Shopping online? Check with CFIA before checking out
In many cases it is illegal and you could unknowingly spread African swine fever (ASF), a deadly pig virus, through infected product from other countries. The ASF virus can live for months and can spread through contact with infected pork products, both fresh and frozen.
The Internet has revolutionized the way we purchase goods. But whether you're buying, selling or trading in a store or online, the same import requirements apply. Bringing certain food, plants, plant products, animals or animal products into Canada can pose a serious risk to our Canadian resources and economy, not to mention your wallet!
As part of its commitment to protect the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment, and economy, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) administers and enforces regulations that safeguard Canada's animal and plant resource base.
Remember to check in with CFIA before checking out
Bringing non-compliant goods across international borders is both illegal and unsafe. Before placing an online order for food, plant or animal products, check whether they are eligible to enter Canada and, if so, make sure you understand the requirements.
Non-compliant goods could be harmful
The risks are real. Non-compliant food purchased or traded online and shipped to Canada may be contaminated and could make you sick if consumed. Other goods may carry a range of hidden invasive pests (such as emerald ash borer and apple maggot) and diseases (such as oak wilt and potato wart), or be pests themselves. These risks pose a serious threat to Canada's agriculture industry and economy. They threaten our food supply, our environment and our natural resources.
The costs to you of not knowing
Just because a product is sold online, it does not mean it's approved for import into Canada. International sellers and shippers may not know about Canadian (or provincial) regulations regarding restricted items and they sure don't care about your liability as the buyer and importer.
If restricted items are seized by Canadian or foreign officials, whether you shipped them yourself or someone mailed them to you, you may run the risk of:
- having your item(s) destroyed or removed from the country at your expense
- facing monetary penalties or other regulatory action
Help protect Canada
- For more information, visit:
- Have a question about rules to follow before buying or selling food, plants, plant products, animals or animal products online? We are here to help – call or email us.
- Want more stories like this? Explore what else Chronicle 360 has to offer.
- Interested in reporting on one of our stories? Contact CFIA Media Relations to arrange an interview with one of our experts.
- Have a story idea or feedback to share? Get in touch!
- Never miss a story. Subscribe to Chronicle 360 today.
- Date modified: