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CFIA Update For Operators Of Establishments That Export “Medium-Risk” Products To China

Canadian establishments exporting “medium-risk” food products are required to update and complete their registration(s) in CIFER by submitting an “Application for Modification” by April 30, 2023.

CFIA Notification April 19-2023


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) would like to remind all Canadian establishments exporting “medium-risk” food products who submitted registration information to the Market Access Secretariat (MAS) in 2021 and which were subsequently registered in the China Import Food Enterprise Registration (CIFER) system, that they are now required by the General Administration of Customs China (GACC) to update and complete their registration(s) in CIFER by submitting an “Application for Modification” as soon as possible. However, “medium-risk” establishments registered by GACC in CIFER in 2022 and 2023 should also verify the expiry dates for their registrations in CIFER.

For your reference, please note that this requirement applies to establishments that submitted registration information to MAS in 2021 for subsequent registration in CIFER under the following “medium-risk” food products:

· Honey

· Royal Jelly

· Dry bean flour

· Mustard powder

· Non plant-based seasonings

· Malt

· Wheat flour

· Processed oat products (e.g., oatmeal)

· Roasted coffee beans

· Edible vegetable oils (e.g., canola oil, flaxseed oil)

· Frozen fruits*

· Functional Foods**

· Foods for dietary purposes***

Should these establishments wish to continue to export to China, it is imperative that they begin the process of updating their profile in CIFER immediately. If you have already submitted an “Application for Modification” which was approved by GACC, you will not have to complete the process again unless further changes are required to your registration.

Establishments that do not complete their “Application for Modification” may lose their eligibility to export to China and need to start the registration process over again.


All establishments falling under the product categories noted above are advised to log in to CIFER as soon as possible and complete the following steps:

STEP 1: Update your current registration by completing and submitting an “Application for Modification”. Fill in all missing information and attach all requested documentation. To allow sufficient time for CFIA to review and process applications prior to CFIA submission to GACC, establishments are strongly encouraged to submit their completed “Application for Modification” to CFIA in CIFER no later than April 30, 2023

STEP 2: Contact the local CFIA office by email to advise that an application has been submitted to CFIA in CIFER. In the email, establishments must provide:

  • Enterprise name as it appears in CIFER
  • Establishment physical address
  • CFIA establishment ID/registration number
  • List of the specific products or product types in the application
  • Screen capture of the application status found at the top of the page showing that the application has been submitted to CFIA. If submitted properly, the status should say “current state: Submit to authorities”

STEP 3: After the local office receives the above email, and while CFIA is reviewing the application in CIFER, the local office will provide two forms for the establishment to complete the:

  • CFIA application form authorizing CFIA to submit the establishment for registration in China’s CIFER system
  • GACC product-type specific inspection checklist

STEP 4: Once these forms have been completed and returned to the CFIA local office by email and the application has been verified as correct and complete, the CFIA will submit the application to GACC in CIFER. Note that CFIA may require revisions and resubmission of documents based upon GACC’s requirements and that GACC’s approval timelines are unpredictable and often lengthy.

ATTENTION: When updating the information in CIFER, establishments must:

  • Ensure all fields marked with a * are filled in
  • Change the Plant Establishment Time to the date your company first began operation in the facility
  • Attach a copy of the SFC licence
  • Add all products exported to China under “Products to be registered/added to China” (recommend verifying required HS/CIQ codes with importer or checking “Product Type Query” in CIFER)

*Regarding frozen fruits, it is our understanding that GACC created CIFER registrations for a number of establishments in 2022, despite the fact that these establishments did not proactively request to be registered. If your establishment was registered in CIFER by GACC in 2022, we strongly advise that you contact the CFIA Food Export Division ([email protected]) to obtain the necessary login information and instructions to access your CIFER establishment registration.

**Functional food includes (definition according to GACC):

  • Minerals, vitamins, protein powders, fish oil and seal oil.

***Food for Special Dietary purpose (definition according to GACC):

  • Soy based infant formula: refers to soy and soy protein products as the main raw material, adding the right amount of vitamins, minerals and / or other ingredients, using only physical methods of production and processing made suitable for normal infants and young children to eat liquid or powder products.
  • Special medical use formula, in order to meet the eating restrictions, digestive and absorption disorders, metabolic disorders or specific disease states of people with special needs for nutrients or diet, specially processed and formulated formula. Such products must be under the guidance of a doctor or clinical nutritionist, eaten alone or in conjunction with other foods.
  • Infant and toddler complementary foods, including infant and toddler canned complementary foods and infant and toddler cereal complementary foods. Infant and toddler filling supplements are food materials processed, filling, sealing, sterilization or aseptic filling to commercial sterility, can be stored at room temperature for infants and toddlers over 6 months of age; infant and toddler cereal supplements are one or more cereals as the main raw material, and cereals account for more than 25% of the dry matter composition, add the appropriate amount of nutritional fortification and (or) other auxiliary ingredients, made by processing the supplementary food suitable for infants and toddlers above 6 months of age.
  • Others (supplemental nutritional supplements, sports nutrition food, etc.) other to meet the special physical or physiological conditions and (or) to meet the special dietary needs of disease, disorders and other states, specially processed or formulated food.

Due to the complexity and attention to detail required by GACC for the CIFER application process, the CFIA has developed a checklist tool for establishments to use when developing their application. This checklist may also be accessed through the following link: CIFER – Checklist tool for industry – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (

Additional information regarding CIFER can be found on the Industry Guidance page. You can also find more information on China’s food export requirements by visiting the China pages in the CFIA’s Food Export Requirements Library.


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