National Import Service Centre

Maintenance notice

The following services may not be available on June 23, 2024 from 3 am to 7 am (ET):

  • Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)
  • Automated Import Reference System Verification Service (AVS)
  • CFIA Shipment Tracker for Food, Plant and Animal products
  • Electronic Data Interchange – Integrated Import Declaration (EDI – IID)

The following services may not be available on June 25, 2024 from 3 am to 6 am (ET):

  • Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)

If you require assistance with an admissibility release process for the above noted services please contact the National Import Service Centre (NISC) cfia.nisc-csni.acia@inspection.gc.ca for guidance.

On this page

What the National Import Service Centre does

The National Import Service Centre (NISC) reviews import documentation for Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)  regulated food, plant and animal commodities being imported into Canada when the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) indicates "refer to CFIA". The NISC will review the information and return a recommendation electronically to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA has the ultimate decision.

Commodities requiring NISC release must be cleared by CFIA at first point of entry before moving inland or to an inland CBSA bonded warehouse.

How to submit an import declaration

The Integrated Import Declaration (IID) provides commercial importers and customs brokers with a single portal to submit all import information and documents required to meet federal government import regulations, and get an admissibility decision electronically. All importers and customs brokers are expected to use the IID channel when declaring CFIA regulated goods to the CBSA. IID allows importers/brokers to send their declaration up to 90 days in advance. If you're experiencing issues please contact EDI-CFIA-ACIA@inspection.gc.ca for support.

If you're an importer without access to IID, you may submit a paper declaration using form CFIA/ACIA 5272 – Request for documentation review and emailing your import documents to cfia.niscimports-importscsni.acia@inspection.gc.ca.

Guidance to support importers provides more details on how to submit a paper declaration.

Payment of invoices

When applicable to an import transaction, an invoice for CFIA services will be emailed or faxed to the importer/broker. Payments for invoices can be made using CFIA's Online payments for services.

Note that the NISC isn't able to answer questions about payments. Direct your questions to CFIA's National Accounts Receivable Service Centre at 1-888-677-2342 or email ARCentre@inspection.gc.ca.

Guidance to support importers

CFIA services and tools to support importers

Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)
Shows the import requirements for CFIA regulated commodities.

AIRS Verification Service (AVS)
Helps importers/brokers validate multiple commodities against the most current AIRS database. AVS identifies which line in a transaction, if any, is incorrect.

CFIA shipment tracker for food, plant and animal
Allows Canadian importers of CFIA regulated commodities to check the inspection status of meat import shipments from the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Import related codes

Contact us

Services available

This office can assist you with the following:

  • Answer enquiries related to an import transaction that has been reviewed by the NISC
    • The unique 14-digit transaction number from your import declaration is required
  • Support importers who have questions on how to use AIRS to declare their goods

Please note the NISC is not able to advise as to which HS codes your product should be classified.

You may contact the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for help to determine the proper tariff classification of goods. Please visit the CBSA Advance rulings for tariff classification website.

Find contact information for other types of enquiries.

Service hours

By email or facsimile

7 days a week, including statutory holidays: 7:00 am to 3am (EST)

Email: cfia.nisc-csni.acia@inspection.gc.ca

Facsimile: 1-905-795-9658

By telephone

Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays: 7 am to 11 pm (EST)

1-800-835-4486 or 1-877-493-0468 (Canada or U.S.A.)
1-289-247-4099 (Local calls and all other countries)

Statutory holidays

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Civic Holiday
  • Labour Day
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
  • Thanksgiving
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day