With BBQ season right around the corner, let’s take a look at the documentation requirements to import beef products into Canada from the US. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines for commercial importations. Please contact our office for specific information.
A Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) license from CFIA is required for importation of meat into Canada. It is important to have this license in place prior to setting up any shipments. If a license is not in place at time of importation, the shipment will be rejected back to origin.
An official Meat Inspection FSIS certificate is required for each shipment. The exporter of the goods is responsible for filling out this form in full. A sample and instructions on how to fill out this form can be found here.
Proper labeling of the products is an important factor in the release of the shipment. If the goods are not properly labelled, the shipment will be deemed inadmissible and will not be allowed to be sold in Canada. Instructions on how to properly label the shipment as well as the information required on the labeling can be found here.
Another important item to note is that the exporter has to be eligible to export meats. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a wide scope that covers many food products, including meat. However, just because the exporter is FDA approved does not automatically make them eligible to to export to Canada. A full list of eligible exporters can be found here
It is the responsibility of the importer to contact a Canadian inspection establishment prior to booking any shipment of meat. Once crossing the border, the shipment will go to this location should it be called for CFIA inspection. A list of approved inspection establishments can be found here;
The commercial invoice for the shipment should contain the following info;
- vendor name and address
- purchaser name and address
- country of origin of the goods
- full description of the goods
- quantity in packages as well as kilograms
Accuracy is vital
These are the essential items that are needed in advance of beef products being shipped to Canada from the US for commercial use. It is important that all are accurate and consistent to ensure there are no issues with CBSA or CFIA. If any discrepancies are noted, there is the potential that the entire shipment is rejected. Orbit Brokers can assist you with clearance of your meat shipment into Canada. Contact us for more information.