Compliance and enforcement activities

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) uses a risk-based approach to verify that domestically produced and imported products meet Canadian standards and regulations. CFIA compliance and enforcement actions occur all along the supply chain and they involve numerous stakeholders and jurisdictions.

What information is available

The CFIA began posting information about its compliance and enforcement activities in March 2011. Each quarterly posting will reflect the data collected during the previous quarter.

Enforcement tools

CFIA compliance and enforcement activities can occur:

  • within the countries of Canada's trading partners
  • at or near the Canadian border
  • domestically in food, animal and plant product processing facilities
  • at points of distribution and retail sale, or
  • at food service locations

Regulated parties are responsible for complying with all acts and regulations that apply to them, including those administered and enforced by the CFIA.

When it comes to enforcement, the CFIA takes a risk-based approach to compliance management. When the CFIA identifies non-compliance with the legislation it administers and enforces, it has a number of tools it can use to respond.

The CFIA clearly identifies likely consequences for the regulated parties, and applies predictable, consistent enforcement. Regulated parties can expect that the CFIA will take any non-compliance seriously and will deal with it in a professional manner.

Applying 1 or more of the tools, the CFIA can do the following:

  • refuse to let shipments into Canada if they do not have the documentation needed to track them and do not meet regulatory requirements
  • issue notices of violation for non-compliance with plant health and animal health regulatory requirements (notices may contain a warning or penalty)
  • suspend or cancel licences, registrations or permits for federally registered establishments
  • recommend to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada that violators be prosecuted, depending on the severity of the violation or the escalation of enforcement actions
  • seize and detain shipments and products if there is a need to control the movement of certain products, for reasons such as health, safety and quality
  • suspend or cancel organic certifications issued under the Canada Organic Regime