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Private Certification Policy (Food Safety)
Guiding Principles

Creates Value
Value is created for the Agency and regulated parties through improved decision-making, and efficiencies gained by taking known, reliable information relevant to compliance into consideration in risk-based regulatory oversight.
No Intent to Replace Regulatory Oversight
CFIA remains responsible for verifying compliance with regulatory requirements. There is no intent to replace or outsource regulatory oversight or inspection work.
CFIA uses the best available science, information and assessment of risks in determining regulatory response. Private certification schemes will be considered as one of several factors in CFIA's risk assessment; certification to a private certification scheme that meets most or all regulatory requirements should positively impact the risk profile of a regulated party.
Based on Best Available Information
Assessments of private certification scheme requirements will be performed on the best available information and documented; assessments and decision-making should be supported by information management / information technology (IM/IT) solutions that will facilitate planning, reporting and decision making.
International Alignment
Assessments and application of the policy will be aligned with the international standards developed by Codex Alimentarius.
Voluntary Industry Investment
Industry is responsible for its products and processes and to demonstrate ongoing compliance with legislative requirements. Private company decisions taken to achieve certification to a private certification scheme are business decisions and not a regulatory requirement or recommendation.
Avoids Trade Barriers
The policy is designed to inform CFIA risk-based decision making. It is non-prejudicial to products whether imported or domestic in origin.
The CFIA is committed to being transparent and proactively providing the public with useful information relevant to this policy. For instance, the assessment process and criteria will be published on the CFIA web site.
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