Canada: How Much Dairy Does General Import Permit #1 Allow?

Last Updated: June 22 2016
Article by Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

Many Canadians cross border shop but do not realize that not all groceries can be imported into Canada. Most dairy products are subject to import restrictions. Many businesses who import dairy products (and eggs and poultry) know about the import restrictions. The average Canadian does not. Some individuals who cross border shop buy too much in terms of dairy products and their purchases are seized at the border. In addition, individuals have their NEXUS passes cancelled because they did not know the rules.

Canadians may import dairy products for personal consumption using General Export Permit No: 1 "Dairy Products For Personal Use" (GEP No. 1). GEP No. 1 permits the importation of $CDN 20 worth of dairy products listed in the schedule to GEP No. 1. If more than one person is in the car, the value can be multiplied by the number of people in the car. Technically, you will run into a problem if anyone in the car is lactose intolerant as they cannot consume the dairy products – meaning someone else is over their limit.

The dairy products listed in Schedule 2 to GEP No. 1 are:

  • Milk and cream, neither concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, of a fat content, by weight, not exceeding 6 per cent;
  • Cream, neither concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, of a fat content, by weight, exceeding 6 per cent;
  • Milk and cream, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, in powder, granules or other solid forms, of a fat content, by weight, not exceeding 1.5 per cent;
  • Milk and cream, in powder, granules or other solid forms, of a fat content, by weight, exceeding 1.5 per cent, not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter;
  • Milk and cream, in powder, granules or other solid forms, of a fat content, by weight, exceeding 1.5 per cent, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter;
  • Preparations (other than preparations classified under tariff item No. 2106.90.31 or 2106.90.32 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff) containing more than 15 per cent by weight of milk fat, but less than 50 per cent by weight of dairy content, and suitable for use as butter substitutes, not elsewhere specified or included, that are classified under tariff item No. 2106.90.33 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff.
  • Milk and cream, not in powder, granules or other solid forms, concentrated (whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter) or not concentrated (containing added sugar or other sweetening matter);
  • Powdered buttermilk, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa;
  • Buttermilk (other than powdered buttermilk), curdled milk and cream, kephir and other fermented or acidified milk and cream, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa;
  • Products consisting of natural milk constituents, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, not elsewhere specified or included;
  • Powdered whey, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter;
  • Milk protein substances with a milk protein content of 85% or more by weight, calculated on a dry matter basis;
  • Mixes and doughs, for the preparation of bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares containing more than 25 per cent by weight of butterfat and not put up for retail sale;
  • Milk, cream or butter substitutes containing 50 per cent or more by weight of dairy content;
  • Food preparations of goods of heading Nos. 04.01 to 04.04 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff (other than ice cream mixes or ice milk mixes), containing more than 10 per cent but less than 50 per cent on a dry weight basis of milk solids, not in retail packaging;
  • Food preparations of goods of heading Nos. 04.01 to 04.04 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff (other than ice cream mixes or ice milk mixes), containing 50 per cent or more on a dry weight basis of milk solids, not in retail packaging;
  • Food preparations, not elsewhere specified or included, containing 50 per cent or more by weight of dairy content;
  • Non-alcoholic beverages containing milk (other than chocolate milk) and containing 50 per cent or more by weight of dairy content and not put up for retail sale;
  • Complete feeds and feed supplements, including concentrates, containing 50 per cent or more by weight, in the dry state, of non-fat milk solids (other than preparations classified under tariff item No. 2309.10.00, 2309.90.10 or 2309.90.20 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff), not elsewhere specified or included;
  • Chocolate ice cream mix and ice milk mix;
  • Ice cream mixes and ice milk mixes containing more than 10 per cent but less than 50 per cent on a dry weight basis of milk solids;
  • Ice cream mixes and ice milk mixes containing 50 per cent or more on a dry weight basis of milk solids;
  • Ice cream and other edible ice, whether or not containing cocoa, other than flavoured ice and ice sherbets;
  • Fresh (unripened or uncured) cheese, including whey cheese and curd;
  • Cheddar cheese and Cheddar types of cheese, grated or powdered;
  • Grated or powdered cheese of all kinds, other than Cheddar and Cheddar types;
  • Processed cheese, not grated or powdered;
  • Blue-veined cheese;
  • Cheddar cheese and Cheddar types of cheese;
  • Camembert cheese and Camembert types of cheese;
  • Brie cheese and Brie types of cheese;
  • Gouda cheese and Gouda types of cheese;
  • Provolone cheese and Provolone types of cheese;
  • Mozzarella cheese and Mozzarella types of cheese;
  • Swiss/Emmental cheese and Swiss/Emmental types of cheese;
  • Gruyère cheese and Gruyère types of cheese;
  • Havarti cheese and Havarti types of cheese;
  • Parmesan cheese and Parmesan types of cheese;
  • Romano cheese and Romano types of cheese;
  • All other cheeses;
  • Yogurt, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa;
  • Butter;
  • Dairy spreads; and
  • Fats and oils derived from milk.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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