Centre of Administration for Permissions

Notice: Applying for an animal or plant import permit, or a Ministerial Exemption for fresh fruit and vegetables? As of July 4, 2022, the CFIA will be charging the fee for the delivery of its services, which must be paid when you apply.

Permissions issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) help to keep Canada's domestic food supply safe, protect the environment from invasive animal and plant diseases and plant pests, and ensure compliance with various regulatory requirements, enabling market access and trade.

The Centre of Administration (CoA) receives and processes applications for domestic and import related permissions, which include licences, permits, ministerial exemptions, permissions to move, and test market authorizations.

Manage your application online

Most permissions are available online through My CFIA, a convenient and secure way to do business with the CFIA. Sign up for a My CFIA account to apply and check the status of your application, and manage and track service requests.

Should you have questions or need guidance in completing an application or renewal, contact us.

How long will it take to process my application

We are committed to achieving the stated processing times a minimum of 90% of the time under normal operational circumstances.

The processing time impacting the remaining 10% will vary based on:

  • the type of application submitted (level of risk or complexity)
  • how long you take to respond to any requests or concerns
  • the volume of applications received
  • technical reviews or inspections
  • changes in policy and how we operate
  • factors beyond our control (for example, natural disasters, conflicts in certain regions, animal diseases outbreaks, plant health pest restrictions

Your processing time starts the day we receive your complete application and ends when we have issued a decision.

If you applied through My CFIA and it's been longer than the time shown below, please check your application status in your My CFIA account. If you don't see an update, please call us at 1-800-442-2342.

Simple applications:

10 business days

Complex applicationsFootnote 1 (require specialist review):

May exceed 10 business days

Ministerial Exemptions for fresh
fruits and vegetables:

2 business days

Ministerial Exemptions and Permissions to Move for processed products:

5 business days

Test Market Authorizations

6 to 12 weeks

Safe Food for Canadians licence applications:

48 hours

Safe Food for Canadians Licence applications that require pre-issuance verificationFootnote 2:

70 business days

What's new

Learn about the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and find out if your business needs a licence and when to apply.

Submit and track the status of your applications online by signing up for My CFIA.

Permit requirements

SFCR Interactive tool: Do you need a food licence?

The Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) shows the import requirements for CFIA regulated commodities

Find information
on CFIA fees

Contact us

The CoA offers bilingual support services Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST. We are closed for statutory holidays.



Email and voicemail messages are returned within 3 business days.

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to the CFIA's email notifications

Find an application form

Search by…

  • Food (ministerial exemptions, permissions to move and test market authorizations)

    Note: Apply for a Safe Food for Canadians licence by using My CFIA

  • Animal Health (animal pathogens, animal products and by-products (including pet food), live animals (aquatic and terrestrial, including amphibians and reptiles), hatching eggs, and animal germplasm)
  • Plant (plants, plant products, unprocessed/raw grains, oilseeds or plant-based meals, wood products, and wood packaging program registration)

Online payment

Sign up for a My CFIA account to access secure online payment options.

Businesses that manage high volumes of applications can select monthly invoicing as their online payment option in My CFIA by completing an Application for Credit (CFIA/ACIA 0015).


Quarterly reports for permissions issued