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Regulatory requirements: Fresh fruits or vegetables

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

On this page

1.0 Introduction

While the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) include a set of general requirements that apply to a broad range of foods, there are some requirements that apply only to certain foods. This document provides an overview of the regulatory requirements specific to fresh fruits or vegetables found in Part 6, Division 6 of the SFCR.

2.0 Fresh fruits or vegetables of different types packaged together with or without other food - Exemptions

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Sections 110 and 111

Rationale

Consumer prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables of different types that are packaged together with or without other food may be exempt from certain import requirements specific to fresh fruits or vegetables, grade and grade name requirements, standard container size requirements and country of origin labelling requirements found in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for additional information on labelling, grade and standard container size requirements for fresh fruits or vegetables.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand, specific criteria and resources are provided below. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 110: Fresh Packs, Stew Packs and Vegetable Packs

Keep in mind

"Fresh Pack"

The term "Fresh Pack" when used in Part 6 – Commodity-Specific Requirements of the SFCR refers to consumer prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables that contain more than one type of fresh fruit or vegetables, but no other food and

  • have a label applied or attached to the container that bears the expression "Fresh Pack" or "emballage frais";
  • no one type of fresh fruit or vegetable in the container exceeds 1 kg net weight; and
  • the net weight of the fresh fruits or vegetables in the container does not exceed 10 kg.

"Stew-pack" or "Vegetables for Stew"

The terms "Stew-pack" and "Vegetable for Stew" when used in Part 6 , Division 6 – Fresh Fruits or Vegetables of the SFCR, refer to consumer prepackaged fresh vegetables that contain more than one type of fresh vegetable, but no other food and

  • have a label applied or attached to the container that bears the expression "Stew-pack" or "légumes mixtes" or the expression "Vegetables for Stew" or "légumes pour ragoût";
  • no one type of fresh vegetable in the container exceeds 1 kg net weight; and
  • the net weight of the fresh vegetables in the container does not exceed 10 kg.

Section 111: Gift Packs and Combo Packs

Keep in mind

"Gift Pack or Combo Pack":

The terms "Gift Pack" and "Combo Pack" when used in Part 6 , Division 6 – Fresh Fruits or Vegetables of the SFCR, refer to consumer prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables that contain more than one type of fresh fruits or vegetables together with other food and:

  • have a label applied or attached to the container that bears the expression "Gift Pack" or "emballage-cadeau" or the expression "Combo Pack" or "emballage mixte";
  • no one type of fresh fruit or vegetable in the container exceeds 1 kg net weight; and
  • the net weight of the fresh fruits or vegetables and other food in the container does not exceed 10 kg.

Exemptions:

The exemptions provided under sections 110 and 111 of the SFCR do not apply to the following prepackaged foods as these do not contain more than one type of fresh fruit or vegetable:

·apples of different varieties packaged together and labelled "Gift Pack", "Combination Pack" and "Variety Pack in accordance with subsection 8(2) and section 10 of the Canadian Grade Compendium Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables, or

·pears of different varieties packaged together and labelled "Gift Pack", "Combination Pack" and "Variety Pack in accordance with subsection 69(2) of the Canadian Grade Compendium Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables

3.0 Import of certain whole fresh fruits or vegetables – Grade Requirements

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Sections 112 to 121

Rationale

Grade standards provide an established understanding of the quality of fresh fruit or vegetable which helps facilitate trade and allows consumers to make informed choices.

Due to the economic significance of apples, onions and potatoes in Canada, it is a regulatory requirement to have imported apples, onions and potatoes certified as meeting the Canadian grade requirements to avoid a negative impact on the Canadian market.

Note: There are additional grade requirements in the SFCR that apply to imported fresh fruits or vegetables. These are found in:

Keep in mind

There are additional plant health requirements for certain imported whole fresh fruits or vegetables, such as potatoes. Please refer to the Automated Imported Retrieval System (AIRS)

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you can do to comply. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Sections 112, 113, 117 and 119: Requirements for whole potatoes imported from the United States

Keep in mind

Section 120 of the SFCR states that if fresh fruits or vegetables are sent or conveyed to Canada in an in bond shipment from a foreign state other than the United States and pass only in transit through the United States, the fresh fruits or vegetables are not considered to have been imported from the United States.

Section 112, subsections 114(2),(3) and sections 117 and 119: Requirements for whole apples imported from the United Sates

Sections 112, 118 and 119: Requirements for apples imported from New Zealand

Keep in mind

Section 120 of the SFCR states that if fresh fruits or vegetables are sent or conveyed to Canada in an in bond shipment from a foreign state other than the United States and pass only in transit through the United States, the fresh fruits or vegetables are not considered to have been imported from the United States.

Sections 112, 115, 117 and 119: Requirements for whole onions imported from the United States

Keep in mind

Section 120 of the SFCR states that if fresh fruits or vegetables are sent or conveyed to Canada in an in bond shipment from a foreign state other than the United States and pass only in transit through the United States, the fresh fruits or vegetables are not considered to have been imported from the United States.

Sections 112 and 115: Requirements for whole fresh fruits or vegetables, other than whole onions, potatoes and apples, imported from the United Sates

Keep in mind

Section 120 of the SFCR states that if fresh fruits or vegetables are sent or conveyed to Canada in an in bond shipment from a foreign state other than the United States and pass only in transit through the United States, the fresh fruits or vegetables are not considered to have been imported from the United States.

Section 112, subsections 113(1), 114(1) and sections 116 and 119: Requirements for onions, potatoes and apples from foreign states

4.0 Dispute Resolution Corporation membership

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Section 122

Rationale

Certain fruit or vegetable dealers must have a Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) membership in order to trade fresh fruits or vegetables. The requirement for a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Produce Licence has been discontinued and these licences will expire when the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) comes into force.

The DRC is a not-for-profit corporation serving the produce trade. It is the single dispute resolution body for the fruit and vegetable trade in Canada. The DRC provides trading rules for its members to help avoid trade disputes. Information on DRC membership is available on the DRC website.

What this means for your business

To help you understand, specific criteria and resources are provided below. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 122(1): Trade prohibition

Subsections 122(2) and (3): Exception criteria for the trade prohibition

5.0 Destination inspection services

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Section 123

Rationale

The CFIA offers destination inspections services, including an impartial report which may be used for the resolution of disputes between buyers and sellers regarding the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables.

What this means for your business

Specific criteria and resources are provided below. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 123: Damaged or defective fresh fruits or vegetables

Keep in mind

The CFIA's DIS continues to provide destination inspections for buyers of shipped fresh fruits or vegetables to provide an impartial inspection report for use in the resolution of buyer/seller disputes on quality of the fresh fruits or vegetables traded. Refer to Destination Inspection Service for information on the operations of the DIS.  Request for DIS service should be done by completing form CFIA/ACIA 5479.

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