The Canadian food safety regulations are evolving and modernizing to better protect consumers. Food and Drug Regulations amendments to listing of ingredients, allergen declarations, nutrition facts tables, or beer and vodka standards of identity are few examples of these updates. These amendments will improve the labelling of food and beverage alcohol products and make them easier to understand, helping Canadians make informed choices.
A five-year transition period, ending on December 14, 2021, was provided to allow sufficient time for industry to make the necessary changes to their labels and to use up any existing stocks of labels already printed to comply with former requirements. To support the transition of labels to the new regulations, the LCBO has made updates to our New Item Submission System (NISS), that would allow label artwork to be submitted to the new or former regulations. These changes have previously been communicated to the trade in two separate letters dated July 16, 2019 and May 6, 2020 respectively.
As the end of the transition period is approaching, the LCBO is announcing that labels submitted through NISS for review under the former regulations will no longer be accepted. The primary objective of this update is to support the implementation of the regulatory updates driven by the CFIA Food Label Modernization Initiative. Starting on June 2021, vendors and agents will no longer be able to select “Former Regulations” during the artwork submission process in NISS.
· Supplier/Agent must confirm that the label artwork is being submitted to the new regulations.
· Labels submitted to the former regulations will be processed as a “Fail” or “Not reviewed” (as the case may be).
Suppliers are encouraged to read the LCBO Summary of Regulatory Updates Specific to Beverage Alcohol document HERE for an overview of the regulations, frequently asked questions and list of resources. As we continue to progress towards the deadline for compliance, the LCBO will update trade partners in the event of any changes.
Please note, Quality Assurance is available to assist with the regulatory transition for existing products. Suppliers/agents may ask their category administrator to submit a label for a formal label review via the In-Market label review process.
Your assistance in sharing this information with your members is greatly appreciated. Inquiries about the regulations or Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or Health Canada requirements should be directed to CFIA via their website.
Inquiries about LCBO label reviews may be directed to the LCBO’s Quality Assurance department. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (416) 864-6724.
- Dorina Brasoveanu
- Director, Quality Assurance
- cc: Abhay Garg, Vice President, Merchandising
- Nick Nanos, Senior Vice President & Chief Supply Chain Officer