Fresh News from the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)

CFIA Notice to Industry – Simplified plant import permit application process

Beginning June 1, 2019, importers applying for an import permit under the Plant Protection Act can submit their application electronically to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, without having to submit a hard copy.

Removing the hard-copy requirement makes the electronic application process easier, faster and cheaper, and reduces the administrative burden. This updated process promotes electronic access to CFIA services in line with the Agency’s priority to offer digital-first tools and services.

You can now submit the Application for Permit to Import Plants and Other Things (CFIA/ACIA 5256) by using My CFIA online services or by e-mail at , fax or mail.

For more information on how to apply for this permit, see CFIA’s Directive D-97-04.  If you have questions about this notice, please email

Incorporating organic import requirements into the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)

Anyone who imports organic products must be able to present a valid organic certificate when requested at any time, including at the time of import.

The organic certificate must be issued by a certification body that is accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), or by an accredited certification body recognized under an existing organic equivalency agreement between Canada and a foreign country.

The organic import requirements in Part 13 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations will be incorporated into the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).

To implement the import requirements into AIRS, CFIA will use a phased-in approach which will involve creating new commodity identifiers (OGD extension codes) for organic products by commodity type.

The fresh fruits and vegetables will be the first commodity group to be implemented. Please be advised that the planned update to add new OGD extensions to identify organic products and reflect their admissibility requirements to the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) has been rescheduled from May 29th, 2019 to June 10th, 2019. The list of the new OGD extensions will be made available prior to the AIRS publication.

For any questions about the new implementation date please email:

For more information please email the Canada Organic Regime team at:

National Inspection Division / Operations Branch
Canadian Food Inspection Agency / Government of Canada

To view AIRS updates on the CPMA website click here.

[Source: CPMA Produce Now – May 31, 2019]