Canadian Import and Interprovincial Requirements for Processed Products (fruits, vegetables and maple products)

This information is intended to provide an overview of federal requirements (grades, standards of identity, packaging, and labelling) for the processing and distribution (import and interprovincial) of products covered by the Maple Products Regulations and the Processed Products Regulations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the single contact for all federal regulations covering the products falling under the above mentioned regulations.

This is not intended to replace any federal regulations; it is recommended to consult the appropriate set of regulations before using any information. Maple products are covered by the Maple Products Regulations and processed fruits, vegetables, and certain other products, by the Processed Products Regulations.

Import Requirements

If you wish to import a processed food product, please ensure that the following points are respected:

  1. Minimum Grade or Standard of Identity
  2. Prescribed Containers
  3. Correct Labelling
  4. Processed foods must be sound, wholesome, fit for human consumption, manufactured from sound raw materials, and packed under sanitary conditions. If the above requirements are met, the shipment (maple products excepted) need only be accompanied by an Import Declaration Form (CFIA/ACIA 4560) - PDF (98 kb) in duplicate; it is to be completed by the importer or his representative.

Importers of processed products are required to pay a fee per shipment for the verification of the Import Declaration. Import fees are payable by the due date shown on the client's monthly statement. Clients should contact CFIA Accounts Receivable to arrange payment options.

CFIA Accounts Receivable
P.O. Box 6199
33 Weldon Street, Suite 100
Moncton, NB EIC 0N5

Telephone: 1-888-677-2342
Facsimile: 1-506-851-6557

For questions on documentation required by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), please contact your local CBSA office.

Import quotas or permits do not apply to processed products.

Products that do not meet items 1, 2, and 3, may only be imported if given prior approval from the consignee's regional Canadian Food Inspection Agency office. This approval is known as a ministerial exemption, and is conditional on availability of domestic supplies.

Products covered by the Processed Products Regulations: A traveller bringing in products need not worry about the above items if the shipment does not exceed 20 kg. Products imported for a national or an international exhibition do not need to meet the above requirements if the shipment weighs 100 kg or less and is not for sale.

Maple syrup and maple products: A traveller may bring in the following products that do not meet the above items: Maple syrup - not exceeding 100 litres; Maple products other than maple syrup - weighing 25 kg or less. Maple syrup and maple products imported for a national or an international exhibition do not need to meet the above items if the maple shipment weighs 100 kg or less and is not for sale.

Interprovincial Requirements

If you wish to ship a domestically produced processed food product interprovincially, please ensure that the following points are respected:

  1. Processing Establishment Registration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  2. Minimum Grade or Standard of Identity
  3. Prescribed Containers
  4. Correct Labelling
  5. Health and Safety Requirements as set out in the pertinent regulations.

Buyers shipping products interprovincially that do not meet items 2, 3 and 4, may only do so if given prior approval from the consignee's local regional Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This approval is known as a ministerial exemption, and is conditional on availability of domestic supplies.

Minimum Grade

In Schedule I of the Processed Products Regulations, the grades for each processed product, where applicable, are described. For example, canned corn has three grades: Canada Fancy, Canada Choice and Canada Standard; the minimum grade is Canada Standard. The minimum grade prescribed for a product is the minimum quality permitted to be imported or exported.

For imported products sold in original containers, the grade names are similar to that of domestic product, except the word Canada must be omitted, and the word Grade must be added. In the above example, the grades for imported canned corn become the following: Fancy Grade, Choice Grade, and Standard Grade.

Some products included in the Processed Products Regulations do not have grades established for them, instead, standards of identity have been created. This simply means that to use a common name, for example "jam", a specified composition must be respected.

Prescribed Containers

Prescribed or standard container sizes, which must be used, are indicated in the Tables of the Maple Products and Processed Products Regulations. Prescribed containers refer to specific dimensions for metallic containers and/or to container net quantities. Exceptions as noted in the interprovincial, import and export sections may prevail over this requirement.

Labelling Requirements

Inspection of Products

Import and Interprovincial Inspection: Inspection is not obligatory for maple or processed products involved in an import or interprovincial shipment.

Administrative Inspections: At any time, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency may randomly inspect any food product to ensure that minimum requirements (composition, labelling, standard containers, and health standards) are met. Non-compliant product will be detained until it meets regulatory requirements, or if imported, may be ordered out of the country.