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How to Import Meat and Meat Products into Canada

Meat and meat products are regulated in Canada under the Meat Inspection Act. These regulations set standards of construction, operation and maintenance for registered establishments and must undergo a series of checks including inspection upon import, labeling compliance and audits through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Step 1: Contact A & A Contract Customs Brokers to inform them of your intention to import at minimum 48 hours prior to importation. Importers must fulfill the other criteria outlined by CFIA prior to importation.

Step 2: Obtain information on requirements for importing meat and meat products by visiting the designated section on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website. As import requirements vary by commodity, it is highly suggested that an importer use the Automated Importer Reference System (AIRS) for reference.

Step 3: Forward the following documents to A & A Contract Customs Brokers at minimum 48 hours prior to the goods arriving at the port of entry, for customs clearance with Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA):

1) Canada Customs Commercial invoice

2) Copy of the Original Meat Inspection Certificate (U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service form) signed by a Veterinarian in the USA (Original document is to accompany the shipment.)

3) Notice of Intent to Import Meat Products into Canada

4) Pre-cleared  Meat Certifcate Import Control Number

A & A Contract Customs Brokers will then be able to fill out and remit all necessary paperwork for customs clearance to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

What happens next?

Prior to shipping to Canada, the importer must fulfill all CFIA requirements and must have arranged for the goods to arrive at a designated CFIA approved cold storage warehouse for inspection. After the goods clear customs, they travel in bond to cold storage warehousing facility where CFIA will inspect them, provided they receive the necessary CFIA mandated forms. Failure to present goods for inspection or to submit all necessary forms will result in mandatory and immediate exportation.   

After CFIA inspection, the commodity may be transported or distributed within Canada. 

Please consult CFIA for more information on the final end use of these products.


Meat Inspection Act, Department of Justice

Meat and Meat Products

Meat Products: Imports, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Chapter 10:

Official Meat Inspection Certificates  CFIA

CFIA – National Import Service Centre Contact Information: For information on CFIA requirements for all commodities.

Automated Importer Reference System (AIRS)