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Legal Guide

The purpose of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act is to protect consumers from misrepresentation in packaging and labelling, and to assist the consumer in differentiating between products. The legislation applies to dealers who are defined as retailers, manufacturers, processors or producers of a “product”. The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act broadly defines “product” to mean any article that is, or may be, the subject of trade or commerce, including both food and non-food items.

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act prohibits a dealer from selling, advertising or importing into Canada any pre-packaged product, unless a label is attached declaring the net quantity of the product in the form prescribed by the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations. Generally, the mandatory information required on a label must be in both English and French, and the quantity must be expressed in metric units. The label must also state the common name of the product and the principal place of business of the person by whom, or for whom, the pre-packaged product was manufactured.

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act also regulates the standardization of containers, to prevent consumers from being misled or confused by the undue proliferation of container shapes and sizes. Products that must be in standardized containers include peanut butter, wine, glucose syrup and refined sugar syrup.

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