Dairy Import Activities
1.3 Scope

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This program assesses the controls put in place by the importer to ensure that the product complies with all Canadian requirements, including sanitary storage conditions and handling

It also includes monitoring activities to verify the effectiveness of the importer's controls such as facility and product inspections (can integrity, label and net quantity), sampling, and other inspection activities (e.g. IREP, CDC). The frequencies for these activities are listed in Appendix 4.

The frequency of inspection and testing of imported dairy products is based on the risk to human health and the history of the product's compliance with Canadian requirements.

A dairy product is defined in the DPR as: "milk or a product thereof, whether alone or combined with another agricultural product, that contains no oil or fat other than that of milk" e.g. butter, cheese, milk powder, etc.

An "Agricultural product" is defined under the Canadian Agricultural Products Act (CAPA) as:

  1. an animal, a plant or an animal or plant product;
  2. a product, including any food or drink, wholly or partly derived from an animal or a plant, or
  3. a product described for the purposes of CAPA.

Shipments of Canadian dairy products returned to Canada are also subject to Dairy Program import requirements.

Manufactured foods such as cheesecake, breaded cheese sticks, cheese sauce, cheese pizza, combination snack packs with dairy products (e.g. pepperoni and cheese snacks, cheese and cracker packs etc.), are not considered dairy products and are not regulated by the Dairy Program. These are regulated by other CFIA programs and are not inspected as part of the Dairy Import Program.

1.3.1 Exemptions

CFIA and DFAIT have each established exemptions for the importation of dairy products for personal use, and for non-commercial or sample purposes. Despite these exemptions, the products must still meet applicable Animal Health requirements.

1.3.1.1 Personal Exemptions

Under the DPR Section 26.(3), dairy products do not require an import declaration and are not subject to certain labelling and standards requirements when imported if they are not sold in Canada and:

  • weigh 20 kg or less;
  • are part of an immigrant's personal effects; or
  • are imported from the United States onto the Akwesasne Reserve for use by an Akwesasne resident ;

DFAIT allows dairy products for personal use with a value of $20 CDN or less to be imported exempt from tariffs. This $20 limit in value does not apply to fluid milk imports for personal use.

1.3.1.2 Other Exemptions

Under the DPR Section 26.(3), dairy products do not require an import declaration and are not subject to certain labelling and standards requirements when imported if they are not sold in Canada and:

  • are carried on any vessel, train, motor vehicle, aircraft or other means of transportation for use as a food for the crew or passengers thereof; or
  • are consigned to a national or international exhibition and weigh 100 kg or less.

As well, the Health of Animals Regulations have specific requirements for the importation of dairy product samples for analysis, evaluation, testing or research.

For further information see Memorandum D 19-1-1 - PDF (589 ko).

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