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Licensing Program and Importation Permits

Help on accessing alternative formats of Portable Document Format (PDF) can be obtained in the How to download PDF documents section.

The importation of human and terrestrial animal pathogens is covered by the Human Pathogens Importation Regulations (HPIR) and Health of Animals Act and Regulations (HAA/HAR), respectively.

Under the HPIR, every person importing a human pathogen in Risk Group 2, 3 or 4 must obtain an importation permit. This helps the Public Health Agency of Canada (the Agency) to assess and manage the risk of inadvertent transmission of communicable diseases caused by imported human pathogens.

Under the HAA/HAR permits are required for the importation of all animal pathogens into Canada. The Agency is responsible for certain provisions of the HAA/HAR which relate to terrestrial animal* pathogens. For an agent brought into Canada under an import permit which restricts its distribution, further approval must be obtained before transferring the agent to another location.

* For the purpose of this program the term "terrestrial animal" includes avian and amphibian animals, but does not include aquatic animals, bees and invertebrates. 

The Licensing Program at the Agency receives, validates, and reviews importation applications and transfer applications for regulated terrestrial animal pathogens and human pathogens and toxins. It sets the appropriate import permit conditions. Before issuing an importation permit, the Licensing program confirms that the regulated party's facility meets the operational and physical requirements set out in the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines (CBSG) with the Biosafety Inspection Program or the High Biocontainment Inspection Program.

Please note: The authority under the HAA/HAR to issue importation permits for live animals, animal products and by-products, animal blood and serum, aquatic animal pathogens, bee pathogens, pathogens causing foreign animal diseases, pathogens causing emerging animal diseases, and veterinary biologics remains with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)External Link.

If you have questions regarding our licensing program, please contact us:

Application Process

  1. Submission of an Application for permit to import pathogen(s) (PDF Document - 811 KB - 3 pages) (Updated) to CB by email, facsimile or regular mail.
  2. Reception and Administrative Validation. The Licensing Program examines the application for administrative completeness and notifies the applicant of completeness (and assigned file number) or deficiency of its application by email.
  3. Scientific Processing. The Licensing Program:
  4. Review and Approval.
  5. Issuance of the importation permit and related document(s)
  6. Final package sent to the applicant usually by email.

Additional Information and Forms