As communicated on July 16, 2019 in a letter to the trade, the Canadian food safety regulations are evolving and modernizing to better protect consumers. To support the transition of labels to the new regulations, the LCBO has made several updates to our New Item Submission System (NISS).

The primary objective of these NISS enhancements, is to support the implementation of the regulatory updates driven by the CFIA Food Label Modernization Initiative, the Safe Foods for Canadians Act and Regulations, and changes to the Beer and Vodka Standards of Identity. This new functionality is designed to streamline the communication between suppliers/agents and the LCBO during the transition period. Starting on May 11, 2020, vendors and agents will be asked to provide some additional information and documentation about their products to ensure the new items are being evaluated accurately. A summary of the updates is captured below:

• Supplier/Agent must confirm if the label artwork is being submitted to the new or former regulations. Labels submitted to the former regulations, that are compliant to the former regulations, will receive a WARNING status. This status will not impede the product flow; it is rather a mechanism of drawing the attention to new regulations being in place

• Supplier/Agent must confirm if the product carries a Gluten Free claim on the label or packaging. In case of Gluten Free claims, the vendor/agent will be prompted to upload supporting documentation

• Supplier/Agent must confirm if either natural or artificial flavouring preparations (as defined by Division 10 in the Food and Drug Regulations) are added to the product

• Vendor/Agent must provide details as to the type, placement and application method of the lot code

• Within the label review application, select text fields have been expanded to allow for additional feedback

Suppliers are also encouraged to read the LCBO Summary of Regulatory Updates Specific to Beverage Alcohol document linked below for an overview of the regulations, frequently asked questions and list of resources. As we progress towards the deadlines for compliance, the LCBO will update trade partners in the event of any changes.

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 NISS label reviews may be directed to the LCBO’s Quality Assurance department. Email or call (416) 864-6724.

LCBO Summary of Regulatory Updates Specific to Labelling of Beverage Alcohol

NISS Enhancements for Transition to New Regulations