canada do not need a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). The Canadian business importing food into Canada needs a licence under the SFCR to import and any other permission as required by other Canadian Departments and Agencies. Work with an SFC-licensed importer to ensure that your food products meet all applicable requirements of the SFCR. Only in limited situations would you qualify to apply for a licence as a non-resident importer.
At this time, safe and otherwise compliant shipments of imported food without a valid Safe Food for Canadians licence or pre-existing registration/licence number are not rejected at the border. However, businesses requiring a licence are advised to apply for one as soon as possible in order to comply with regulations. Where there is a risk to food safety or an apparent disregard for the new regulations (e.g. failing to get a licence or implement a preventive control plan after being advised to do so), standard enforcement measures will be applied. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will conduct risk-based inspections to verify that imported food is safe and meets other requirements.