“Product of Canada” Enforcement Guidelines now in Effect

Posted: August 31, 2010 | Last Updated: July 06, 2016

Posted: August 31, 2010

Written by: Philip Watts

In January, we posted about the Competition Bureau’s proposed enforcement guidelines which will apply to any non-food product which is claimed to be either “Made in Canada” or a “Product of Canada”. These new enforcement guidelines became effective on July 1, 2010.

It is advisable that all retailers and manufacturers should ensure that their products meet these requirements before promoting products as either “Made in Canada”, or as a “Product of Canada”.

The intent of these guidelines is to enable consumers to understand the meaning of “Made in Canada” and “Product of Canada” claims and to protect Canadian producers from unfair competition from products which are substantially produced abroad but marketed as being produced or made in Canada.

According to these guidelines, “Product of Canada” labeled products must be made from 98% Canadian content. “Made in Canada” products would need to be made from at least 51% Canadian content. The location of the last substantial transformation of the product and the amount spent on material and labour in Canada are also among the factors in determining if a product meets the requirements to use these claims.

The Competition Bureau has confirmed that during the six months’ period following the implementation date, the Bureau will only consider enforcement action in circumstances of bad faith. At the end of this year, when this six month period has expired, retailers and manufacturers which use either “Made in Canada” or “Product of Canada” as a description of their products, risk liability for making false or misleading representations if their products do not meet the requirements set out in the guidelines — even if the representation is made in good faith.