Beef and veal


Basic information


Outline of the system

Effective 21 September 2017, the date of the entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, import controls for beef and veal were amended to remove controls for such products originating from an EU country or other CETA beneficiaries. (Regulations Defining "EU country or other CETA beneficiary", SOR/2017-178,

Effective 1 April 2021, the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-UK TCA) entered into force. This agreement provides that the United Kingdom, and other beneficiaries of the Canada-UK TCA, continue to receive the same tariff treatment as was provided in CETA.

Effective 1 January 1995, beef and veal were placed on the Import Control List established under the Export and Import Permits Act; and the existing import control measures for these products provided for under the Meat Import Act were replaced with a tariff rate quota (TRQ).


Product coverage

In order to implement Canada's WTO commitments, beef and veal were placed on the Import Control List. This action was taken under the authority of Paragraph 5(1)(a) and Section 5.3 of the Export and Import Permits Act.

Nature of licensing



If Automatic, administrative purpose



If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime


Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

This licensing system is used to implement TRQs for beef and veal in accordance with Canada's WTO commitments.


Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

Please see Answers 6.1-6.11.


The system applies to products originating from which country?

An import permit is required for each shipment of these products originating in and imported from all countries except the United States, Mexico, Chile, an EU country or other CETA beneficiary, or a beneficiary of the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement.


Expected duration of licensing procedure

Eligibility of applicants


Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?


What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

All residents of Canada are eligible to apply for an allocation, and permits are only granted to allocation holders.


Is there a registration fee?


Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility










E-mail address




Contact officer

Submission of an application


Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Documentation requirements


What information is required in applications?

Permit applications must include information including where the product is coming from, which port it is being shipped to, and date of arrival.


What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

Window of submission of an application


How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?

Not applicable.


Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

Not applicable.

Issuing the license


Can a licence be granted immediately on request?

Not applicable.


Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence

Not applicable.


Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

Not applicable.


Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?

Not applicable.


Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?


Fees and other administrative charges


Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

Any applicant may directly apply for a permit via customs brokers equipped with authorized computer terminals.


What is the amount of the fee or charge?

Any applicant may directly apply for a permit via customs brokers equipped with authorized computer terminals. Permit fees range from CAN$10.00 to CAN$26.00 (according to the value of the goods). This fee does not cover the cost of any additional services provided by such issuers.

Permits may also be requested, by email, from Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa for which the associated fees range from CAN$15.00 to CAN$31.00 (according to the value of the goods).


Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?



Amount or rate?


Is it refundable?


What is the period of retention?


What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application


Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

Import permits are not normally refused if the criteria relating to issuance are met.


Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

If a permit is refused, for example, because of incomplete information on the application, the applicant is advised and given the opportunity to correct the anomaly.


Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?


If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?



Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

Not applicable.


What documents are required upon actual importation?

Import permits and normal customs entry forms are required in addition to health certificates as required by the Canada Food Inspection Agency.


Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?


Conditions of licensing


What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

Permits are valid for 30 days and cannot be extended.


Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?



Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?


Foreign Exchange


Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

Not applicable.


Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?

Not applicable.


Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?

Not applicable.


What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?

Not applicable.

The following questions are only for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports (whether applicable globally or to a limited number of countries or whether established bilaterally or unilaterally)


Where is information on allocation and formalities for licences published? Is the overall amount published? The amount allocated to goods from each country? The maximum amount allocated to each importer? How to request any exceptions or derogations from the licensing requirement?

Information on TRQs and related formalities is published in the Canada Gazette and in Notices to Importers. The latter are distributed to customs brokers, associations and traders and are available upon request from Global Affairs Canada.

Notices to Importers and additional information are also available on Global Affairs Canada website at:


Is the size of the quota determined: on yearly, six-monthly or quarterly basis? Are there cases where the size of quota is determined on a yearly basis but licences are issued for imports on a six-monthly or quarterly basis? In the latter case, is it necessary for importers to apply for a fresh licence on a six-monthly or quarterly basis?

In keeping with its WTO commitments, Canada has established an annual TRQ level for imports of fresh, chilled and frozen beef and veal from non-FTA countries of 76,409 tonnes. Of this quantity, 29,600 tonnes are reserved for imports from New Zealand and 35,000 tonnes are reserved for imports from Australia. The balance of the TRQ, 11,809 tonnes (known as the MFN reserve) is reserved for imports from all other eligible suppliers, including those from New Zealand and Australia once their country-specific allocations are filled. Allocations are issued on a yearly basis, however permits are shipment-specific and are valid for 30 days.


Are licences allocated for certain goods partly or only to domestic producers of like goods? What steps are taken to ensure that licences allocated are actually used for imports? Are unused allocations added to quotas for a succeeding period? Are names of importers to whom licences have been allocated made known to governments and export promotion bodies of exporting countries upon request? If not, for what reason? (Indicate products to which replies relate)

Allocations and permits are issued to active importers of beef and veal. An allocation not used in one quota year will not be available for carryover to the next quota year. The names of allocation holders are available on our website:


From the time of announcing the opening of quotas, as indicated in I above, what is the period of time allowed for the submission of applications for licences?

Applications for allocations under the TRQ are accepted between 1 October and 15 November each year. Once a party has been issued an allocation, they may apply for permits any time throughout the year until the TRQ has been filled.


What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?

Permit applications input directly into the control system, with no errors, are issued immediately. Applications which require further information, or data entry at Global Affairs Canada are issued within 48 hours. Applications with complex issues may take longer.


How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?

Allocation advances are issued two weeks before the opening of the period of importation. Full allocations are issued shortly after the period of importation opens. Permits are only available once the allocation advance has been issued.


Is consideration of licence applications effected by a single administrative organ? Or must the application be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval? If so, which? Does the importer have to approach more than one administrative organ?

Consideration of permits applications is effected by a single administrative organ.


If the demand for licences cannot be fully satisfied, on what basis is the allocation to applicants made? First come, first served? Past performance? Is there a maximum amount to be allocated per applicant and if so, on what basis is it determined? What provision is made for new importers? Are applications examined simultaneously or on receipt?

Allocations are determined based on market share. If an allocation holder required additional allocation, they can request this once they have reached 80% utilization of their current allocation. Additional allocation is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.


In the case of bilateral quotas or export restraint arrangements where export permits are issued by exporting countries, are import licences also required? If so, are licences issued automatically?

Not applicable.


In cases where imports are allocated on the basis of export permits only, how is the importing country informed of the effect given by the exporting countries to the understanding between the two countries?

Not applicable.


Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?