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Canada has a number of requirements mandating that certain goods have labels AND that certain information be communicated on labels and packaging.  Goods may not be imported into Canada if the required markings are not on the goods to be imported.  If goods are not marked properly, the improperly marked goods may be seized by the CBSA and destroyed or returned to the country of export.  This is a cost that is best avoided – it is better to determine the marking and labelling requirements before the goods are shipped.

There are three primary types of markings:

  • Country of origin markings;
  • Labelling requirements; and
  • French language requirements.

The country of origin marking requirements are set out in the Customs Act and various regulations to the Customs Act.  Section 35.01 of the Customs Act provides that:

“No person shall import goods that are required to be marked by any regulations made under section 19 of the Customs Tariff unless the goods are marked in accordance with those regulations.”

The Marking of Imported Goods Regulations sets out marking requirements as does the Marking of Imported Goods OrderD-Memorandum D11-3-1 “Marking of Imported Goods” sets out the key CBSA country of origin marking/labelling requirements.

Labelling requirements are established under other Canadian federal laws, regulations, policies and guidelines as well as under provincial laws.  Unfortunately, all Canadian labelling requirements are not found in one single place.

Some examples of Canadian labelling requirements (and helpful resources) are:

Other Government Department Applicable Law Brief Description
Canada Revenue Agency Excise Act 2001

Stamping and Marking of Tobacco Products Regulations

Tobacco products are highly regulated in Canada and there are very specific labelling and advertising requirements.
CFIA Canadian Agricultural Products Act

Food and Drugs Act

Meat Inspection Act

Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act

The CFIA regulates what is on food labels in order to keep Canadians safe and provide information to Canadian consumers.

Labelling Requirements Checklist (Food Labelling)

Labelling Requirements

Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising


Industry Canada Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act Pre-packaged products must have a label containing a declaration of net quantity of the product in the prescribed form and manner.

Guide to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations.

Competition Bureau Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act

Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations

Precious Metals Marking Act

The Competition Bureau has issued the Guide to Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations (October 1999).

The Competition Bureau has issued the Guide to Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations.

The Competition Bureau has issued the Guide to the Precious Metals Marking Act and Regulations.

Government of Quebec Charter of the French Language and French Language Regulations Labels on products sold in Quebec must be in French.  There may be other language in addition to French.
Health Canada Hazardous Products Act Consumer Products Safety Act, Regulations of Narcotics and Controlled and Restricted Drugs


Health Canada enforces labelling requirements on controlled products and containers in which controlled products are packaged.

Labelling Requirements Checklist

Labelling of Cosmetics

Frequently Asked Questions About Nutritional Labelling

Labelling of Pharmaceutical Drugs for Human Use

NRCan   NR Can regulates labels regarding energy performance.  NRCan publishes information for importers.

EnerGuide package labelling

EnerGuide Rating

EnerGuide Labelling Instructions and Labelling Scales for Appliances and Room Air Conditioners


For more information, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at  For more information about Canada’s customs laws, please refer to the LexSage website, which contains many helpful articles.