SFCR Impact on Canadians

| DRC

Effective January 15, 2019 Canadians who buy and sell fresh fruit and vegetables must be members in good standing of the

Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC)

On June 13, 2018, Canada’s Ministers of Health and Agriculture and Agri-Food announced the publication of the final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) in Canada Gazette, Part II (CGII). The regulations come into force on January 15, 2019.

While the regulations primarily address important food safety and traceability matters, there is a significant trade and commerce element of particular interest to the produce industry. Canadians who buy, sell or negotiate the sale or purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables inter-provincially, and internationally will be required to be a member in good standing of the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, unless excepted from the regulations. The requirements are outlined in Part 6, Division 6 Fresh Fruits or Vegetables, Subdivision C Trade of Fresh Fruits or Vegetables, paragraphs 122(1), (2) and (3). In other words: all Canadian buyers must be members in good standing of the DRC. The SFCR repeals the option of a choice between a CFIA Produce Licence and a DRC membership.

What is the impact of the SFCR?

For existing DRC members, it is business as usual. However, Canadians who are not a DRC member and buy and sell fresh fruit and vegetables must consider whether they are subject to the requirement or exempt.

How do I know if I am exempt from the requirement?

Under the SFCR, it is prohibited to:

(a) sell any fresh fruits or vegetables that are to be exported or sent or conveyed from one province to another;

(b) purchase or negotiate the purchase on another person’s behalf of any fresh fruits or vegetables that are to be imported or to be sent or conveyed from one province to another;

(c) receive any fresh fruits or vegetables that have been

imported or sent or conveyed to from one province to another; or

(d) send or convey from one province to another or import or export any fresh fruits or vegetables.

The SFCR does provide for exceptions, which are listed below:

(a) any person who is a member in good standing of the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, a corporation incorporated under Part 2 of the Canada not-for-profit Corporations Act, as described in its bylaws;
(b) any person who only sells fresh fruits or vegetables directly to consumers if that person paid less than $100,000 for the fresh fruits and vegetables that they sold to consumers within the previous 12 months;
(c) any person who only purchases, sells or negotiates the purchase or sale on another person’s behalf, sends or conveys from one province to another or imports or exports less than one metric ton of fresh fruits and vegetables per day;
(d) any person who only sells fresh fruits or vegetables that they have grown themselves; or
(e) a registered charity as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act or a club, society or association described in paragraph 149(1)(1) of that Act.

A DRC membership fulfills the CFIA SFCR regulatory requirement that provides authority to buy, sell or negotiate the sale or purchase of fruits and vegetables inter-provincially, intra-provincially and internationally. For additional information, contact the DRC Help Desk (+1 613 234 0982) or visit the dedicated section of the website to complete a self assessment to determine if you are subject to the requirement or exempt: http://fvdrc.com/sfcr/.