All imported fish for commercial sale must be notified within 48 hours of the shipment clearing customs to one of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) offices listed below closest to the final storage location or the Import Service Centre.
For shipments where the final storage destination is in:
Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, notify: One (1) CFIA Inspection office closest to the location of the imported shipment of fish.
For shipments where the final storage destination is in Quebec:
notify: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
2001 University Street, Rm 671-RMO
For shipments where the final storage destination is in:
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador notify: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Atlantic Import Center - Fish
99 Mount Pleasant Road
PO Box 1036
St. George, NB
Telephone: 506-456-4063 (English) / 506-755-5160 (French)
Facsimile : 506-456-4066
For more information, refer to the Canadian Regulatory Requirements for Fish Import Licence Holders (Basic Importers) or the Regulatory Requirements for Fish Import Licence Holders with a Quality Management Program (QMPI). For each shipment of fish imported, all of the following information is required by the CFIA. If the information provided is incomplete or inaccurate, the CFIA cannot process the shipment. The Fish Import Notification (FIN) is returned to the importer and the shipment remains on hold. Importers who fail to provide the CFIA with the required information are subject to licence sanctions.
Importer Name - name of the company importing the fish
Importer Contact Person - name of the person responsible for the
imported fish shipment.
Contact Email – email address of the contact person at the Importer
Contact Telephone Number - telephone number of the contact
person identified in (3).
Contact Fax Number - fax number to which CFIA inspection decision can
Import Licence No. - licence number of the company importing the fish products.
Importer PO/Tracking No. - a number assigned by the importer to identify the shipment. This information is added to the invoices so that it can be easier to reconcile the notifications with the invoices.
Transaction No. - this is a 14 digit
number/barcode that is assigned by to each imported shipment.
Expected Date of Arrival in Canada - date the shipment
is due to arrive in Canada. If shipment has already entered into Canada, the
date it cleared customs.
Customs Entry Point in Canada - customs entry point where shipment entered into Canada.
Warehouse Name and Address - name (for public
warehouses) and address of the warehouse where the shipment must be held until
the importer receives a release decision from CFIA.
Attestation - name, signature, and date of person
acknowledging that the information declared on the form is accurate and that
all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the products meet Canadian
Foreign Producer - name, address, and country of the
final producer who processed the fish prior to importation into Canada. The
final producer is considered the establishment that has processed the fish and
processing includes cleaning, filleting, icing, packing, canning, freezing,
smoking, salting, cooking, pickling, drying or preparing fish for market in any
other manner. Include the foreign plant or facility number if available.
For live or raw molluscan shellfish indicate the Interstate Certified Shellfish
Shipper List (ICSSL) number or shellfish registration number of the plant.
Product Description: Each of the lots in the shipment
must be declared by providing the following information:
Lot - a shipment or part of a shipment of fish that is of the
same species, is processed in the same manner by the same producer, is packaged
in the same size and type of container and bears the same label.
E.g., 5 lb bags of
frozen raw shell-on shrimp of various size count.
E.g., 200 g cans of
light tuna in water of various production codes.
Product units whose labels differ only with regards to varying size
designations or count ranges are considered to be part of the same lot unless a
product size/count labelling requirement or product standard exists.
Brand Name - if applicable include the commercial brand
name, e.g., "Our brand".
Product Description including - the name of the product
as identified on the label (retail or master carton) including descriptive
terms, (e.g., Canned sardines in mustard
Common name - acceptable common name of the product (in Canada). Acceptable common name in Canada can be found in the CFIA Fish List.
Species Risk Group – select from the list depending on whether the species of fish is at risk for environmental contaminants, histamine production or marine toxins. Species risk group can be found in the CFIA Fish List.
Product Processing Risk Group - select from list below
based on how the product is processed:
Canned - Retorted, e.g., Canned
Ready-to-eat - Cooked, e.g., Cooked
Ready-to-eat - Pasteurized in a container, e.g., Kamaboko
Ready-to-eat - No safety parameters or heat, e.g., Cold smoked salmon
Non RTE - Live, e.g., Live tilapia
on RTE - Raw, e.g., Salmon fillets/steaks
Non RTE - Multiple Species / Food
Commodities, e.g., Seafood dumplings
Non RTE - Breaded/Battered, e.g., Breaded fish sticks
Certificate Number - Enter the certificate number for a
lot when a certificate recognized by the CFIA has been issued by the
competent authority. For information on competent authorities that issue
product certificates recognized by the CFIA please consult the
section on Import Information by Jurisdiction on CFIA's Website.
Product form -
Please check off the box only if the product is oil, roe or organ (typically
liver, or hepatopancreas; other organs as applicable). If this box is not
checked off, the product will be considered as the meat from fish or
Storage Conditions and Shelf Life - Check-off the box which indicates how the fish product is to be stored (room temperature, frozen, or refrigerated).
Shelf life (in days or months) for refrigerated products only.
Production Method - check-off the box which corresponds to how the fish was raised, in the wild or by farming (aquacultured). The supplier/producer must be able to inform you as to whether the fish used in the product was sourced from aquaculture/farming or the wild. The
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department website of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the website
Fishbase, a Global Information System on Fish, provide information on fish species produced commercially from aquaculture/farming and the countries where commercial farming is in place. These sites may assist you in verifying the information from your supplier/producer regarding the production source. Please note that in the case of Fishbase only vertebrate species of fish are covered.
Country of harvest - indicate the country where the fish was harvested. This is a mandatory field for farmed/aquacultured fish and for live or raw molluscan shellfish, which is associated with marine toxin.
End Use: check-off the box which applies
Retail - any product that is for sale in a store or sold
directly to a consumer
Food Service - any product that is for sale to the food
service industry that is NOT for sale in a store or sold directly to a
Product must undergo significant transformation at a federally registered
facility in order to be considered for further processing. The imported product
must meet the food safety standards. Sensory, label and net weight are assessed
after the product reached its final form. Examples of significant
transformation include: filleting, canning, freezing, smoking, salting,
cooking, pickling, and drying.
No. of cases - the number
of shipping cartons/cases of fish that was imported.
Units per case - the number of individual units packed
in each shipping carton (e.g., 24 cans or
packages in each shipping carton). For bulk packages indicate "N/A" - not applicable in this box.
Unit weight - the weight in kilograms of the individual
unit or for bulk packages the weight of the shipping carton.
Container Design/Shape: for canned - retorted products
Metal Cans - indicate shape (round or non-round)
Glass Jars - indicate "glass jar"
Retort Pouch - indicate "pouch"
other - indicate container type e.g., plastic
container with foil lid, plastic tube.
Code/Size - for all ready-to-eat and canned products, a
can code list must be included with the notification. A can code list includes
the name of the foreign producer, the number of shipping cartons of each
production date code and instructions to interpret the production date
e.g., 50 cases = 220108/P1234 and 50 cases =
Where first 2 digits = day, next 2 digits = month, next 2 digits = year and
P1234 = plant no. 1234, My Fish Company, 1 Canada
ICN Line No. and Decision - CFIA completes the following
ICN line no. - The CFIA issues a unique Import
Control Number (ICN) for each shipment. The ICN can be found on the top right hand
corner of the form. Each lot in a shipment is also given a line number which
begins with 1. This line number, with the ICN uniquely identifies each lot in the
Decision - CFIA's inspection
decision for each lot in the shipment.
REL: means the lot is "released to the importer" for
DET: means the lot is "detained" for CFIA inspection, the importer
must hold the lot for inspection. The lot can not be moved from the location
identified on this form (Box 10) unless permission is granted by CFIA. The request must be
made in writing using the "Request for Permission to Move Fish Under Detention" form found in Chapter 2, Subject 3, Appendix D of the Fish
Products Inspection Manual.