Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category


Video: Basic Import Requirements for Food Products into Canada

Just because you can buy it, does not mean you can import it. Food products tend to be one of the most misunderstood imports. Our licensed customs broker, Gloria Terhaar, provides an overview of the basic requirements when importing food products into Canada.



To assist importers in becoming aware of their requirements and implications of regulations involved with importing food products into Canada, Pacific Customs Brokers regularly hosts seminars and webinars. Visit the Trade Compliance Education section of our website to see a list of seminars and webinars currently being offered.

For more information on how Pacific Customs Brokers can help you commercially import food products into Canada, please contact us.

Have questions about importing produce into Canada? Leave them in our comments section below or email Ask Your Broker.


Related Blog Articles:

New Food Safety Regulations That Will Dominate 2014

Stamp: Safe FoodThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a number of new rules during 2013.  Some of these are in the “public comment” period at this time, with conclusions happening during the first and second quarters of 2014.  From there, the FDA will submit final language to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and publication in the Federal Register, and these are expected to become final within 90 days of issuance.

While there are many proposed rules, guidance documents and reports that are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), we list here a few of the primary issues that we believe importers and exporters need to ensure all parties within your supply chain are complying with, rules expected to be in place or in play during 2014.

  1. Sanitary transportation rule for both human and animal food – This will affect shippers, carriers, receivers and other parties involved in food transportation.

Learn more: Sanitation and Transportation Guidance Documents and Regulatory Information

  1. Written food safety plan, which incorporates proof that you are following the plan, to include hazards analysis, preventive controls, monitoring, corrective actions, verifications and record-keeping.

Learn more: FSMA Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food

  1. Foreign supplier verification program – Importers will be required to have a program to verify that the food products they are importing are safe, which includes verifying that their suppliers are in compliance with reasonably appropriate risk-based preventive controls.

Learn more: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act – General Information on Imports

As food and beverage producers adapt to an array of stringent food safety requirements in the coming year, Pacific Customs Brokers is here to help. We can assist you in understanding these regulations and how they may affect your business, all while cutting through the red tape of importing to the United States. Take advantage of our upcoming webinar on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulated Goods on May 8, 2014 and refresh your knowledge in the importation of FDA regulated goods.

Do you have questions about these FSMA regulations? Use the comments section below to leave us your thoughts or email Ask Your Broker.


Additional Resources:

Mandatory Re-registration with FDA Due Dec 31, 2012

As customs brokers for many importers who ship U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated products, Pacific Custom Brokers has been actively monitoring and informing companies of the changes in U.S. FDA regulations.

As a non-domestic food facility importing FDA regulated food products into the United States, your firm is directly affected by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was enacted in January 2011.


New Biannual Registration Requirements

The new act requires that all food facilities, foreign and domestic, must re-register with FDA.  This act EXPANDS the registration mandate under the Bioterrorism Act of 2003, to state that all facilities must re-register every two (2) years between October 1 and December 31, beginning in 2012.  The re-registration module of FDA became available on October 22, 2012.

Your current registration will expire on January 1, 2013.  If re-registration is not completed prior to that date, your current registration will be considered invalid and you will be required to register anew.  This will create a new FDA registration number for your facility and all products that you import into the U.S.  In order to complete your re-registration, you will need to have the original FDA facility registration account number, your password, and your PIN.

U. S. Agent Required for Foreign (Non-U.S. Domiciled) Food Facilities

One of the requirements for registration of a foreign (non-U.S. domiciled) food facility is that a U.S. domiciled agent be appointed. The U.S. agent plays the role of the domestic representative for the foreign facility through which all communication with the FDA takes place.

Note: When you first registered with FDA, you may have appointed one of your customers, or a custom broker, as your agent.  At the time the Bioterrorism Act took effect in 2003, there were very limited responsibilities placed on the agent.  The FSMA greatly expands these requirements, to include the financial liability of payment to FDA for all re-inspection fees.  Your current agent may not be willing to accept the liabilities involved under the new requirements, and will be given an opportunity to decline that role, which will render your re-registration invalid.

Pacific Customs Brokers can assist you with food facility registration or renewal and U.S. Agent services. Our 24 hour, 7 days a week operation is available to provide immediate answers to your regulatory questions.  Please address your comments and questions to the team at Pacific Customs Brokers at or call us at 877-332-8534.


Read more on our blog:

Food Modernization Safety Act – Re-Registering your Facility with the FDA

U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act – Does It Affect Me?

Good to Know: FDA Food Facility Re-registration Now Open


To stay current on this topic, you may also want to subscribe to Pacific Customs Brokers’ weekly trade newsletter.


Do you have questions on the FDA food facility re-registration? Share them in our comments section below.


RE-Registering your Food Facility with the FDA

VeggiesIf your firm engages in the manufacture or processing, packing or holding of food, beverages, or dietary supplements for either human or animal consumption, and those goods are destined for the United States, you are required to register with the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.  Foreign facilities must also designate a U.S. agent for FDA communications purposes.

The registration regulations apply to all facilities that handles any of the following:

  • Dietary supplements and dietary ingredients
  • Infant formula
  • Beverage – including alcoholic beverages and bottled water
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy products and shell eggs
  • Raw agricultural commodities for use as food or components of food
  • Canned and frozen foods
  • Bakery goods, snack food, and candy – including chewing gum
  • Live food animals
  • Animal feeds and pet food

The Food Modernization Safety Act requires that all food facilities that are required to register must renew their registration every other year, beginning in 2012.  The first registration renewal cycle will occur from October 1 to December 31, 2012.  All facilities will be required to re-register every two years thereafter.

We all know how quickly summer wanes and fall comes back around, and October will be here before we know it.  Now might be a good time to review the information submitted on your original FDA registration and to be prepared to make any adjustments or amendments that may be necessary.  While official re-registration will not be accepted until October 2012, the FDA encourages you to review and update your registration information regularly.   To electronically update your facility registration, please visit the FDA web page.

Be aware that there are a number of private firms who are available to handle your registration for a fee, however the above link will take you directly to the FDA site, and there is no charge to register or update or re-register your facility.  This allows you to retain control over the information that is provided to the FDA, and to make necessary updates promptly.

As always, Pacific Customs Brokers is pleased to assist you in answering your questions and discussing how the regulations affect your firm.  We can assist you in understanding your legal options and help cut through the red tape of importing to the United States.

CFIA – New Regulations and Informed Compliance

As an importer, you must keep current with the new and upcoming changes in regulatory requirements for all government departments.   The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), for example, with regard to food and plant product imports, will have some changes.   The upcoming changes in regulations include:

The Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) is a five year initiative that aims to modernize and strengthen Canada’s food safety system and increase collaboration and information sharing among government partners, industry, and consumers in the Imported Food Sector (IFS), as well as provide the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with an enhanced ability to communicate important information to importers to assist in mitigating food safety risks.

Imported Food Sector (IFS) products represent approximately 70% of food products sold in Canada.   An IFS product is any imported food or food ingredient for human consumption.

If you are an importer of IFS products, then becoming prepared for the full implementation of the Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) is a MUST.   In the next two (2) years, the FSAP regulatory requirements will be enforced and if you are not in full compliance, you will be unable to import IFS products.

New regulations and informed compliance for solid wood packaging materials such as pallets, crates and dunnage.   If you are an importer of machinery or other non-CFIA regulated products, your imports will still fall under the aegis of the CFIA due the packaging materials used.   Are you and your vendors aware of the upcoming changes for all solid wood packaging materials exported from the United States?

To assist importers in becoming aware of the implications and requirements of the upcoming CFIA regulations, Pacific Customs Brokers is hosting a CFIA Seminar on Thursday February 24, 2011.   Carol Brown, LCB, CCS,   the instructor of the CFIA session, will be providing an update on the latest food licensing and wood packaging materials requirements as well as outlining basic documentation and tips to avoiding Administrative Monetary Penalty System fines. We strongly urge all persons involved in the transportation or importing of wood packaging materials and the   importing of food products to attend the CFIA Seminar.

For more information on registering for the CFIA Seminar, please email or contact Yvette Fox at 888.538.1566.