ATTENTION FOREIGN SUPPLIERS! Here’s how to send fresh produce to Canada as an NRI.

Does your foreign business wish to send fresh produce to Canada? If so, you must go through a licenced Canadian importer or become a non-resident importer (NRI) if your business qualifies. In order to bring fresh produce into Canada, you must obtain a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and likely will need a DRC membership.


NRIs are businesses exporting food into Canada from a fixed place of business outside the country. In this case, as we are talking about importing fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV), the only country currently applicable to do this is the United States (US). The reason is that the US mirrors a similar level of protection as the SFCR, making US NRIs eligible to hold a Safe Food for Canadians licence (SFC licence) to import food into Canada. As authorities evaluate more food safety systems, they may add more countries to the list in the future.


The first step in obtaining a licence as an NRI is to create an account through the My CFIA website. From there, you’ll have access to a full range of operational and administrative services to ensure a seamless registration process.
Once you obtain your SFC licence number and DRC membership number, you should add these to your import declaration forms to ensure your FFV shipment clears customs and enters the country without any problems.


The SFCR requires NRIs to hold a DRC membership to send FFV across the border into Canada. The CFIA lists permitted exceptions to this requirement.

It is worth noting that an SFC licence and a DRC membership have different intents. An SFC licence identifies and authorizes businesses to conduct licensable food safety-related activities such as NRIs. A DRC membership requires fair and ethical trading practices that minimize trade irritants and facilitate effective dispute resolution so you can #tradewithconfidence.

As a member of the DRC, you’ll have access to additional services that lower the risk of conflict in a transaction. Click on the link to learn more and how to apply.


For more information, contact: 

Nicole MacDonald
Communications and Marketing Specialist
Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation
Email: [email protected]
Ph: +1-613-234-0982

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