The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has introduced My CFIA, an online portal that provides access to secure business resources. The goal of this portal is to electronically provide information to the government instead of having to send in paper certificates and other forms. This includes requesting services and licenses, applying for export certificates, and paying for services online.
While at this point in time enrollment in My CFIA is not mandatory, making it mandatory is currently under discussion.
My CFIA will be released in 4 phases; currently, the roll out is in ‘Phase 1’ which allows for a single Dairy permission.
Current Rollout Schedule
Phase 2 – Spring 2017
- Introduction of the Export Module – The export module will identify and ask all of the required questions per the commodity and the country that the exporter is exporting to. This module also allows the organization to obtain any necessary certificates using available forms, and potentially allowing the inputting of repetitive information on a template, and then reusing that information for similar entries.
- The 2nd phase will also include Meat permissions; however, these will only be to the U.S.
Phase 3 – Summer 2017
- Will include Meat to specifically identified countries
Phase 4 – Fall 2017
- Will potentially include Meat to all other countries
What Does This Mean for Importers/Exporters?
The CFIA is encouraging importers/exporters to set up their up portal profile sooner rather than later. This will allow them to be familiar with the portal and be prepared when all permissions are available. There is not a waiting list for approval at the moment, but that will most likely change as the year continues. The initial setup of the profile takes 15 – 20 minutes for the average company.
To create a My CFIA profile, you can visit this web page to see a useful ‘How to Get Started’ guide to set up your account.
The CFIA also provides a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ that may also answer any questions you have.