Chapter 2 – Guidelines for the Applicant/Operator to the Registration of an Establishment and Licensing of an Operator
2.3 Procedures for the Registration of an Establishment and Licensing of an Operator

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Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

In accordance with the Meat Inspection Regulations, an establishment wishing to conduct any of the activities outlined in subsections 27(1) and 27(3) must submit an application for the registration of an establishment and, as per section 28 and subsections 29(1) to 29(5), an application for a licence to operate a registered establishment.

2.3.1 New Establishment

2.3.1.1 Submission of Documentation

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

In accordance with subsections 27(1) and 29(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, an application for the registration of an establishment and an application for a licence to operate a registered establishment must be submitted to the Centre of Administration.

The registration of a new establishment requires that:

  • the CFIA receive the application package; and
  • the CFIA perform an on-site verification of the completed establishment to determine if it complies with the requirements of section 28 of the Meat Inspection Regulations.

The licensing of an operator of a newly registered establishment requires:

  • the CFIA to receive and accept the HACCP documentation package; and
  • the CFIA on-site verification of the operator's compliance with the requirements of applicable sections of the Meat Inspection Regulations in respect to all aspects of the activities conducted by the operator in the registered establishment.

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the CoA:

  • a cover letter;
  • application forms and supporting documents; and

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the assigned responsible inspector for review.

  • the HACCP documentation package.

It must be noted that it will take at least 30 days for the CFIA to review the HACCP documentation package. Any missing or incorrect information will need to be amended by the applicant and reviewed by the CFIA prior to the Final Inspection.

Cover Letter

The cover letter introduces the applicant and the purpose of the application. In cases where the applicant is being represented by a third party (e.g., a consultant), the cover letter shall include the authorization of the third party to deal directly with the CFIA in matters related to the application.

The cover letter shall indicate the applicant's authorized representative who will be the sole contact with the CFIA during the entire process of registration of an establishment and licensing of an operator. The purpose is to establish a single communication channel between the applicant and the CFIA.

A copy of the cover letter shall be forwarded to the assigned responsible inspector for the future reference.

Application Forms and Supporting Documents

The following is a list of CFIA forms for registration and licensing:

  1. CFIA/ACIA 5369 "Application for Registration of an Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations"

  2. CFIA/ACIA 4155 "Application for Licence to Operate a Registered Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations"

    Supporting documentation for this form shall include:

    • proof of the operator's legal business name (i.e. letter of incorporation, or a tax statement or list of business number accounts from the Canada Revenue Agency). If a provincial name registration is provided, this registration shall be issued in the province in which the establishment is or will be located. If the company is not registered, provide other proof of name.
  3. CFIA/ACIA 4198 "Supplement to Application for Registration or Application for Licence to Operate a Registered Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations"

HACCP Documentation Package

The CFIA has reference material related to the HACCP documentation package requirements.

The HACCP documentation package must include:

  1. a letter of commitment, which must:

    1. confirm applicant's senior management's full support for developing, implementing and maintaining an effective HACCP system;
    2. confirm the applicant's commitment to produce food in compliance with all regulatory and program requirements; and
    3. be signed and dated by the applicant's senior management.
  2. the HACCP system performance reporting procedure;
  3. the name of the HACCP team leader;
  4. the written prerequisite programs;
  5. a list of all products to be produced in the establishment, grouped under their respective HACCP plan;
  6. HACCP plans to cover all processes/products;
  7. the process control(s), when applicable;
  8. the validation data of critical control points;
  9. the HACCP system maintenance and reassessment procedures; and
  10. the applicant's internal audit results of its HACCP system and, if applicable, the applicant's action plan.

The HACCP documentation package must be reviewed and acknowledged by the CFIA prior to the final inspection.

2.3.1.2 Registration of an Establishment

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

If an establishment complies with the requirements prescribed by section 28 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, it will be registered in the Register of Establishments of the Agency and be assigned a registration number, as per subsection 27(3), upon application for registration.

Reservation of Establishment Registration Number

In the case of a new establishment that is to be registered for slaughtering of food animals, processing of meat products or the packaging and labelling of meat products, it will be necessary for an establishment registration number to be reserved prior to the registration of an establishment. This will enable the applicant to prepare labels and/or to obtain the Meat Inspection Legend (ex. stamps).

The establishment registration number is reserved and assigned by the CoA on behalf of the Director, and will be the first available number from the national registry of numbers.

The applicant shall make the request in writing for an establishment registration number to be reserved by the assigned CFIA inspector when the following conditions are met:

  1. the application package has been received by the CFIA; and
  2. the establishment will be ready for the final inspection within 6 to 8 weeks from the date of the request.

In the case of an establishment to be registered for the storage of meat products, the establishment registration number will be assigned at the time of establishment registration (see the following section).

Final Inspection

The final inspection of the establishment ensures that the construction of the establishment fully complies with section 28 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, and the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures.

The applicant shall request a final inspection of the establishment in writing to the assigned responsible inspector a minimum 2 weeks in advance of the desired date of inspection.

In the case of an establishment located in remote areas, the CFIA may require earlier advance notice of the desired date of final inspection.

The owner/operator or their designate must be available to assist CFIA during the final inspection.

The registration of an establishment is effective on the date the CoA receives the confirmation that the establishment meets requirements of section 28 of the Meat Inspection Regulations.

The establishment is registered in the List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators.

In the case where there is no license issued to operate this registered establishment, the establishment will be marked as inactive in the List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators.

The operator is responsible for maintaining a written record of all modifications made to the registered establishment. This record is to be available to the CFIA upon request.

2.3.1.3 Licensing of an Operator

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

A licence to operate a registered establishment shall be issued, renewed or modified unless the requirements of subsections 29(4) to 29(11) of the Meat Inspection Regulations are not met.

Final Inspection

The final inspection of the establishment ensures that the operator complies with all pertinent requirements prescribed in section 29 and other applicable sections of the Meat Inspection Regulations and pertinent sections of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures to the activities conducted by the operator in the List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators.

A signed Scheduled Work Shift Document is needed in order to obtain a licence. (form CFIA/ACIA 5712 – Scheduled Work Shift).

The applicant shall request a final inspection of the establishment, for receiving the license to operate a registered establishment, in writing to the assigned responsible inspector a minimum 2 weeks in advance of the desired date of inspection.

In the case of an establishment located in remote areas, the CFIA may require earlier advance notice of the desired date of final inspection.

The owner/operator or his/her designate must be available to assist the CFIA during the final inspection.

The licensing of an operator of a newly registered establishment is effective on the date the CoA receives the confirmation from the assigned inspector that the applicant meets the requirements of subsection 29(4) of the Meat Inspection Regulations following the final inspection.

The CoA will issue the licence only once. The RCI will send the signed licence to the operator.

A licence to operate a registered establishment will be valid for one (1) year (or any shorter period) that may be specified in the List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators.

In the event of changes to the establishment operator's name, establishment registration number, or location address of the registered establishment, licences will be re-issued.

Information concerning the operator will be recorded in the List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators.

2.3.2 Existing Establishments

2.3.2.1 Procedures for the Renewal of the Licence for Existing Establishments

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

In accordance with subsections 29(1) to 29(11) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, an application for the renewal of the licence to operate a registered establishment must be submitted to the CoA in writing.

An updated and signed Scheduled Work Shift Document signed by the operator (form CFIA/ACIA 5712 – Scheduled Work Shift) is required by the CoA to process the licence renewal.

If changes are made to the nature of operations (activities) of the establishment at the time of renewal, or establishment information, refer to section 2.3.2.2. The completed and signed documents should be forwarded to the CoA no later than March15 of each year.

Establishments that have not submitted applications prior to April 1st must re-apply for a licence as new applicants.

Licence expiration will result in a disruption of activities. Refer to section 2.3.3

Establishments indicated as not meeting the requirements of subsection 29(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations will be marked as inactive by adding an asterisk at the end of establishment operator's name in List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators.

The operator must verify information pertinent to their operations in the CFIA List of Federally Registered Meat Establishments and their Licenced Operators prior to the completion of the application.

2.3.2.2 Changes Made to Existing Registered Establishments

2.3.2.2.1 Submission of Documentation

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

In order to comply with the provisions of subsections 27(1) and subsections 29(2) and 29(3) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, any changes to the activities for which the establishment is registered or changes to a registered establishment, require the submission of the application package to the CFIA.

Contact the assigned responsible inspector for more information.

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the CoA:

  • a cover letter;
  • application forms and supporting documents; and
  • in the case where the operator is not the owner of the registered establishment, a letter, issued and signed by the owner of the registered establishment, giving the operator the authority to make changes to the registered establishment and act on behalf of the owner.

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the assigned responsible inspector for review.

  • the HACCP documentation package.

The CFIA will need a minimum of at least 30 days to review the HACCP documentation package. Any missing or incorrect information will need to be amended by the applicant and reviewed by the CFIA prior to the Final Inspection.

The operator shall inform the CFIA of any change to the ownership of the Registered Establishment. In such cases, the operator shall use form CFIA/ACIA 5369 "Application for Registration of an Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations".

Cover Letter

The purpose of the cover letter is to summarize the proposed modifications and operations in the Registered Establishment.

In cases where the operator is being represented by a third party (e.g., consultant), the cover letter shall include the authorization of the third party to act on their behalf and deal directly with the CFIA in matters related to the application.

A copy of the cover letter shall be forwarded to the responsible inspector for the future reference.

Application Forms and Supporting Documents

The following are CFIA forms for registration of an establishment and licensing of an operator.

  1. CFIA/ACIA 5369 "Application for Registration of an Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations"

    A new form is required when:

    1. proposed modifications change the establishment's activities as per subsection 27(1) of the;
    2. there are changes to the ownership of the establishment; or
    3. there are changes to the location address of the establishment.
  2. CFIA/ACIA 4155 "Application for Licence to Operate a Registered Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations"

    A new form is required when the operator's name changes.

    Supporting documentation for this form shall include a copy of the operator's name registration (federal or provincial). If a provincial name registration is provided, this registration shall be issued in the province in which the establishment is or will be located. Refer to section 2.3.5 for information concerning the change of the operator of a registered establishment.

  3. CFIA/ACIA 4198 "Supplement to Application for Registration or Application for Licence to Operate a Registered Establishment under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations"

    This form must be included if implementation of the proposal will change the function codes or processes currently stated on the operator's licence.

HACCP Documentation Package

When new processes are added to an existing HACCP plan or new HACCP plans are developed as a result of proposed changes to the establishment, the operator shall:

  1. reassess the existing HACCP system or,
  2. contact the assigned responsible inspector before commencing the new process.

The CFIA may request submission and review of the new or revised HACCP plans prior to commencement of the new process. This requirement will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Submission of New or Revised HACCP Plans refer to section 5.1 of the Food Safety Enhancement Program Manual

2.3.2.2.2 Acceptance of Changes to the Registered Establishments

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

In accordance with subsections 29(2) to 29(5) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, an establishment wishing to make changes to their activities must submit an application for an amended licence to operate a registered establishment.

Reservation of Establishment Registration Number

In the case of a registered establishment changing activities from the storage of meat products (code 10) to other activities, it will be necessary for an establishment registration number to be reserved prior to change of registration activities. This will enable the operator to obtain the Meat Inspection Legend (ex. stamps).

The request for an establishment registration number to be reserved shall be made in writing to the assigned responsible inspector when the following conditions are met:

  1. the application package has been received by the CFIA; and
  2. the establishment will be ready for the final inspection within 6 to 8 weeks from the date of the request.
Final Inspection

The final inspection ensures that:

  1. in respect to the Registration of the Establishment, the construction of the areas of a registered establishment, affected by changes, are in compliance with pertinent sections of the Meat Inspection Regulations as well as the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures; and
  2. in respect to the Licensing of an operator, all programs related to the operations of the establishment are revised to reflect the changes made to the registered establishment.

The operator shall request a final inspection of the registered establishment in writing to the assigned responsible inspector a minimum 2 weeks in advance of the desired date of inspection.

In the case of an establishment located in remote areas, the CFIA may require earlier advance notice of the desired date of final inspection.

The operator or his/her designate must be available to assist the CFIA during the final inspection.

2.3.2.3 Change of the Operator of a Registered Establishment

Meat Inspection Regulations Requirements:

29. (1)-(11)

Ensuing Policy Requirements

A licence to operate a registered establishment is not transferable. When a current operator is in the process of selling their business, the operator (seller) and the future operator (applicant) must take certain steps prior to the sale of the business in order to maintain uninterrupted operations of a registered establishment.

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the assigned responsible inspector for review.

  • A signed and dated cover letter that confirms the applicant:

    • will become the new operator of the establishment and the effective date of this transaction.
    • will endorse all commitments made by the current operator to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This includes development, maintenance and implementation of all Corrective Action Plans written by the current operator to close open Corrective Action Requests; the commitment to resolve any outstanding non-compliances pertaining to the operation of the registered establishment.
    • is interested in maintaining the current export eligibility privileges granted to the establishment. The confirmation shall include the list of countries along with applicable control procedures, and a commitment to maintain and implement all required control procedures developed to ensure compliance with applicable requirements of the importing country.
  • A new HACCP Letter of Commitment as per Food Safety Enhancement Program Manual section 5.3: Changes in Ownership of hat confirms:
    • The commitment of the new owner as per the FSEP Manual.
    • That the originally recognized HACCP System is intact and will not be changing as a result of the change in ownership.

Changes made to the HACCP system, will require that the new owner submit a CFIA Area FSEP Coordinator. The CFIA will evaluate the impact of the changes on the HACCP system and determine if the establishment has to undertake a new recognition process."

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the CoA

  • A completed Form CFIA/ACIA 4155 (Application for a Licence to Operate a Registered Establishment) signed by a person with the legal authority to sign on behalf of the applicant. Supporting documentation for this form shall include a copy of the applicant's name registration (federal or provincial). If a provincial name registration is provided, this registration shall be issued in the province in which the establishment is located.
  • A completed Form CFIA/ACIA 4198 (Supplement for Application for Registration or Licence of a Registered Establishment) signed by the same person who signed Form CFIA/ACIA 4155. At the time of sale, the activities and functions indicated on this form must not change from those shown on the current operator's licence at the time of licence surrender.
  • A new Work Shift Document signed by the applicant and Regional Chief Inspector responsible for the establishment. At the time of sale, the scheduled work shift(s) indicated in this agreement must not change from those shown in the current operator's Work Shift Agreement at the time of licence surrender.

In case the ownership of the registered establishment changes at the same time, the applicant shall refer to section 2.3.2.1 of this document.

Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all pertinent information from the seller. The CFIA cannot provide this information due to its confidential nature.

The assigned responsible inspector must find all the above documentation acceptable before the date of the business sale. Failure to meet this requirement may result in the withdrawal of CFIA inspection at the establishment.

The above described process is not applicable should the applicant wish to make changes to the registered establishment activities or the registered establishment's HACCP system at the time of sale. Should the applicant request such changes at the time of sale, a new licence to operate a registered establishment will not be issued until after the CFIA receives and accepts all required documents and conducts all necessary reviews and/or inspections.

On the day the applicant assumes operations of the registered establishment, the seller shall surrender the hard copy of their licence to operate a registered establishment to the assigned inspector. The CoA will issue a new licence to operate a registered establishment to the new operator based on the request made by the assigned inspector.

2.3.3 Expired/Suspended/Cancelled/Voided Licence

Meat Inspection Act and Regulations Requirements:

Pursuant to 3(2) of the Meat Inspection Act (MIA) and 29 (1) of the Meat Inspection Regulations (MIR) no person may operate a registered establishment without a licence.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

A Registered establishment must have a valid licence in order to operate in the federal system.

Expiry of a License to Operate

On April 1st, the inspectorate will notify each operator of a registered establishment who has not submitted an application for licence renewal of the licence expiration.

The Scheduled Work Shift Agreement document is null and void and the CFIA will cease inspection services.

The establishment operator will be ordered to:

  • cease slaughter/production of meat destined for the federal system;
  • cease import re-inspection activities; and,
  • cease export activities.

CFIA personnel will take control of all official documents, seals, stamps, labels and packaging bearing the meat inspection legend and/or establishment number and will require that the operator surrender the expired licence to operate.

CFIA supervisory personnel in each establishment will report actions taken by the inspectorate to CFIA management.

The Inspectorate will inform appropriate provincial authorities that the CFIA has ceased inspection services and that the facility is no longer federally licensed to operate. (See MHMOP 1.4.5.2.6)

Meat products produced prior to licence expiry

  • Any product produced before close of business on March 31st and remaining in an establishment after the licence has expired is still subject to the Food and Drugs Act, will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Area and Headquarters;
  • Any product produced prior to license expiration that has stayed within the federal system by being shipped to a federally registered establishment prior to April 1st is still eligible for export and use in the federal system.

Meat products produced after licence expiry

Any product produced after licence expiry is not eligible for export or inter-provincial trade.

Animals remaining in establishment after March 31st

Despite any antemortem examination that may have taken place prior to the expiry of a licence, no slaughter may take place once the licence has expired if the product is destined for the federal system. The facility is responsible for ensuring the proper care and handling of any animals remaining in the establishment after March 31st. Note that sections 61 – 80 of the MIR and Health of Animals Regulations, including the humane transportation of animals sections still apply.

Contact the Animal Health – Import/Export, Welfare, and Humane Slaughter OGE for additional guidance.

2.3.4 CoA Contact Information

Contact a CFIA Licensing Officer

  • Telephone at 1-855-212-7695
  • E-mail: permission@inspection.gc.ca (preferred method)
  • Facsimile: 1-289-247-4068, or
  • Mail: Centre of Administration, Regulatory Permissions and Registration, 1050 Courtneypark Drive East, Mississauga, ON, L5T 2R4

Note: When contacting or submitting documents to the CoA, please provide a valid business e-mail address in preparation for transition to electronic renewals and notifications.

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